Seeds and TCM: Pumpkin seeds for the lungs, sunflower seeds as an energizing pick-me-up

Seeds and TCM: Pumpkin seeds for the lungs, sunflower seeds as an energizing pick-me-up

What are the benefits of seeds from the point of view of traditional Chinese medicine?

First, let me confess my love of seeds. Seeds are just brilliant. It never ceases to amaze me how something so small can grow into a tree with just a little water and some nutrients. A seed contains the germ of everything, each part of its future life already written into this tiny little thing

Seeds to Supplement Yin

That is why all seeds are used by Chinese medicine to supplement Yin - germ, essence, fuel for potential life. Yin is characterized by moisture and all seeds have the effect of moistening the intestines. Therefore, if you eat a handful of seeds at once, it can soften your stool. No need to worry though, it's nothing more than the seeds lubricating your intestines.

In Western terminology, it can be said that seeds contain large amounts of fat. Healthy fats, but still fats - and these fats slow down the movement of your intestinal muscles. Let's also keep in mind that if you want to lose weight (to be able to put on a swimsuit) or lose some extra pounds after winter, we should pay attention to seeds and nuts, because they have huge caloric and energetic value. To give you a quick idea, picking up and eating a handful of seeds is almost the same as putting the same amount of oil or butter into your mouth.

Pumpkin seeds are perfect for flu season, because they can help dissolve mucus in the lungs.

Sesame seeds effectively moisturize the intestine and can help with bowel movements and dry stool.

If the Chinese would use the term superfood, sunflowers would certainly be one. Sunflower seeds replenish the kidneys and support the Center. They are simply an energizing and stimulating pick-me-up. Peeling sunflower seeds has almost become a national sport in China. The Chinese can eat a pretty big bag of sunflower seeds in one sitting.

Pay attention to quality - mold can be harmful

In conclusion, one can say, that seeds are a great addition to our diet and should not be left out. But you need to pay attention to two things - as we said, thanks to the amount of healthy fats, they have a higher caloric value, so pay attention to the amount you eat. And secondly, the seeds need to be of the highest quality. Unfortunately, seeds in regular stores are often stored for prolonged periods of time in inappropriate conditions, so they often become infested with mold or fungus.

In such a case there can be no question of their almost nonexistent nutritional value. It is advisable to choose seeds from proven suppliers, local farmers or certified sellers such as Lifefood. Only from seeds in organic and raw quality can you get the full health benefit.

So, let's go get some seeds! However, even here it is true that everything should be taken in moderation... or at least share them with someone, so you don’t end up with all these tasty treats alone.

Yours, Eva Zimmelová

Eva Zimmelova

Eva Zimmelová is a Chinese therapist and diagnostician with 25 years of experience. She has been practicing and teaching Tai-ji and Qi-gong for over twenty years. As a Tai-ji teacher and physio-fitness trainer, she worked at Prof. Pavel Kolář's Center of Physical Medicine. Currently, she has a private practice in Prague. She speaks fluent Chinese.

On the Lifefood blog, she shares her experiences and knowledge regarding traditional Chinese medicine and how it can help us take better care of ourselves.



"No one can create health for us, can make us healthy. Being healthy means feeling full of life, accepting life's challenges with joy and enriching the world with the best of ourselves. To do this, we need a functional body and a cooperating mind. Chinese medicine is a complex system that gives us the tools to best take care of both of these aspects, both body and mind. I'll be happy to guide you on this journey."