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Preserving "jing" Life Essence for Longevity & Fertility

two hands are cupped and holding a burning candle

Chinese medicine says the 3 treasures of life are Qi (energy, your gasoline) Shen (mind, or spirit) and Jing, life essence, your battery.

Jing is our primal life force, our genetic stock. It determines our potential for a long and healthy life. A person with an abundance of Jing will most likely be healthy, strong and resilient.

Jing "leaks" naturally as we age, but there are many things that are up to us in order to make the most of our life reserve.

What is your life essence?

In Chinese Medicine, Jing is a substance inherited from our parents, akin to our genetic endowment, or constitutional strength. Its strength determines a large part of our growth, development, and aging.

The kidneys are the source and the house of your constitutional strength. Some people are born with a better constitution. For example, they don't get sick as often, or are much more able to bounce back after illness. This strength is called kidney Jing.

The "Kidneys" houses your life essence

Then ancient Chinese included the following functions with the "kidneys"

two pairs of hands holding a heart shaped red stone on which is drawn two kidneys
  • the structures and functions of the renal kidneys

  • the adrenal glands and their secretions and hormones

  • the reproductive glands (gonads) & associated sex hormones such as estrogen

  • the bones & the bone marrow (the source of stem cells)

  • most aspects of the brain & mind

  • sensory organs, notably the sense of hearing

  • the autonomic nervous system that controls fight or flight

Signs of Jing 精 depletion

Because Jing determines our reserve of life, it also determines our ability to transmit life and reproduce.

With low or burned out Kidney Jing, people may experience :

close up of scalp full of grey hair

Burning the candle at both ends: what depletes your life essence

In short, what consumes your Jing life essence is:

a person holds a candle between thumb and index finger, the candle is being burnt by both ends
  • Being overly busy

  • Lack of sleep

  • Stimulant drugs, coffee

  • Physical trauma like accidents

  • Serious illness

  • Excessive sexual activity in men

  • Menstruation

  • Pregnancy

  • Childbirth

  • Chronic stress

How to nourish & slow down the decline of Jing

Prevention is the way

Because Jing is your innate inherited battery, it is really difficult to replenish. The normal course of life goes toward depletion, so preventing it from burning out too fast is way more efficient.

Live, sleep & eat with the seasons

We are a part of nature, and as such, cannot behave separate from it. By following nature's cycles in our own bodies and habits, we extend our energy reserves.

Food is the first medicine, the fuel that allows us to keep going. Eating appropriately, in harmony with the seasons, is one of the best way to preserve our battery !

There are many recommendations that come from the 5-element theory, which you can look up in our seasonal living category.

Classics of Chinese medicine advise certain foods for certain seasons. For example:

Cultivate "slow"

Make a conscious effort to live life at a gentle pace, as hard and demonized as it is in our modern culture. Cultivate inner quiet with :

  • slow walks in nature

  • unplugged and alone time

  • meditation

  • Qi Gong or restorative yoga

  • plenty of sleep

  • naps

  • mindful eating

Essence tonifying & replenishing foods

In general, the foods which nourish offspring will replenish your Jing, as well as some animal organs and tissues.

  • Royal jelly

  • Eggs from chickens or ducks

  • Fish eggs or roe

  • Pollen

  • Bone marrow, particularly from pig spine

  • Animal organs like brain or kidneys

  • Oysters

  • Seaweed and algae

  • Artichoke leaf

Chinese medicine for Jing


Although acupuncture does not directly boost Jing in the body, it can harmonize the body to prevent leaking. Some points are great at tonifying the Kidneys, the house of our constitutional strength. They are often used for longevity and fertility treatments.

Herbal medicine

Chinese herbal medicine can also nourish Jing . Through preventing stress from frying our nervous system, adaptogens can slow down the exhaustion of Jing

Other herbs that are great for Jing tonification, which are often part of fertility treatments include:

  • He Shou Wu

  • Goji berries

  • Shi Hu, Dendrobium

  • Nu Zhen Zi, Ligustrum

  • Gui Ban, Tortoise Shell

  • Wu Wei Zi, Schizandra

  • Du Zhong, Eucommia bark

  • Lu Jiao, Deer Antler

Please look after your Jing, one of our treasures, by moderating your lifestyle and eating well.

No matter where you are in your journey,

if you need support, we can help.

In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Los Angeles- Pasadena area community to help you find the right integrative and holistic care for you.

On our website, you can learn more about our services, and book an appointment.

If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.


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