Taken from “The Infertility Cure” by Randine Lewis, Ph. D.
Ki–Kidney Essence Deficiency (Encompasses Both Yin and Yang)
- Do not drink caffeine or take any stimulant, herbal or otherwise, including herbal weight-loss or “energy” formulas.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Take supplements such as dehydoepiandrosterone (DHEA) (a hormone building block that declines with age) and glandular supplements (including placenta) for short periods only.
- Take time each day for rest and relaxation.
- Avoid too much external stimulation (parties, drugs, loud music, too much sex).
- Do not smoke.
- Eat as much as possible of the following foods:
- Black beans and legumes
- Spirulina, chorella, or blue-green algae
- Wheat germ
- String beans
- Non-hormonally treated organ meats
- Oysters, clams, lobster, crayfish
- Wild rice
- Pork, venison
- Black sesame seeds
- Lycium fruit
- Adzuki beans
Ki Yi– Kidney Yin Deficiency
- A diet for Kidney Yin deficiency should be rich in the following foods:
- Wheat and wheat germ, bulgur, tofu, millet, barley, rice, amaranth.
- Asparagus, black beans, kidney beans, red beans, string beans, mung beans, peas and chickpeas, bean sprouts, eggplant, and beets
- Seaweed, chorella, and spirulina
- Fruit such as apples, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, lemons, mangoes, mulberries, melons and pineapple (The enzyme bromelain, found in fresh pineapple, augments the endometrial-adherent molecules necessary for implantation.)
- Shellfish like clams, oysters and mussels
- Duck, organ meats such as kidneys, brains, and hearts (all from organic, non-hormonally treated sources)
- Avoid the use of dry, pungent, acrid spices (pepper, curry, horseradish, etc.)
- Increase dietary sources of phytoestrogens like those found in soy and flaxseed oil.
- Do not over exercise. Too much physical exertion depletes Yin. Even though the thought of becoming flabby or putting on weight seems daunting, you may have to choose for a while between a hard body and a baby.
- Do not take saunas or do Bikram yoga, as excess heat may further deplete the Yin.
Ki Yan– Kidney Yang Deficiency
- Adhere to the dietary suggestions for Kidney Essence deficiency.
- Eat warm, nourishing foods.
- Consume one to three servings of hormone-free meat or animal products each day. Vegan diets are not healthy for the Kidney Yang deficient. Include lobster, lamb, shrimp, and animal kidneys.
- Include gingerroot, black beans, adzuki beans, lentils
- Include grains like oats, spelt, sweet brown rice, and quinoa.
- Eat walnuts.
- Fruits should include citrus peel, dates and cherries.
- Eat vegetables that are Yang in nature, including parsnips, parsley, mustard greens, winter squash, cabbage, kale, onions, leeks, chives, garlic, and scallions.
- Cook with peppers and warming spices and herbs such as anise, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, basil, rosemary, dill, caraway, and cumin.
- Stay warm. Take warm baths, warm your feet and warm your lower abdomen with a heating pad or hot water bottle, especially before ovulation.
- Exercise moderately.
- Supplement with L-arginine.
Sp Qi– Spleen Qi Deficiency
- Consume mostly organic vegetables, sautéed or lightly cooked.
- Do not eat raw, cold foods. Don’t consume ice-sold beverages, or put ice in your drinks. Avoid ice cream and Popsicles. Don’t eat food straight out of the refrigerator.
- Avoid energetically “cold” fruits like mangoes, watermelon, pears and persimmons. “Cold” vegetables include cucumber, lettuce, celery and spinach.
- Do not eat refined carbohydrates like white bread or pasta. Avoid any food made with white flour. Simple starches are converted to glucose immediately after ingestion and become sugar as far as the body is concerns, which damages the spleen.
- Eat grains like rice, Job’s tears (coix), oats and sorghum.
- Eat yams, pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds unless you have PCOS. (While some fertility diets advocate it, massive yam consumption can actually delay or prevent ovulation if you have PCOS because the high starch and sugar content in yams exacerbates the impaired glucose metabolism that occurs with this condition.)
- Eat beef, chicken, goose, ham, herring, rabbit, mackerel, and sturgeon.
- Eat cherries, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, molasses, potatoes, and shitake mushrooms.
- Avoid sugar and sugar substitutes and any concentrated sweets including honey and maple syrup
- Do not drink fruit juice; the sugar content is too high. Eat fruits only in their whole form.
- Avoid damp-creating foods like milk and milk products such as cheese or ice cream.
- Get adequate rest and sufficient exercise.
- Do not exercise excessively during menstruation.
- Perform meditative techniques to help relieve the mind or undue worry. Some people find biofeedback exercises helpful. “Biodots”-feedback stickers somewhat akin to mood rings- turn colors when your blood vessels constrict, allowing you to moderate your own stress level.
- Include the following foods in your diet:
- Apricots, blackberries, raspberries, grapes
- Organic meats
- Turnip, watercress, spinach, dark leafy greens
- Blood-nourishing foods like hormone-free liver and bone marrow
- Don’t smoke cigarettes.
- Rest during your period
BL X–Blood Stasis
- Consume moderate amounts of soy and soy products (like tofu); however, if you also suffer from concomitant damp or cold symptoms, don’t eat soy at all. Soy is cool and sweet and therefore dampening in nature.
- Buy only organic fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid refined, hydrogenated oils.
- Use only unprocessed plant sources of essential fatty acids, such as raw nuts and seeds, and dark-green vegetables.
- Use oils rich in both linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids, like flaxseed, pumpkin-seed and chia-seed oils, but only if they are recently cold-pressed and refined. Supplement with oils from fish, evening primrose, linseed, black currant or borage seeds.
- Include dietary spirulina
- Avoid sources of arachidonic acid, which comes from animal meats, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, and seaweed.
- Avoid animal products, except fish.
- If you cannot eliminate animal products, make sure they are organic and have not been hormonally treated. Synthetic estrogen feeds both endometriosis and fibroids, which are caused by blood stasis.
- Eat walnuts, chestnuts, chives, crabs, hawthorn berries, peaches, mustard leaf, onions, scallions, dark greens, saffron, and cold-climate crops like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, turnips, cauliflower and carrots.
- Foods especially good for resolving blood stasis include lemons, limes, onions, kelp, Irish moss, and bladder wrack (the last three are forms of seaweed).
- Include antioxidants (vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc) and superantioxidants like those in pycnogenol or oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) found in grapeseed extract, pine bark extract, red wine extract, bilberry extract and citrus bioflavonoids.
NOTE: Don’t overwhelm your body with massive doses of vitamin C, however, as too much acid can lower the cervical pH.
- Avoid cold foods right out of the refrigerator or freezer.
- Do not use ice in your drinks.
- Do not swim in cold water or have intercourse during your menstruation.
- Use feminine hygiene pads rather than tampons. Tampons do not allow adequate expulsion of blood and may aggravate endometriosis back flow.
- To purify the blood, add grapes, raspberries, lemons, limes, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, beets, watercress, vinegar and salt to your diet.
- During menstruation, add extra seaweed and spirulina.
- If you experience abnormal uterine bleeding, eat abalone, black fungus, chicken, squid and vinegar.
(The diagnosis of cold uterus includes signs of Kidney Yang deficiency [Ki Yan] and blood stasis [Bl X]. The lower abdomen feels cool to the touch.)
- Adhere to the Kidney Yang deficiency and blood stasis suggestions described earlier.
- Between menstruation and ovulation, apply warmth (a hot water bottle or heating pad) to the lower abdomen.
- Do not consume milk or dairy products, including ice cream.
- Do not overindulge in soy product, which are dampening in nature.
- Avoid wheat, which is more damp in nature than barley or rice. (Rice is also a diuretic and may help clear excess fluids, which is helpful in eliminating dampness from the body.)
- Don’t eat bananas, chocolate or nuts.
- Do not consume alcohol.
- Include drying foods such as Job’s tears, which has a diuretic effect. Other diuretic foods include alfalfa, parsley, radishes, summer melons, celery, carrots, cabbage, cranberries, cucumbers, lettuce and kelp.
- If you have damp heat signs, eat a lot of green vegetables containing indole-3-carbinal, which helps the liver rid the body of negative (damp heat) effects of excess estrogens.
One final reminder: Anything can be harmful if used in the wrong way or in too great an amount. This includes food, water, and any of the other recommendations in this book. Please use these suggestions in moderation and stick to the prescription fitting your particular pattern. You’re going to get much better results if you approach your body with care and appreciation. Remember, we are speaking of a lifestyle, not a quick fix; by definition, a lifestyle can be lived comfortably over the long term.
The Tao Te Ching says,
What is rooted is easy to nourish.
What is recent is easy to correct.
What is brittle is easy to break.
What is small is easy to scatter.
Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.
The giant pine tree
Grows from a tiny sprout.
The journey of a thousand miles
Starts from beneath your feet.
The diet and lifestyle changes you make may be very small to start with, like the sprout that becomes the giant pine tree. But by eating and living to encourage fertility, you are putting down deep roots for your health and well-being. Remember, what is rooted is easy to nourish. And when your body, mind, and spirit feel nourished, they will be ready to welcome and nourish your precious child.