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The Definition of "Jin Ye" - Precious Liquid
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

"All living things are born from fluid … Water is the mother of the Three Sources of Heaven, Earth and Humans." -- Chang Ching-Yueh, The Book of Classifications (circa 2nd century B.C.)

Jin Ye is a term used in Chinese medicine to describe all the liquids within the body. Jin Ye protects, nourishes and lubricates. The Jin are the lighter-weight fluids that moisten and nourish the skin and muscles, while the Ye are the thicker, more viscous fluids of the bones, organs, brain, and body orifices.

Fluid is your body's principal component, comprising, on average, 60 percent of your weight. Every system in your body depends on fluid. It flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Sweat, tears, saliva, urine, joint lubricant, spinal fluid, semen, and breast milk are some of the normal bodily fluids that comprise Jin Ye.

When the body’s fluid metabolism is disrupted, either by poor circulation of Qi, cold, or heat, Jin Ye can accumulate and thicken into phlegm.

"Too much fire dries you up.
Too much water drains you out.
This imbalance can be controlled
only by cultivating equilibrium"

- Chang Po-Tuan, Taoist master (A.D. 983–1082)


Phlegm can manifest with visual signs that we normally associate with phlegm such as thick mucus and a cough or internally as nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, stroke, epilepsy, paralysis, abdominal masses, and infertility.
 
Remember that traditional Chinese medicine takes many factors into consideration before a diagnosis is made. A consultation with an acupuncturist will determine if your phlegm is at the root of your condition.

Ginger Root Tea

Imbalance in the processing of Jin Ye is usually resolved by increasing the circulation of Qi and by improving the digestive function of the spleen and stomach, which are the organs responsible to the transportation of Jin Ye within the body.

Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is a member of the ginger family. Zesty and very warming, ginger is an excellent way to improve poor circulation to all parts of the body and to help with proper fluid metabolism. It is one of the best herbs for improving digestion, nausea, lung congestion, and arthritis.