Dr. Nat Kringoudis TCM., is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, we asked her to give us some tips to improve energy levels, and how certain ingredients can assist with certain energy draining conditions.
“There can be many reasons why you’re feeling tired or lacking in energy. Perhaps it’s as simple as burning the candle at both ends, or maybe it’s a little deeper than that. Rest assured, there’s always a reason your body is trying to tell you something, and very often energy (or lack of), is one of the first things to show up as problematic in these times.
So how do we know? I’ve decided to explore a few avenues of why you might be feeling tired and which ingredients may be useful to bring about change, and have you back on track.
Sound good? Let’s do it.
Feeling constantly tired
There are a couple of main culprits in feeling all-day fatigue. In my professional opinion, if your metabolism isn’t firing along, nothing else will be. So with this in mind, improving overall digestive health is one great step in addressing your tiredness. It could be a good time to do a Liver Cleanse.
But if the feeling is constant all day and you are getting your eight hours of sleep in each night, then it’s a case of ensuring that your thyroid is happy too. It’s important to check that off your list and providing it’s working ok, you can do a few things to keep it in check.
Small regular meals is a wonderful way to keep your metabolism firing along, as well as short bursts of exercise that won’t drain your body too much or have your cortisol levels constantly through the roof. Adapt these small changes and you should find they help to keep your inner fire aflame.
Shan Zha is one of my favourite ingredients for a good little boost. It’s otherwise known as Hawthorn Fruit and is not only delicious but it helps to move Qi in the middle (aka gut) and assists in moving blockages through the digestive system. Nobody wants food getting in the way!
Find me in: Digestive Herbs, formerly Tiny Tea.
Feeling Tired Post Period
You’re not alone. After all, your monthly friend can be super draining (literally)! It’s probably no surprise then to learn that you aren’t abnormal, many girls feel tired during this time of their cycle. From a TCM viewpoint, for those who are already blood deficient, you can feel super fatigued once the period is over. The trick here is including ingredients in your regime to help nourish blood and get your body swiftly back on track The first step, as with almost everything, is to ensure the digestive system can utilise nutrients from your food and drink to make this happen, but once this is ticked off, you can include components that help to specifically nourish blood.
Gou Qi Zi (aka Go Ji Berry) is a wonderful blood booster. This is because it helps to benefit the liver – the organ that Chinese Medicine sees as storing the blood. Adding Go Ji is said to nourish blood – but a little goes a long way. Best not to overdo it. Like everything in life, sometimes less is more.
Feeling the 3pm slump
From a TCM view, this is definitely the case of a weak spleen and stomach. Remember the spleen and stomach is where you do all of your digesting and translates to the gut from a modern viewpoint. If your digestive system is sluggish, it’s easy to understand that after your possibly overindulgent lunch, perhaps full of cold and raw foods that are super difficult for weak digestions to assimilate; come 3pm, it all just gets too hard. Not only is it important to look into your diet and possibly make the switch to warmer and easily digested foods, but it can also be a good time to call on the helping hand of ingredients like Ren Shen or Chen Pi.
Ren Shen helps to boost energy as it tonifies Qi. It also helps to strengthen the spleen and stomach. It’s one of the most widely known energy tonics around and has been used for thousands of years for this reason. Chen Pi is another favourite, which helps to dry damp and regulate Qi – meaning it helps to move and regulate the middle area of the body. Together they have a strong bond and are able to take on even the unhappiest of bodies.
These are the most common kinds of tiredness we might see that may be a result of poor lifestyle and food choices. There’s always a solution at hand! Try a Matcha for an ultra quick ‘pick-me-up’.
Simple ingredients that help take you towards your best are certainly where it’s at. These traditional ingredients have stood the test of time and it’s a delight to be able to draw on their benefits to help take us through each and every day.
Of course if your tiredness is of concern, it doesn’t hurt to ask your health care professional. It may be a very simple explanation but it’s always good to be one step ahead!
Dr. Nat TCM