How to take good care of the kidneys? (II)

3. Diet regulation
Dietary regulation is mainly based on foods that nourish the kidneys, such as those of black color. 

Three foods are recommended here: black fungus, mulberry and black beans.

1) Black fungus:
Kidney tonification and detoxification. 

For people with kidney stone after lithotripsy, some doctors may advise them to eat more black fungus, which would help discharge the stones.

Contraindication: Black fungus could promote blood circulation, so patients with bleeding tendency should stay away from it. Since black fungus is rich in dietary fiber, people prone to diarrhea or of weak digestive function are not suitable for eating black fungus either.

Black fungus
Black fungus

2) Mulberry:
Kidney tonification, especially for the health of male reproductive system.

If man drank a little mulberry juice every day, it would improve vitality of the body and improve quality of sexual life. For infertile couples, if the male had symptoms of weak sperm, one could also eat more mulberry or drink more mulberry juice.

Contraindication: Women should be conservative, because mulberry is slightly cold in nature, one must eat less of it during menstruation.


3) Black bean:
According to “Compendium of Materia Medica”: regular eating of black beans would dispel all diseases. So black bean is not only good for kidneys, but also overall wellness of the body.

Contraindication: black beans soaked in vinegar tastes well, but may not be suitable for those allergic to plant proteins or of poor digestion.

Black bean
Black bean

Life Saving Signs in Urine: Three Signals (I)

Human beings have two kidneys, and their functions are very powerful. They serve as filters in the body; each day they filter and clean about 200 liters of blood, and the filtered waste is discharged via the urine.


The kidneys are ‘introverts’ and not good at expressing themselves. Urine, however, acts like a “spokesperson” for the kidney. When the urine is abnormal, very likely it’s the kidney calling for help!

When kidney disease deteriorates to the advanced stage, uremia can occur. Uremic disease is a common clinical syndrome of various advanced kidney diseases and is the end stage of the development of chronic kidney failure, which could severely affect a patient’s physical health and quality of life, and has a high mortality rate.

Here we will impart two tricks to discern early signals of kidney disease:
1. Observe the urine;
2. Look out for three types of pain

Three signals revealed by urine

1) Urine color

1. Normal color:
Normal urine generally have clear appearance when water supply is sufficient; otherwise the color will become light yellow. Normal urine has a light ammonia smell, but it is nothing pungent. 

2. Abnormal colors:
Color of red, meat washing water, and brown could all be indicators of kidney disease. “Meat washing water color” can be literally understood as color of diluted blood after pork is washed .

3. Pseudo hematuria:
However, sometimes after eating foods of heavy pigment such as pitaya (aka the dragon fruit), beet, mulberry, red urine could also be observed. This is called “pseudo hematuria”, which is normal.

So if color of the urine changes significantly, one should think about what foods has been eaten lately, and see if there would be any improvement in the next few days.

Urine color comparison
Urine color comparison

4. How to distinguish between true and false hematuria?
Honestly it is hard to tell the difference. If still no significant change in urine was observed in a few days, it is best to go to the hospital for a urine test.

The test standard is whether there are red blood cells in the urine. For pseudo hematuria, urine test is normal and without red blood cells; if  caused by kidney disease, urine test will indicate a lot of red blood cells.

Red blood cells
Red blood cells

A crucial cause of obesity- excessive moisture (I)

Some people would become obese even if only drinking water, and some can’t lose weight no matter how hard he/she tries. One possible cause is their obesity belongs to a type known as puffiness, which is caused by heavy Moisture- a crucial concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the next series of posts we will take a look at how moisture in human body is turned into fat and lead to obesity. Granted this is from perspective of TCM.

How does moisture come into being?

Within human body, there are two organs that process water, one is the kidney and the other the spleen. The kidneys likes water, while the spleen prefers to stay dry.

Yang of Kidney could react with nutrition in food, generate heat to maintain body temperature, and evaporate water upward within the body. It is the ability of the kidney to distribute water throughout the body. The spleen governs the intestines and stomach, absorbs interior water into the blood, and the blood would transport water back to the kidneys, where some of these water is made into urine, thus forming circulation of body fluids.

Normal vs. Obese

For healthy people, the strength of the kidneys and spleen is more or less equal, but what if the spleen is deficient?

Then massive water dampness, or moisture would accumulate in body at large quantities, the tongue would be large and swollen due to excessive soaked in water, and covered with thick and white coating, plus there would be scallops on the edges of the tongue. Such moisture is usually piled up in the lower abs and legs; when they are mixed up with fat, it would make people look even more obese. There would also be a lot of water dampness in the stool, i.e. diarrhea, loose stool, and shapeless stool.

These water could pile up very quickly. Some weight-loss formulas use diuretic methods to increase the body’s water discharging capacity, which could become effective quickly. However, it only cures the symptoms; once the formulas are stopped, the lost weight would come back in no time, and this will be harmful to body as it compromises immunity and make people more susceptible to catching a cold.