Nourish your Spleen – eat soup!

spleenLong cooked soup benefits the Spleen

Classical Chinese medicine (CCM) classifies the Spleen as an organ of digestion.
There is a huge difference in perspective between Classical Chinese medicine and modern medicine. Because of this difference, we capitalize the organ when referring to it from the CCM perspective, and use lower case when referring to any organ from the modern medical viewpoint.
Back to the Spleen and soup…
We cook our food to make it easier to digest. Our Spleen needs heat in order to properly digest everything we eat and drink. Consequently, cold challenges the Spleen. Cold food and cold weather require our system to turn up the heat, so we can stay warm and fuel digestion. Too much cold can drain our heating resources. When there is not enough heat (which we call “Fire” in CCM), our digestion can be challenged.

spleenThe wonders of soup!

Soup that is cooked over a long period of time is full of heat, and therefore, easy to digest. Since so much heat has already been added to it while being cooked, it requires little of our own internal heat to digest it properly.
The Spleen needs to supply the heat for digestion. Too much cold strains the Spleen’s ability to provide the appropriate amount of heat for digestion. If you turn that around, you understand how long-cooked soup supports the Spleen. Soup is full of nutrients, it’s warm, and it’s easy to digest.

My favorite chicken soup:

  • First, create a long cooked soup stock from the bones of a chicken. Add the bones to a few quarts of water with a dash of vinegar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, 2 chopped onions, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 3-4 carrots, and any other left over vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4-5 hours.
  • Strain off and keep the liquid – this is the stock. (Discard the veggies and bones.)
  • Add chopped carrots, celery, chicken or meat, and rutabaga. Then cook on low for another hour or two. Add some fresh kale to the bowl of chicken soup when serving.

Celebrate your Spleen while enjoying your fabulous soup with family and friends!
To continue learning, check out the “All About the Spleen Meridian” video on demand.

Posted in

Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Adeha on November 6, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Hi Cindy,
    Question you may have addressed before…
    What do you think of pressure cooking? Cooking under pressure does not take as much time… And this new Instant Pot is pretty amazing… the food _tastes_ long cooked… But ????

    • Cindy Black on November 6, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hmmmmm! I’m not sure how that translates – great question – now I’m off to wonder 🙂

      Anyone else have thoughts?

  2. Donna Chiarappi on April 2, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Cindy,
    As I started to read I thought how funny, Im making soup right now with lots of veggies and beans and chicken it will cook for hours in crock pot. And now I feel even better about making it since it will benefit my spleen …oh yeah!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on April 4, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Glad to be on the happy Spleen wavelength with you!

  3. simi on February 27, 2016 at 4:16 am

    Hi cindy, I was advised by my acupuncturists saying that my spleen is functioning low thank you for this insight on soups.mmmhe did ask me to have lot of lamb or goat soups
    …also he mentioned about dry heat how does one solve that problem in diet. I eat mostly warm foods these days

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on February 27, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Wonderful! My Spleen has been happier since I began emphasizing more warm foods too.

  4. Bor Wu on February 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Dear Cindy: you have great day, thank you for your time and brought us such wonderful subject.

  5. Bor Wu on February 26, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Dear Cindy: you are awesome, your insight will be save so many people. I am wondering. Might be Breat cancer and Diabetes cause by eating too many cold processed food and cold salad, or on the go fast food, because as you mentioned will weaken the spleen, we should eat more warmer awesome food. Look at the Spleen meridian, run through Pelvis and Breast. ( Breast cancer and Ovarian cancer)Then Dibetes symptoms Dry mouth, Kyo and Jitsu Spleen manifestation Dry mouth, lackof saliva, sticky feeling in mouth, poor circulation of legs and feet.that is Diabetes sym

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on February 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Dear Bor Wu,
      That may could be a piece of the puzzle in some situations. There is so much unknown in this area, and many aspects to take into consideration that I am not confident to comment one way or the other.

  6. Bor Wu on February 26, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Dear Cindy: Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I love the soup, I did not know it is nourish the Spleen, it is cool to know, thanks. When I was little my mom always told us, should sit down eat meal, no hurry and chew slowly, the eating meal is sacred. Never stand up, eat food fast. that is interesting, because any hurrying will be hurting Spleen, I think. Now my New Year resolution will be follow your recipe to slow cook the yummy soup, to nourish the spleen, appreciated your reminding.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on February 26, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Hello Bor Wu,
      I love hearing some of your Mom’s wisdom, thank you! I will join you in your New Year’s resolution- that is one of the best resolutions I’ve ever heard.
      Thank you for your comment!

  7. Laraine Bunt on February 25, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Cindy,
    You are such a wonderful source of information, we all talk about the book Chicken Soup for the Soul and I have memories of my Grandmother making Chicken Soup for restorative health after been ill, but I have never thought of it as the Spleens helper, you have also thrown some light on the fact that the spleen is vital to digestion and now that has also set a light bulb alight with me, dealing with the digestion of incidents that happen to us that are beyond our wildest dreams and we have trouble digesting these emotions that are set in motion.
    Thank you for the light bulb moment.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on February 26, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Hi Laraine,
      Ah, the wonders of soup never cease to amaze!

  8. Caryl shaul on February 25, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks, Cindy, for the great tip on long cooked soup for the spleen. I love making home cooked soup, without the chicken of course!!!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on February 25, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Caryl

  9. Dawn Laine on February 25, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Hi Cindy! Great soup recipe. I love making my own stocks, then reducing down to boullion to freeze & have handy. I also like using rutabaga or turnips instead of potatoes. Yum!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on February 25, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Hi Dawn,
      Your soup sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing your ideas…Spleens all over the world appreciate you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.