Today I would like to present to you the question of a previous student from our bio-energetics program (this is a fancy word to say chinese medicine- without the needles). Her question concerns alfafa and its therapeutic indications for anemia: she did not understand the relationship between the spleen and anemia (“anemia is a condition of yin spleen?” She asks) . At the AMCC, we have a database of more than 6,000 questions from students in English and French, all available on our online student center for active students. I would like to thank in passing the excellent work of our tutors at this level, who respond quickly and well, making it possible to bridge the gap between a live class and interactive online training.
What is Alfafa?
This plant is a variety of alfalfa appreciated for its contributions in vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It is a plant defined as a stimulant or tonic, just like algae, royal jelly, guarana, Pollen and ylang ylang (which sounds like yang). In Chinese medicine, the alfalfa acts on the element Earth with a potential Yang; this is why it will be used for example in cases of anemia which is a state of Rate Yin (Earth) in order to stimulate it. The goal is to correct anemia which is a deficiency in hemoglobin. In this case Alfalfa will act to correct this anemia.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a hemoglobin deficit below normal values. The red marrow is responsible for the production of red blood cells. In the event of pathology, can be responsible for anemia like many hematological diseases such as the great group of leukaemias.
The spleen acts as a purifier: a red blood cell has an average lifespan of 120 days. Once its lifespan has expired, it no longer performs well so it should be eliminated. The spleen then intervenes: part of the red blood cell is definitively eliminated via, in particular, bilirubin. Other elements are recycled such as iron and certain amino acids. Anemia is a complex condition with multiple causes.
What the Link with Yin and Yang?
The spleen can be responsible for anemia through different mechanisms. If it is too active, it will degrade too many red blood cells – including those which are still young and which should not be degraded. The causes of this overactivity of the spleen are multiple: infection, liver disease which affects the spleen etc. We are here in a case of a yang spleen.
The spleen can also be responsible for anemia through what is called blood sequestration. Red blood cells are still present and intact in the body, but they are sequestered in the spleen. This hypoactivity of the spleen which no longer releases cells as it should is rather a state of yin spleen.
If we come back to the properties of alfalfa, its high iron content is indicated in cases of anemia – if it’s caused by iron deficiency. If more red blood cells need to be made to reduce anemia, the body will need iron. It can come from outside (like alfalfa) or from the body’s iron stores. Its great nutritional qualities will make it a support in all cases to help the body fight against this anemia.
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