Namdrol wrote:Weak stomach heat i.e. jaṭaragni is not related to the spleen itself in either Tibetan Medicine or Ayurveda.
What jatharagni and spleen qi have in common is they are both seen as the essential energy responsible for digesting food, in their respective systems.
Generally, when referring to the spleen
in TCM, the stomach is also implied - because they are paired organs according to the elements (both are earth element). Furthermore, the Chinese concept of "spleen" includes the pancreas (because of role in blood sugar regulation), and some people even think the Chinese word for spleen, pi
, originally referred to the pancreas itself - but was mistranslated at some point. So, the term "spleen qi deficiency" could be thought of as a weakness of the spleen/pancreas and stomach - which would manifest mainly as fatigue and poor digestion. If the deficiency is extreme, it will also manifest with signs of coldness - the diagnosis in this case would be spleen yang deficiency
- which is a closer match to weak jatharagni (digestive fire). In Ayurveda, the digestive process is associated with the element of fire, whereas in TCM, the element is earth - but, according to the generative cycle of elements in TCM, fire generates earth, so these are not inconsistent - and the spleen qi depends on the spleen yang (warming energy of the spleen) in order to function.
So, back to the original question. . .
Epistemes wrote:From what I know of Spleen Qi Deficiency, the Spleen is weakened by cold and damp foods, e.g., dairy, gluten-based foods, salads, etc. Does this mean that these foods must be avoided entirely for the rest of one's life? Or can these foods still be consumed every so often? In short, is this type of Deficiency workable and ultimately "curable"?
Spleen qi deficiency is definitely curable, and the dietary modifications do not usually have to be permanent. But there might be dietary sensitivities involved to foods that are best avoided permanently - many find this with gluten or dairy. Warm foods and blended foods are best, keeping sweet foods at a minimum.
Another really important factor in maintaining healthy spleen qi is minimizing stress. In TCM terms, stress causes the liver qi to stagnate. This impairs the functioning of all systems somewhat, but the most obvious system affected is usually digestion. This is because the wood element (liver/gallbladder), when in excess (stagnation is an excess pattern) will overact on the earth element and weaken it.