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Article: Goji Berries - a Natural Jing Tonic

man practising chinese medicine

Goji Berries - a Natural Jing Tonic

What is Jing? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jing is our basic vital energy, it’s kind of like the car battery - (where Qi energy is more like the petrol). We as humans need to have both strong Jing & abundant Qi to be able to function well & feel really good, like a car needs both battery & petrol in order to work. So what causes it to run low and how can we restore jing?

Our Jing ‘leaks’ away as we age, & this leaking of vital energy is exacerbated by:

  • illness
  • stress / fear / anxiety
  • inflammation
  • being stuck in toxic relationships
  • playing rough sports
  • ongoing sleep disturbance
  • emotional upheaval
  • extreme weather
  • excessive sexual activity
  • not drinking enough water
  • pregnancy / childbirth / lactating esp multiple consecutive pregnancies
…these all drain our vital energy, making us age quicker. We can help to restore ‘Jing’ & slow ageing by a) stopping the leaking / addressing the above aggravating factors; & b) incorporating more Jing tonifying foods, herbs & activities into our lives.

Signs your Jing is really running low & could use support:

  • burn out / fatigue
  • low libido & / or infertility
  • premature ageing
  • weakness
  • dizziness

How To Tonify Your Jing:

  • stress management
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • acupuncture
  • gentler martial arts (Qi Gong / Tai Chi)
  • recreation
  • hobbies
  • giving & serving
  • adaptogenic herbs (Astragalus, Rhodiola, Ginsengs, Withania & Goji).
  • good sleep habits
  • holidays / time out
  • ensuring good help & support in the period post birth & spacing pregnancies
  • eat more slow-cooked / wintery foods like soups & stews
  • black foods (ie black sesame, black beans)
  • bone broth
  • chlorella, spirulina, seaweeds
  • oats, quinoa, amaranth, millet, barley, rye
  • roasted nuts
  • watercress, celery, asparagus
So if you feel like your battery is dying from any of the aforementioned Jing - depleting things, you need to start tonifying ASAP! Goji berries are a nice easy addition into your diet - add to smoothies, breakfast, trail mix, salads, stews & curries, or just eat plain to help boost your Jing. The advice from TCM practitioners is don’t go overboard, approx 20 gojis a day (a small handful) is plenty. I can personally confirm that it’s best not to eat too many in one sitting - you may need to race to the loo after a few too many handfuls!! I literally had to run from the beach, across the street & up 3 flights of stairs to my unit at the time! You’ve been warned - as with anything, the difference between a poison & a medicine is the dose! If you’re interested in the western / scientific explanation, here’s a fairly comprehensive link to read on active constituents. Have a question? Ask me at:

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