Nourishing the Spleen through food

This piece is taken from the website of Daverick Leggett.  To view the full article follow the link below.

Introducing the Spleen

The Spleen likes to feel a satisfied glow of comfort after eating. An eating style that nourishes the Spleen is one that is homely and generous, one that gives attention to the ‘feel-good factor’, generating a sense of abundance and care.

In Chinese medicine the Spleen is said to be nourished by sweet food. This does not mean sugar but rather the deep sweet taste of grains or root vegetables as in rice pudding or pumpkin soup. Generally speaking the Spleen likes well-cooked food such as thick soups or stews which are easy on the digestion; it has more difficulty with raw and cold food. The weaker the Spleen, the more it benefits from well-cooked meals.

The Spleen also dislikes being flooded with too much fluid so it is helpful to drink only a little fluid with meals and have most fluid intake between meals. It is helpful to separate fruit and sweetened foods from the main meal, eating them instead as between-meal snacks. This assists the Spleen’s function of sifting and sorting and helps reduce digestive fermentation.

Chewing well helps the Spleen to digest, and warms chilled or raw food. We can also assist the Spleen by sitting in a relaxed way with an open and untwisted posture. Sitting slumped or twisted will compress the digestive organs and hinder digestion.

Aromatic flavours stimulate the digestion, so the inclusion of aromatic herbs and spices in cooking will encourage the Spleen not to become Stagnant. Sweet-flavoured foods, especially foods rich in complex carbohydrates, are used by the Spleen to release energy steadily into the system; they form the centre of a Spleen-supportive diet.

Finally, according to the system of correspondences in Chinese medicine it is said that yellow/orange foods such as squash, ‘red’ lentils or carrot are energetically resonant with the Spleen and will support its functions.


Rice Spelt Aubergine Carrot
Cauliflower Swiss chard Courgette Coriander leaf
Marrow Parsnip Potatoe Pumpkin
Squash Stringbean Sweet potatoe Turnip
Water chestnut Water cress Yam Field mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms Shitake mushrooms Apple Avocado
Banana Blueberries Cherry Date
Fig Grape Grapefruit Guana
Kiwi Lemon/lime Mango Papaya
Pear Pineapple Plum Aduki
Kidney beans Chickpea Pea Tofu
Almond Hazelnut Pumpkin seed Linseed
Anchovy Mullet Salmon Sardine
Tuna Whitebait Beef tripe Pork tripe

Foods: Blood Deficiency Diet

(please see blog on What is Your Type according to TCM to confirm your Type)

Blood Deficiency – Daverick Leggett – Helping Ourselves

Supporting our blood through food

Blood is very easily improved through diet.  A diet rich in fresh vegetables is essential.  In particular, dark green leafy vegetables and chlorophyll-rich foods are helpful, especially when combined with grains.  Adequate protein is also necessary.

All meat, fish, beans and several seafoods will strengthen the blood.  In severe cases of Blood depletion, animal organs may be helpful.

As all food forms the basis of Blood, we may simply say eat well and widely.  The overuse of fatty foods, denatured foods and sweetened or salted foods will tend to weaken the Blood.  Foods which especially tonify Blood are listed below.

Aduki bean Chicken egg Kale Mussel Seaweed
Apricot Cuttlefish Kelp Nettle Spinach
Beef Dandelion Kidney bean Octopus Stout
Beetroot Dang Gui Leafy Greens Oxtail Squid
Black soybean Date Liver Oyster Sweet Rice
Bone marrow Fig Longan Parsley Tempeh
Cherry Grape Microalgae Sardine Watercress

For further information

Chicken stock & Soup – good for the soul


Although I personally do not eat meat, I often suggest to patients with similar diets to consider making an exception at certain times of their lives; it has so many benefits I just can’t help it :/

Hanna Kroeger, who in 1958 opened New Age Foods , the first health- food shop in US, was an early proponent of the medicinal properties in everyday food.  In her book Ageless Remedies from Mothers Kitchen she asks, ‘Why is chicken soup superior to all the things we have, even more relaxing than Tylenol (Paracetamol)?’

And she answers:

It is because chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine.  The inner lining is the beginning or ending or the nervous system.  It is easily pulled away from the intestine through too many laxatives, too many food additives and parasites.  Chicken soup heals the nerves, improves digestion, reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength.

You can make chicken stock with a single uncooked chicken carcass or bones but it will be improved if you add extra legs, wings and giblets (but not liver) or you can use a roast chicken carcass.


If you are using a leftover roasted carcass, pull off any spare meat and set aside to use when you make the soup.  Next, push down on the carcass until you hear the bones crack, then pull it apart and add to a large stock pot.  Use the entire carcass, including any juices left in the roasting pan.  If you are using an uncooked carcass or bones, simply squash it down into your pot.


• 1 x 1.5kg organic, free range chicken
• 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
• 1 celery heart, sliced, yellow leaves reserved
• 12 new potatoes, peeled
• a few sprigs of fresh thyme
• 2 large handfuls of peas
• 1 leek, washed and shredded
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Wash your chicken in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place the chicken, carrots, celery, potatoes and thyme into a large, deep pan and pour in 3 litres of water or enough to cover the chicken.

Simmer on a medium heat for 1½ hours or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the pan and strain the broth. Save the veg for later. Put the broth back on a high heat and allow to reduce for 15 minutes until there’s about 2 litres left.

Meanwhile, tear the cooked chicken into long chunks. Once the broth has reduced, throw the vegetables back in the pan with the peas, leeks and chicken. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then remove the sprigs of thyme.

Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with chopped parsley and the celery leaves.

Tip: The chicken is the star ingredient so use the best organic, free chicken available.


Information in this piece is taken from ‘The Baby Making Bible’ by Emma Cannon.