Foods that tonify the spleen

In Chinese medicine, the Spleen and stomach are responsible for receiving food and transforming it into Qi and blood that is passed around the body, nourishing every cell.

Overeating or undereating, eating erratically, consuming too many sweet foods, eating whilst stressed or while walking / working etc, can make it harder for the spleen to transform food properly. Overtime this can lead to Spleen Qi Deficiency. Symptoms of this are commonly referred to as IBS such as bloating, sluggishness, wind, diarrhoea and tiredness.

As the Spleen is unable to transform food efficiently, dampness is eventually produced within the body. In western medicine this may be identified as bad bacteria, virus, fungus, yeast infections, and/or parasites! Most people with spleen Qi deficiency will also have dampness.

With food not being transformed properly and an accumulation of damp, this can lead to problems such as allergies (especially food allergies), inflammation, high blood sugar (which can be a cause of acne), weight gain, eczema, and urinary tract infections.


Cut down on sugar, dairy and refined carbs. Eat more slow cooked foods as these are easier to digest – do not eat too many raw or cold foods such as salads or ice cream. You can juice vegetables if you can tolerate them, but make sure you drink them at room temperature and do not have more than 2 a day.

Include the below foods into your diet:

Grains: Corn, barley, brown basmati rice rice, oats, sweet rice, spelt, millet

Fruit: Papaya, lemon,

Beans: Aduki, lentils, chick peas, Kidney (soaked for 12 hours before cooking)

Meat: Anchovy, eel, tuna, mackerel, small amounts of lamb, chicken, beef

Vegetables: Alfalfa sprouts, button mushroom, carrots, caper, corn, pumpkin, radish, turnip, sweet potatoes, squash, parsnips, yams, peas

Herbs and spices: Aniseed, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, nettle, parsley, white pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel

Drinks: Green tea, raspberry leaf tea, jasmine tea, ginger tea