This week I’ll be discussing how caffeine impacts your fertility through the Chinese medicine lens.
The Chinese medicine energetic view of caffeine:
- Caffeine has the ability to circulate our body’s energy. That’s why when we are tired; coffee feels like a perk me up. We feel energized by caffeine; our bodies have the get up and go after a cup of Joe. This feeling is the movement of our body’s energy from caffeine’s influence.
- Caffeine is warm. Chinese medicine believes all foods have an energetic temperature. The energetic temperature has nothing to do with the actual temperature of the food. Ice coffee is still energetically warm, even with ice cubes. Caffeine is warming like sunshine. In small doses it provides the warmth for plants to grow. Clients, who feel cold all the time, will notice while consuming coffee it brings warmth to their limbs and chases the feeling of being chilled.
The two main properties of caffeine are moving and warming.
The properties will impact women, who are energetically stuck and dry.
- Signs of Being Stuck: PMS – especially anger, breast tenderness, headaches and pre menstrual cramps. Some women have a chronic feeling of frustration with their lives but can’t put their finger on what’s going on. Others have a short fuse and exploded with the slightest hurdle.
- Signs of Being Dry: Dry skin, hair, nails, and eyes. Trouble producing vaginal lubrication. Feeling they have a dry throat or mouth that water cannot quench. Can have dry stools or experience genital irritation (dryness with itchiness that has no western explanation). Sometimes dryness can be severe and women will experience hot flashing and night sweating.
Why does caffeine impact women who are stuck and dry?
Stuckness: Since caffeine is moving it may temporary make us feel more relaxed, feeling as though the day is off to a good start. But as the day progresses, you may start to feel run down or the irritability returns. An example would be: a car accident on the highway. The traffic gets jammed up and the cars can’t move. The tow truck (caffeine) comes along and removes the damaged car from the road. The cars will start to move, but the back log of traffic still congests the road. Though there is some movement on the road, cars continue to rubberneck and the free flow doesn’t allow you to get to work on time.
Women with symptoms of stuckness are experiencing poor processing of estrogen by the liver. Caffeine will hamper the liver’s function to remove unwanted hormones from the blood stream. (BTW: One simple treatment for PMS is the removal of caffeine.) Thus caffeine’s ability to be energizing is not really effective and leaves women feeling more stuck than peppy.
Dryness: The warming capacity of caffeine has the ability to “dry out” women. A good visual would be: A plant sitting in the window. With repetitive exposure to sunlight, the plant’s soil becomes dry. Without adding water, the soil becomes parched and the leaves start to wither. The sunlight isn’t a problem, until the moisture is sapped away. Without water to balance out the sunlight, the plant becomes dry.
Women with dry signs might notice they are thirsty after drinking coffee and tea. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and removes fluids from our bodies. No wonder why everyone needs to pee after drinking coffee/tea. The body will eliminate fluids with the consumption of coffee, even if fluids should not be disposed of. Like the plant in the sunshine, remove its’ water source and the leaves will start to shrivel up. Imagine your dry skin without moisturizer; your skin will start to flake.
Instead of drinking coffee, consume water. It will nourish your skin and insides. With water consumption, the body can make a decision if fluids are required to moisten things up. If the fluids are not essential for functioning, the body will remove it via urine. Water provides a natural balance for our physical well being.
Caffeine’s effect intensifies as we age. The natural progression of the aging process, fluids such as blood and yin (from a Chinese view) lose their abilities to keep us moist. As we age, blood and yin’s ability to be enriching and moistening diminish, leaving women dry. Dryness from aging leads to energetic qualities of being stuck. Thus, most women over the age of 35yrs in my practice have dry signs combined with being stuck. The properties of caffeine will only worsen the client’s energetic pattern and is usually the first recommendation to be eliminated from the client’s lifestyle.