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The Uterus - An Extraordinary Organ in Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Uterus in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medical gynecology, the uterus is considered an extraordinary organ that extends to include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix. In fact, the term we use for the uterus is bao gong or zi gong, which translates to “baby wrapper” or “baby palace”, and it is thought to store not only menstrual blood but also our kidney essence, providing a deeply nourishing home for the fetus to grow. 

How to sustain a healthy uterus with Chinese Medicine

The uterus is also extremely sensitive to cold, and in Chinese Medicine a healthy womb is a warm womb. When the uterus is nice and warm, blood flows more easily, providing essential nutrients to build and sustain a healthy endometrial lining each month. Research has shown that better blood flow to the uterus is also associated with higher pregnancy outcomes.  On the other hand, cold causes blood vessels to constrict and blood flow to slow down, reducing the overall  blood supply.  Cold in the uterus can lead to symptoms such as painful periods, clots in menstrual blood, and conditions associated with infertility such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis.

Moxibustion to improve blood flow to the uterus

In the clinic we use acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbs to help warm the uterus and enhance overall fertility. If you are trying to conceive, or suffering from painful periods here’s some easy tips to help generate internal warmth for a healthy womb. 

  1. Eat warming, nourishing meals that you would typically think of in winter – soups, bone broths, casseroles, stews, mild curries. Spices such as ginger, clove, and cinnamon can be added to dishes or teas. 

  2. Avoid iced beverages. Even in our hot summer climate, regular consumption of chilled beverages can damage our internal yang energy and further contribute to cold conditions internally. 

  3. Keep your feet warm, wear cozy socks or slippers around the house. These areas are associated with the kidney meridian which travels directly up to the uterus. 

  4.  Use a hot water bottle or heat pad on the low abdomen and/or low back during menstruation,  or times when you feel pain during your cycle. 

  5. Avoid sitting directly on any cold floor. Use a camp chair or blanket if sitting outside. 

  6. Avoid swimming in cold water at menstruation as this time of the month is when the uterus is particularly susceptible to cold. 

  7. Keep up with acupuncture and herbs! Ask your practitioner for specific herbs and formulas to help nurture your baby palace for healthy cycles and improved fertility.

Congee to nourish the uterus for fertility support

Mallory Berge, LAc is an acupuncturist at Flow Acupuncture in Salt Lake City, Utah specializing in reproductive wellness, fertility, and women's health. Mallory is a member of ABORM, the Acupuncture Board of Reproductive Medicine.

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