That feeling of fatigue and imbalance, waking up everyday and not having the strength to get up and move, with dizziness and shortness of breath to wrestle with, in some instances can be a sign of spleen deficiency. This could mean that the spleen does not function properly to allow the body and its organs absorb nutrients from food. Overwork, stress and anxiety, and poor eating habits leading to stomach pain and loose stools, weight loss, muscle pain and weakness, and just overall feeling pale and thin both inside and out, can indicate a weak and insufficient central qi in traditional Chinese medicine.
Si Jun Zi Tang, also called the Four Gentlemen Decoction or the Decoction of Four Noble Drugs, is an herbal formula that is recommended to replenish and strengthen one’s qi. Its ingredients include ginseng, licocrice, atractylodes (baizhu) and hoelen (fuling). Mostly the herbal formula aids in bodily functions, and helps in toning and improving the function of the spleen especially in converting and transporting food and fluid nutrients throughout the body. This assures better sustenance for the body as the organs get the nourishment and essences they need. Ginseng and licorice support the spleen’s function to effectively circulate the nutrients, atractylodes also has the same role as ginseng and licorice plus it removes excess fluids that impair the spleen’s function, and hoelen absorbs fluids that need to be eliminated. As the name “Four Gentlemen” indicates, these ingredients are mild and most apt in treating the stomach-spleen and restoring a better flow of qi in one’s system.
Rather than considering the herbal formula as an instant energy booster, the way it works is much more complicated than that. It is geared more towards aiding the body in obtaining the maximum nourishment it needs, and in this context, fatigue can then be gradually eradicated. Master Li Dongyuan, (1180-1251 A.D.), author of the Pi Wei Lun or Treatise on the Spleen and Stomach, explains the importance of treating the spleen and providing sufficient qi throughout the body.
“Food qi, entering the stomach, spreads essence to the liver and diffuses qi to the sinews. Entering the stomach, food qi, the turbid of which gathers at the heart, diffuses essence into the vessels, with vessel qi flowing in the channels. The minute vessels, having taken in the essence, move the qi to the bowels. When bowel essence and spirit brightness are maintained in the four viscera, qi tends towards balance.”
And with a balanced and adequate spleen qi, bodily functions are regulated, bringing about harmony and synchronicity in one’s life.
http://www.itmonline.org/articles/si_junzi_tang/si_junzi_tang.htm. Accessed on 9 October 2018.
https://www.epainassist.com/alternative-therapy/spleen-qi-deficiency. Accessed on 9 October 2018.
https://books.google.com/books?id=p4XlxOgTFFkC&pg=PA3&source=gbs_toc_r&cad+4#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed on 11 October 2018.