Dark Chocolate: A Tonic for Qi & Blood

When a patient has symptoms of a pale tongue, low energy, pallor, fatigue and muscular weakness, I tend to suspect a deficiency of qi and blood. My favorite food-medicine for less severe qi & blood deficiencies is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in iron, fats, fiber and xanthines like caffeine and theobromine. High quality dark chocolates with 70%+ cocoa solids are ideal. This percentage guarantees that you’ll get a significant amount of dense mineral nutrition. I believe that the iron and fats of dark chocolate are good for building blood, while the xanthines help to move blood and increase energy. The fiber itself is good for the  regulating the intestinal system, improving bowel movements and any stasis in the middle jiao. When the intestines are clean, there are less toxins proliferating in the colon. This reduces autoimmune activity, improving energy reserves.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):

  • 11 grams of fiber.
  • 67% of the RDA for Iron.
  • 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
  • 89% of the RDA for Copper.
  • 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

—https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

Qi relates to the fundamental energy we are born with and the caloric energy that we generate as we consume & metabolize food, as well as the oxygen we breathe. Blood is the fluid of the heart, and is responsible for nourishing & moistening the muscles, tendons and other body tissues. There is a saying that “blood is the mother of qi.” This could be likened to the fact that blood relies on iron, which is needed for oxygen transfer throughout the body. Symptoms of hypoxia can arise in anemic persons, as the lack of iron could inhibit qi from reaching the distal extremities. Qi moves blood, so if there is a lack of one, it feeds into the pathos of the other.

Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to cells all over the body. Once the oxygen is delivered, iron then helps red blood cells carry carbon dioxide waste back to the lungs to be exhaled. Iron also plays a role in many important chemical reactions in the body.

—http://www.medicinenet.com/iron-page2/supplements-vitamins.htm

If blood isn’t moving, then that means the erythrocytes (red blood cells) are sitting around with lots of carbon dioxide… Perhaps this leads to inflammation, pain and autoimmune reactions in tissues, from muscles to bones. I believe Qi gong, tuina, reiki, acupuncture and herbal therapies could really benefit the person who is fatigued due to blood disorders like this. The vibrational, energetic and manual therapies can help to move the blood, and the herbal and nutritional therapies could restore the person’s qi and blood.

Cacao beans (an herb nonetheless).

So, choose any dark chocolate you like, and let your blood cells rejoice.

Everyday Medicine: Chocolate

Everyday medicines are things we use on a daily basis to help our bodies manage stress and recover from day to day wear and tear. Diseases have been treated for eons through nutrition, so they are also often born from nutritional deficiencies. One sort of deficiency could be anemia. Anemia has many different forms, from macrocytic to microcytic, and it is typically defined by iron deficiency or absorption issues. Iron is a very important mineral that helps maintain oxygen levels in the blood, which nourishes the distal tissues. When there isn’t enough oxygen to support cellular function, hypoxia tends to manifest. The lack of oxygen can be the underlying reason for pain, fatigue, even disease.

An “everyday medicine” that could help with these issues is dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is very high in iron, as well as xanthines. These nutrients can help the body build better, denser blood, and increase energy by stimulating neurotransmitter behaviors (xanthines include chemicals like caffeine). Additionally, those dark chocolates which are processed minimally are high in fiber. This can help the body to purge accumulations in the GI tract, thus improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Feeling fatigued? Bite into a bar of chocolate! I recommend taking chocolate around 12PM, the time when the heart’s energy is . The bitter flavor of dark chocolate can help to clear out heat, while tonifying the “yin” of the heart blood. The heaviness of the iron can be very sedative to the mind, and even help with anxiety. This is a reason why chocolate is so coveted by emotional persons.