Lentil Hot Pot with Warming Yang Spices for Spleen.

In TCM, warming Yang of the Spleen is a strategy for clients who experience bloating, weight gain, fluid retention and fatigue.

Here's a Red lentil dish I love making but I'm wanting to highlight the brilliant use of warming Yang herbs that make something like this, Spleen food at its best.

The recipe is from thegirlonthebloor.com 

What is Yang?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Yang is the dynamic, active energy of the body. Its is "action", physiology and movement of the body eg metabolism (fast? or slow?), stimulation (easy? or difficult?), energy output (high? or low?) .

Yang can also be for example;

the action of inhaling and exhaling, breathing for the Lungs.

Yang of the immune system is to react, respond, fight and overcome bacteria or pathogens.

Yang of digestion is gut motility and metabolism. (In TCM, we call it the 'Transportation and Transformation' function of digestion)

Yang if the muscles is to contract and relax, flex and provide movement.

...Rather than a "substance" or the part only eg blood, heart, lungs, mucus, muscles, bones.


Yang Deficiency can present as:

  • cold hands and feet
  • easily cold
  • fluid retention, oedema,
  • puffiness, swelling of hands, feet, face, body
  • weight gain
  • poor digestion
  • tiredness, low motivation
  • trouble falling pregnant


Warming the Yang: A Simple 4 Spice Combination:

Strengthening Yang often needs warming, pungent herbs (what we know as spices) to stimulate and warm it.


Chinese culture recommends the use of Garlic for respiratory and digestive ailments and eliminating parasites. Its pungent and warming. Being part of the onion family it helps aid digestion.


Warms the Yang. Aromatic and strengthens the Spleen. Helps with nausea and vomiting. Aids digestion.


Warm and bitter. Liver cleansing. Contains Curcumin an isolate for anti-inflammatory effects.


Warm & pungent, enters the Spleen & Liver. Stimulates metabolism and pancreatic enzymes. Rich source of Iron. Avoid if you have a history of peptic ulcers, gallstones or bile duct obstruction.


Lentil Hot Pot with Warming Yang spices for Spleen


Olive oil

2 onions, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 celery sticks, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced

1 Tblsp ginger minced or finely grated

2x (400ml) cans full fat coconut milk

1 (796ml) can diced tomatoes

1 cup veg broth

1 Tblsp Turmeric

1 tsp cumin



1.5 cups red lentils

4 cups spincah or baby spinach chopped

1 Tblsp lemon juice



In the Pressure Cooker:

  1. Add all ingredients in order of the list, leaving out spinach and lemon juice.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes
  3. Stir in spinach and lemon juice.

Modified for on the stove:

  1. Add the ingredients in order of the list up until ginger.
  2. Add other spices - cumin, turmeric.
  3. Add wet ingredients - tomatoes, stock/broth
  4. Add lentils last and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil then strong simmer until lentils cooked through.
  6. Turn flame off and stir though spinach and lemon juice.



Yang spices

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