The role of Kidneys in fecundity and infertility according to Chinese medicine

Reins grossesseThere are many causes of infertility in men as well as women, but Kidney deficiency remains the principal cause. Kidney plays a fundamental role among the 5 Organs. In the cycle of the Five Elements, it corresponds to Water, and winter, it is the mother of Liver in the Sheng cycle of energy generation. Chinese medicine defines Kidneys as "the Root of life," or "the Candle of Life" because they store the Essence inherited from the parents at conception (innate Jing). Kidneys are the foundation for all the body's yin and yang energies, for the Five Organs, and for the Six Hollow Organs.

What is Jing? « Jing is the quintessence of Energy »

In Chinese medicine, the quintessence is a type of preserved vital energy that has been extracted from a raw material. This quintessential energy (Jing Qi) is a vital energy stored in Kidneys. The character for "Jing" is made up of two parts.

  • The left part is the radical "mi," which represents a grain of rice, the symbol of both food and seed. It is a seed that enables the continuation of life when planted, and the maintenance of life when eaten.
  • The right part is the radical "Qing," the upper element of which is the key of "Sheng," which symbolizes creation, birth, life, growth, and is represented as a plant that is growing and reaching for the light. The lower element represents the mineral cinnabar, which is cooked in an oven. Red cinnabar is in fact mercuric sulfide, an inorganic raw material used by alchemists. The oven in which it is cooked is placed in darkness, symbolizing the energy potential stored in the form of Matter.
  • Therefore, Jing symbolizes the invisible potential buried in the earth in the form of a "seed" capable of subtle transformations that enable the plant to break through the surface of the earth and bloom. Kidney Jing is inherited from the parents when a child is conceived, which is why it is referred to as "ancestral" or "innate" Jing. Jing is the seed from which the manifestations of life "bloom." It is a noble germ containing the secret of the birth and growth of a unique being, just as the splendor of a century-old banyan tree is contained in a tiny seed. "Jing is the Energy reserve and the foundation of the expression of the physical Forms.

Jing is the foundation of the overall vitality of the being, is responsible for longevity, sexuality and reproduction of the species. It contains the treasure of good physical and mental health, a treasure that should be used wisely, and lovingly preserved if one is to "live and age in good health."

The roles of Kidney Jing

    • Kidney Jing includes all of the energy aspects of Kidneys, which are Kidney yin, yang, and Qi. What are the differences between these aspects of Kidneys? Think of Kidneys as "the candle of life":
    • A candle is made of wax, a wick, and the flame that burns the wick and wax to produce light. The wick and wax are the yin part of the candle, while the yang part is the flame and the light. The Kidney Essence (Jing) corresponds to the wax and the wick, the flame is Kidney yang, and the light is Kidney Qi. Thus Kidney yang (the flame) transforms Kidney yin and Jing (the wax) into Kidney Qi (the light).
    • We see, therefore, that Kidney yin and yang share the same source (Jing or Essence), and that yin and yang are two opposing entities, complementary and interdependent. Their interactions create life, expressed through sexuality and fecundity, which together are necessary for the reproduction of the species.
    • Kidney yin and yang determine yin and yang aspects of the Five Organs, the Six Hollow Organs, the Twelve Meridians, the Four Substances, and the Three Treasures Kidney.

Jing comes from two sources

      • The innate, ancestral Jing is inherited from the parents before birth. This is Prenatal Jing, also called "Pre-Heaven" Jing.
      • Acquired Jing, which comes from food after birth, is also called "Post-Heaven" Jing. It is therefore essential to eat a healthful and balanced diet to maintain good health, healthy sexuality, and optimal fertility.

Kidney Jing declines naturally with age, as life takes its toll, which is why fertility diminishes as parents age. The decline or preservation of Kidney Jing depends on many factors, both innate and related to lifestyle.

    • Kidney yin can decline due to a weak hereditary constitution, chronic diseases, constant stress, overly intense intellectual activity, overly taxing physical labor, bad eating habits, a diet that is ill adapted to the patient's energy field, abuse of certain medicines, or sexual excesses.
    • Kidney yang declines with age for the same reasons as Kidney yin, given that they come from the same source.
    • The decline of Kidney yin and yang can thus lead to a decline in Kidney Jing and Qi.