Yesterday, 15 March 2015, was World Kidney Day. World Kidney Day (WKD) is an annual global awareness and education event, held on the second Thursday in March every year. As part of our participation in creating awareness on taking care of your kidney, we’d like to share these simple tips on how to take care of your kidneys from a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective.

World Kidney Day - TCM Methods To Healthy Kidneys

In TCM, the kidneys are known as the Minister of Power because they are considered to be our most important storehouse of essential energy. Another name for the kidneys is the Root of Life, due to the Chinese view that our original prenatal energy is stored in the kidney organ-energy system. This kidney organ system includes the adrenal glands and what the Chinese refer to as the external kidneys, those being the testicles in males and the ovaries in women. In this way your kidneys, not only filter waste from the blood, balance fluids and regulate acid-alkaline balance (pH) in the body, they also control your sexual and reproductive functions and are a prime source of sexual vitality.

In TCM each organ system is responsible for certain psycho-emotional aspects of our behavior. An individual with healthy, balanced kidneys displays the attributes of wisdom, self-understanding, a gentle nature and rational thinking. The opposite or negative attributes are primarily a fearful nature, insecurity, loneliness, short-term memory loss and excessive-compulsive actions. Keeping your kidneys healthy and balanced requires some consideration on your part, along with including kidney-strengthening foods in your diet.

Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Disorders

Kidney weakness or disorder can occur at any age. If we identify the issues at the earlier stage it can be easily resolved and the Kidney health can be maintained, preventing serious issues later in life.

Lack of energy, lower back pain or weakness, frequent urination especially in the evening or during the night, increased thirst during the night, insomnia, waking very early in the morning (3 or 4 am), poor memory, tinnitus, early menopause, period problems, lower libido, impotence, pain in the soles or heels of the feet, puffiness at the ankles or knees. For children, malnourishment or delayed growth.

Tips For Healthy Kidneys

Treat Old & New Back Injuries

If you have an old or a new back injury, be sure to get this treated and resolved as soon as possible. Long term back injuries can cause poor circulation and stagnation which affects the Kidney function and weakens the Kidneys.

Take care of the Lower Back & Feet

It is best to keep the lower back and the soles of the feet warm, especially on cold days and in the winter. Avoid sitting and walking directly on cold hard floors – cover the feet and cushion the seat. The Kidneys are located in the lower back and the Kidney Channel covers the soles of the feet. Exposing these areas to the cold can damage the Kidney Yang and Qi, causing low back pain and sore feet.

Regular Sexual Life (Intercourse)

TCM considers a regular sexual life benefits the internal organs and balances the Yin and the Yang. However, over-doing it can affect the Kidney Essence for both the man and the woman. Appropriate regularity is very individual and can vary from person to person depending on age, constitution, health, diet, lifestyle and even the season. I am going to write another article to give further details on this issue. A simple way of judging what is suitable for you is by monitoring your energy the next day.

Diet Suitable for Kidney Issues

TCM considers the following foods are suitable for Kidney support: scallops, small dried prawns, walnuts, chives, goji berries, black beans, soybeans, lamb or lamb bone soup, beef or beef bone soup.


For those on long-term medication, beware of any possible side effects that might damage the Kidneys. Check with your family doctor if you have any concerns.

World Kidney Day – TCM Methods To Healthy Kidneys
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