Qi Deficiency Body Constitution

Understanding Qi Deficiency Body Constitution

Qi is an essential life-sustaining force in all human beings that protects our body from harmful external environment conditions and pathogens.

A person who has enough Qi feels energetic most of the time and does not fall sick easily. On the other hand, a Qi-deficient person gets tired easily and is more prone to illnesses like flu and cold.

Due to aging and many other factors (such as sleeping late, eating junk foods, feeling stressed, etc), a person’s Qi can quickly deplete as early as in the 30s.

The following symptoms are some of the obvious signs of a person with Qi deficiency body constitution:

  1. Gets tired easily

    For someone with Qi deficiency, there is lesser and weaker Qi flowing in the body so the person will get tired easily as physical activities require focus and energy to complete. If you feel tired more easily as compared to your peers, then chances are you have Qi deficiency.

  2. Weaker voice

    The strength of our voice is affected by the Qi in our body. A person with Qi deficiency tends to have a weaker speaking voice. They may often find themselves having to speak louder or repeat what they say in order for others to hear them clearly.

  3. Prefers quiet places

    A person with Qi deficiency will find themselves avoiding busy and noisy places as this kind of environment tends to exhaust the person’s Qi quickly.

  4. Falls sick more often

    A person with Qi deficiency will fall ill more easily as compared to others. An average person may catch the flu or cold once in a year but people with Qi deficiency can fall sick every two to three months. The reason is because Qi forms part of our body’s immunity. Having weaker Qi makes one more vulnerable to sickness.

Common Issues With This Body Type

It is important that we learn how to bring our body (from Qi deficiency body constitution) back to a more balanced state. If left unmanaged over time, this body constitution will eventually evolve into a Yang deficiency body constitution (where the quality of life will deteriorate further).

The following body issues are commonly associated with the Qi deficiency body type (from least to most severe):

  1. Poor stamina

    The first thing that a person with Qi deficiency will notice is a decrease in stamina, and he/she gets tired more easily than before. For instance, a person who used to be able to climb two to three stories with ease now finds that he/she needs to catch a breath with the same level of physical activity.

  2. Low body immunity

    As a person becomes more deficient in Qi, the body’s immunity becomes compromised. That is because Qi forms part of the body’s protection mechanism against harmful external conditions and pathogens. When Qi continues to decline, the body will inevitably be more susceptible to being attacked by flu and viruses.

  3. Organs losing upholding strength

    In severe cases of Qi deficiency, organs (such as the stomach, kidneys or even the rectum) lose their upholding strength and fall out of their normal position (e.g. rectal prolapse), which causes various health issues.

Bringing Your Body Back To Balance

You do not need to be overly worried if you have Qi deficiency body constitution (if you’re unsure of your body type, click here to take the TCM body constitution test).

By making adjustments to your day-to-day routine and lifestyle habits, you can strengthen the Qi in your body and enjoy stronger immunity and better life quality!

Besides correcting your lifestyle, choosing the right foods to eat and avoiding the wrong foods also play an important part in building up your Qi and achieving the natural balanced state that your body is capable of.

Let’s first take a look at what foods are suitable for your body constitution!

Top Recommended Foods To Eat

Qi deficiency can occur in organs like lungs, spleen and kidneys. The top 5 recommended foods below cover all of these organs.

Adding these foods to your diet or increasing the intake will help to improve your body constitution and return your body to a more balanced state (as a general rule of thumb, please consume all foods in moderation):

1. Chinese Yam (Chinese Name: 山药)

shanyao (Chinese yam)Chinese yam is the top choice of food for people with Qi deficiency body constitution because it has healing effects for your spleen, lungs and kidneys.

Strengthens spleen: Chinese yam is an excellent food for strengthening the spleen. If your spleen is weak (have loose, sticky stools most of the time or experience indigestion easily when consuming oily foods), eating Chinese yam regularly will help to relieve these symptoms.

Strengthens lungs: Chinese yam helps in boosting the Qi and nourishing the Yin in the lungs. This means it helps to relieve conditions like weak lungs due to long term coughing.

Strengthens kidneys: Chinese yam also helps in boosting Qi in the kidneys. If you often have to wake up in the night to urinate or always feel weakness and soreness in your waist and knees, eating Chinese yam will do you good. Chinese yam also helps to reduce irregular discharge (for females).

There are both dried and fresh types of Chinese yam.

For the dried type, it is best to add them into tonic soups like Si Shen soup. For the fresh type, you can cook it together with rice or steam it as a side dish.

For more information on Chinese yam, check out our blog post here!

2. Red Dates (Chinese Name: 红枣)

dried red datesRed dates are traditionally used to strengthen the spleen and improve Qi and overall energy, which makes it a very suitable food for people of Qi deficiency body type.

It is easy to add red dates to your meal especially if you cook at home. They have a natural sweet taste and can be added to soups, porridge or desserts.

Red dates can be cooked for as little as 15 minutes and up to 2 hours, so it’s versatile enough to go with a variety of recipes.

If you are adding red dates to your soup, it is recommended to make one to two slits on the red dates to enhance the release of red date benefits into the soup.

If you are adding red dates into porridge, it is better to remove the seeds and cut the red dates into smaller slices for easy consumption.

For more information on red date benefits, do check out our blog post here.

3. Shiitake Mushrooms (Chinese Name: 香菇)

Dried shiitake tcmShiitake mushrooms have plenty of health benefits. It helps to improve one’s Qi and vitality. It is also used to aid digestion, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as prevent chronic liver diseases.

Lastly but most importantly, shiitake mushrooms are great for boosting immunity, which is why they are ideal for people with Qi deficiency body constitution.

People with Qi deficiency often have weak immunity and eating shiitake mushrooms can help to strengthen your immunity.

Nowadays, fresh shiitake mushrooms are widely available in supermarkets. You can easily add them to your stir-fried vegetables and even soups and porridge!

For more information on shiitake mushroom benefits, check out our blog post here.

4. Longan (Chinese Name: 龙眼)

LonganIn the past, longan is highly regarded as a tonic food (with the same status as ginseng). It is commonly used for people with Qi deficiency and those who are just recovering from illness.

Longan comes in both dried and fresh forms. Do note that the dried ones are more effective for improving Qi and overall energy in a person with Qi deficiency.

You can consume dried longan by adding it to your soups or porridge to enjoy the health benefits.

For more information on dried longan benefits, check out our blog post here.

5. Grapes (Chinese Name: 葡萄)

GrapesGrapes are a great source of energy and can help to quickly replenish glucose in our bodies. They are also high in nutrients including B-group vitamins and other minerals.

In TCM, grapes are commonly used for deficiency in blood and energy as they have properties in improving energy and strengthening the blood.

Grapes can also strengthen bones, encourage urination and are useful for people who experience irregular or heavy heartbeat.

If grapes are not conveniently available at your local stores, a good alternative is raisins. They also have the same tonic effect as grapes and can help to boost your Qi and improve immunity.

List of Recommended Foods

Apart from the top 5 recommended foods mentioned above, here are more food recommendations that are suitable for Qi deficiency body type.

Foods To Avoid

As mentioned earlier, avoiding the wrong foods is as important as eating the right foods in your journey towards achieving a more balanced body state.

For someone with Qi deficiency body constitution, it is best to avoid the following (or reduce intake as much as you possibly can):

  1. Ice or cold drinks

    Consuming ice or cold drinks will hurt the spleen and kidney Qi. If you are Qi-deficient, by reducing or avoiding the intake of cold drinks, you are helping yourself to rebuild your Qi and return your body to a more balanced state.

  2. Foods that are cold in thermal nature

    It is also advisable for you to cut down on foods that are cold in thermal nature (such as watermelon, bitter gourd and cucumber). You can still eat them, but just take note to reduce the frequency and amount that you eat each time.

Lifestyle Changes

Apart from making adjustments to your food choices, the following are additional advice to help you shorten the time to regain your body health:

  1. Exercise

    First, consider exercising if you have not been doing so. Some of the best forms of exercise for people with Qi deficiency are slow jogging and brisk walking. If possible, choose a time when there is early sunshine. Getting a bit of the early sun will help your body to boost its Qi and immunity.

  2. Minimize screen time

    Second, minimize the time you spend looking at your mobile devices and computers. The longer you spend in front of the screens, and the smaller your screen is (mobile phone), the more Qi your body will exhaust.

    This can be challenging as nowadays we are heavily dependent on our digital devices for our day-to-day activities. But for your health’s sake, do your best to gradually cut down on the activities that you do on your mobile device (such as watching videos or playing games). Wherever possible, you can cast it on TV or use a projector, which is less Qi-exhausting as compared to looking at your mobile phone.

  3. Keep your body warm

    Third, always remember to keep yourself warm especially if the outdoors are cold or you know that you’ll be visiting a place with cold air-conditioning. Your body will first use your Qi to protect you when you are feeling cold. Thus, the best way to conserve your Qi is to wear more clothing when you are in a colder environment. It is also a good habit to wear socks to bed especially during the colder months of the year.

All the above lifestyle changes will help to improve your health. Do give it a try!


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We sincerely wish you the very best of health!