Chilli and Blood Clotting
When people think of chilli they mostly think of a hot and spicy green or red fruit that is used in curries or stir-fry’s.
But, due to its main component capsaicin, which gives it the spicy taste, it thins the blood and makes it circulate more freely. This also impacts the blood’s clotting quality.
Furthermore, it’s a great source of Vitamin C with 182% of your daily requirement coming from just one 45g sized green chilli!
Traditionally the chilli is used in China to drive coldness out of the body, and also to treat the common cold. Its ability to induce a sweat in the early stages of a cold makes it effective as a cold treatment, but this sweating mechanism can also be used in hot weather to help you cool down. This is probably the reason that chilli is the base of most curries and dishes in India and the Middle East.
Increasing blood circulation, clearing coldness from the body, and enhancing digestion whilst providing lots of nutrients, makes chilli a good addition to a fertility diet for many people.
Vitamin C: For fertility health Vitamin C is important in the process of absorption and also in its ability to support the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine is involved in breaking many types of chemical bonds and is a component of many enzymes – which are involved in breaking down foods and substances, and also regulating steroid hormones.
Vitamin A: Is necessary for the growth and repair of many body cells including bones, teeth, collagen and cartilage. It’s also involved in cell differentiation where cells become specific types of cells such as a liver cell or a blood cell. This is vital for the development of your healthy baby. Supplementation does not offer balanced forms of Vitamin A.
Iron: Is a mineral that the body uses to carry oxygen in the blood and plays a key role in strengthening the immune system and helps regulate body temperature.
Potassium: Is an electrolyte which counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain consistent blood pressure levels – another important element for pregnancy.
Copper: Copper is essential for overall health and is involved in many processes in the body. It cannot be produced by the body and must therefore be consumed through food. Copper helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function, and it contributes to iron absorption.
CHINESE FERTILITY MEDICINE USES IT TO:
- Circulate the Qi for Qi Stagnation
- Circulate the Blood for Blood Stagnation
- Clear Coldness
- Dry Dampness
Circulate the Qi for Qi Stagnation:
Qi stagnation is a term that is used to describe a decrease in circulation of Qi – energy.
This is usually caused by either a lack of Qi or a constriction of Qi, causing a decrease in its circulation – such as when we feel tense due to pressure or stress.
Most people today experience increased levels of Qi stagnation, which underlies many fertility health issues.
Women can identify it easily in the menstrual cycle during either the pre-period or pre-ovulation phases. Typical symptoms are: breast tenderness, temple headaches, bloating, changeable bowel movements (loose to constipation), mild pain around the ovaries, mood changes with irritability, anger or crying, general feelings of tension, a restricted feeling of the rib cage, increased sighing and PMS symptoms.
Men will also experience issues with Qi stagnation that present with many of the same symptoms as for women, but particularly tension and stress.
The emotional impact of Qi stagnation typically presents itself with an increase in irritation, short temper, overwhelm, anger, frustration, jealousy or feeling tearful.
Chilli pepper can be used to help reduce Qi stagnation and encourage a better flow of the Qi.
Circulate the Blood for Blood Stagnation:
Blood stagnation describes a condition where blood flow becomes less efficient at circulating.
This can manifest in any aspect of the body but is prevalent in many fertility and gynecological issues.
Poor blood circulation in the lower half of the body in men and women can contribute to fertility issues such as: Varicoceles or masses in the testes, and poor sperm count and morphology in men, as well as a thin endometrium, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, polyps, blocked fallopian tubes, clotting during pregnancy, and poor uterine and ovarian blood flow in women.
When healthy, your blood circulates to all of your cells (including sperm and eggs) and will deliver nutrients for the cells to use. The blood also removes waste from the cells and delivers it to the organs and systems responsible for elimination.
If your blood flow decreases then blood stagnation develops. This negatively affects the delivery of nutrients to the cells, and the removal of waste from the cells.
Over time waste and blood stagnates and collects to form masses, which damage blood vessels causing further blood stagnation and an accumulation of fluids and blood in the local area. This causes the physical fertility issues for men and women as listed above.
Chilli pepper can help to reduce blood stagnation.
The term coldness describes a set of symptoms that create a subjective feeling of coldness in your body. It also describes an under activity (hypo-function) of the body, and the related symptoms that go with it – low body temperature, tiredness, cold hands, feet, or body and many more.
Coldness has the effect of contracting, shrinking, or coagulating, and is regarded as something to avoid within the body.
If it goes unnoticed or untreated it will over time cause a depletion of Qi (energy). This, in turn, causes a gradual movement towards developing a hypo-active (under-active) health issue such as: low (hypo) progesterone, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, blood circulation issues, clotting issues, and other diseases related to an under activity of the organs and systems.
Coldness in the body acts very much like coldness in nature: it slows down circulation, reduces the core temperature, interferes with the movement of things (contraction) and creates a colder internal environment that is not conducive to fertility or pregnancy.
When the earth and streams are frozen in winter, nothing is able to sprout into new life. The same principle is true for the human body.
Coldness = tiredness and under-function and this disrupts fertility for men and women.
Symptoms of excessive Coldness are: Blood clotting disorders, varicoceles, endometriosis, fibroids, polyps, hemorrhagic cysts, PCOS, blocked fallopian tubes, dark menstrual blood, clotted menstrual blood, painful menstruation (usually sharp, stabbing, fixed site pain) and thick consistency of menstrual blood, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenalism, and hormonal imbalance including reduced levels of Progesterone and Testosterone.
The key extra symptom to look out for is if any of the above symptoms also include feelings of coldness and feel better when heat is applied.
Chilli pepper can help to support an internal warming, that can help towards overcoming the coldness.
Dampness describes an excessive accumulation of fluids in your body that should not be there. The accumulated fluids include: mucus, phlegm, or water accumulation – often seen by swelling (edema).
All of these forms of excessive fluid accumulation are classed as dampness or phlegm, and frequently present in fertility health issues.
Typically when someone has too much Dampness you will see a swollen and coated tongue. However, you can also have dampness without these symptoms, and I call this as a ‘hidden dampness’ pattern.
Fertility issues that typically have a Damp or Phlegm involvement are:
PCOS, cysts, excessive vaginal discharge, thrush, urinary infections, fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammatory disease, immune disorders (raised NK cells, Hashimoto’s, etc), DNA damage to sperm and eggs – and sperm morphology issues.
Accumulated fluids block the flow of healthy fluids, such as the blood, which reduces the circulation of nutrients. When egg or sperm cells lack nutrients they start to deteriorate, develop poorly, and accumulate waste in the local area – causing further complications of dampness.
Dampness also creates a good environment for bacterial and fungal overgrowth, creating issues such as candida, thrush, and UTIs.
Reducing dampness can take some time, but the physical effects you receive will be worth it!
Chilli pepper is helpful for reducing dampness.
Season available: Autumn
How it’s typically cooked: Add to meat, fish or vegetable dishes like soups or stir-fry.
Caution: Do not eat if you experience heat type symptoms, including irritated skin conditions or fevers. If consumed during pregnancy eat infrequently and only mild concentrations of chilli.
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