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Chinese dietary therapy often recommends that people limit or eliminate dairy products from their diet. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dairy is considered a cold food that leads to damp accumulation, particularly in people who have a weakness in their Spleen energy. Symptoms of dampness include lethargy, loose stools, feelings of heaviness, cloudy thinking, excess sputum(particularly in the sinuses), certain types of headaches, and accumulations such as cysts and tumors. The concern for some who want to follow this dietary advice, is whether they will be able to get adequate amounts of calcium from a dairy-free diet. This is certainly a concern as most adults require around 1,000 mg of calcium a day to maintain bone, muscular, vascular and hormonal health. There is disagreement about the exact quantities of calcium in foods, but if a person were avoiding milk, increasing the amounts of the following foods should provide enough calcium for most individuals.

Nuts and Seeds

Sesame seeds (most sources list the calcium content of 1 oz of these to contain more calcium than one 8oz glass of milk)

Sunflower seeds (also high in iron)





Sesame tahini


Beans (garbonzo, pinto, soy, canellini)

Tofu (especially calcium-treated)

Dark Leafy Greens



turnip greens

dandelion greens

mustard greens



chicory (curly endive)



Bok Choy

Acorn squash


Figs, dried

Orange juice, calcium-fortified



Cereal (calcium-fortified)


Brown rice


Corn tortillas

Fish and Seafood

Oysters, raw

Salmon (canned with bones)

Sardines (canned with bones)



Blackstrap Molasses (also high in iron)

Greek yogurt (although dairy, this is not considered a damp-producing food)



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Sanyinjiao translates to Three Yin Intersection. This point is unique in that the three yin channels of the leg intersect here. The Spleen, Liver and Kidney channels can all be accessed through this point making it very powerful, and very useful.

Locate sanyinjiao 3 cun (approximately 3 inches) up from the medial malleolus (the inner ankle bone) just behind the crest of the tibia, or leg bone. The point is often tender and might feel like a slight depression in the muscle tissue.

I use this point often, especially on women, as it is a lovely point for tonifying the qi of the Spleen and Stomach, thereby aiding in building blood. This has broad use, from menstrual irregularities to digestive discomfort. It resolves damp conditions and invigorates the blood, making it useful for regulating menstruation and also for inducing labor. It is therefore, contraindicated in pregnancy unless labor is desired. It is usefully for calming the spirit and rules the lower of the 3 jiao, meaning the intestines, bladder, uterus/tubes/ovaries, and the sexual organs.

Sanyinjiao is useful for any gynecological, urinary, sexual, digestive and emotional issues. Few points have so many, and such broad application, making Spleen 6 one of the most widely used acupuncture points.

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Blood deficiency is more prevalent in women than in men due to the menstrual cycle, but some men suffer from this as well. It arises from a number of conditions, including, but not limited to: heavy menstrual cycle, a history of hemorrhage, amenorrhea, or long term vegetarianism. Blood deficiency can underlie a number of physical symptoms including dizziness, pallor, fatigue, scanty or absent menstrual cycle, some types of numbness or skin rashes, dry skin and hair, brittle nails, chronic muscle spasms, slow to heal tendonitis and injuries, heart palpitations and specific types of insomnia. It is very important to stay well hydrated if you are blood deficient. 6-8 glasses of water are essential, as well as introducing fluids that have electrolytes in them. Organic chicken broth is another way to help hydrate the body while providing easy to assimilate nutrients.

If your practitioner has diagnosed you with Blood Deficiency, there are some simple foods and supplements that you can incorporate into your diet that will help your body to build more and stronger Blood. Be sure to check with your Naturopath or physician before starting supplementation to be sure the supplement is appropriate for your particular situation.

1) Certified Organic beef

2) Green leafy vegetables such as kale and chard

3) Black strap molasses

4) Dark colored fruits and vegetables like red grapes, raisins, berries, beets, etc.

5) Slow-cooked soups, stews and braised meats which are the best methods for extracting essential nutrients from bones, meats and vegetables

6) Seaweeds (be sure to use quality brands that ensure purity standards)

7) Organic Royal Jelly which is a wonderful tonic that is naturally high in amino acids, vitamins and enzymes

8) Iron supplements such as “Floradix” which is a gentle liquid tonic that helps support the blood.

9) Chlorophyll Supplements particularly barley grass (avoid spirulina as it tends to be too warming)

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