Cellulite from the Perspective of Chinese Medicine

As a “new disease”, cellulite is more common today, especially at a young age. It is slowly becoming a disease of civilization. From the point of view of Western medicine, it is not a disease as such, but rather an aesthetic handicap. Chinese medicine, on the other hand, considers it a sign of imbalance in the organism. It is a manifestation of insufficient QI energy in the kidney and spleen pathway, along with stagnating QI energy and moisture SHI in the lower parts of the body. Romantically, we could describe this state as “a weak fire stoked with wet wood…”


Causes of origin

Cellulite affects more women than men; this is related to the fact that, according to TCM, yin is more connected with the female — and yang with the male. According to Chinese medicine, YIN represents water, which usually stagnates in women in the form of e.g. cellulite, while YANG is a fire that dries water. But there are also men who are yin and can also retain water. This is because today’s women are influenced by many civilization factors, not all of which have a positive effect on their body — it is primarily hormonal contraception (including hormonal intrauterine devices, etc.) that significantly affects the hormonal balance of every woman by, in terms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), weakening blood — which, among other things, carries hormones. Blood in Chinese medicine can be imagined as water in a stream and hormones as fish in water (for every woman, there is nothing better than to feel like a fish in water — that is, to have enough blood and hormones…). In the case of a small amount of water, even fish can hardly survive, they die, accumulate and block the free flow of blood XUE and QI energy, which in turn causes water retention in the body and, among other things, cellulite.

Another (not negligible) factor that adversely affects the development of cellulite is diet. Foods that weaken the QI energy of the spleen and bring dampness to the body (white sugar sweets, pastries and white flour products, fried foods, milk and dairy products, raw vegetables and raw fruits, especially in the morning, etc.) and various would be “pick-me-ups” like black coffee or alcohol ultimately cause stagnation of QI energy.

According to TCM, the kidney pathway is the seat of the innate fire of life YANG MING, which warms the body to an “operating temperature”. When this fire dwindles, there is naturally no evaporation of water which then stagnates in the organism. The kidney YANG heats up and supplies energy to the spleen, which transforms food and air into the beneficial QI energy and blood XUE. In case of a lack of the QI energy and blood our body literally calls for food which is rich in energy and calories (to replenish energy quickly) but excessively burdens the spleen pathway. These are usually fast pseudo-stimulating products such as various sweets, chocolates, black coffee, energy drinks, hard alcohol, etc. However, in the future these foods further weaken the spleen pathway, thus reducing its ability to excrete the SHI dampness, i.e. they excessively moisturise the body. Since the spleen pathway feeds the muscles from the waist down, this SHI dampness from the spleen, along with water stagnation from insufficient evaporation due to weak kidneys YANG, accumulates in these (in)appropriate areas of the body.


Treatment of cellulite

In terms of TCM, cellulite therapy consists of stimulating the stagnant QI energy, drying out SHI dampness and strengthening the YANG of the kidneys and spleen.

Two conditions are especially necessary for successful recovery:

  1. discontinuing the use of hormonal contraceptives (including hormonal intrauterine devices).
  2. adherence to proper diet, in particular complete omission of black coffee, hard alcohol, sweets (especially white sugar), reduction of white flour, milk and dairy products (except unpasteurized cow’s milk or sheep’s and goat’s milk and products made of these); and fried or fatty foods.
    Conversely, your diet should include foods that strengthen the spleen and kidneys such as Job’s Tears, millet, buckwheat, grain, cereal porridge, corn (polenta), wholemeal rice, amaranth, all legumes, especially beans and peas, mushrooms and all cooked vegetables, especially pumpkins and carrots.

And never forget to have the right breakfast! In the morning it is always necessary to first light the stove, and gradually heat up the furnace so that the stove burns well throughout the day. And only then can you cook on the stove”. Our digestion also works like this: if we use “wet wood” (so-called foods that bring damp and cold such as yoghurts, cheeses, raw fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, green tea …), or, on the contrary “light the fire with petrol” (so-called foods that bring fire such as black coffee or alcohol), then both variants are bad and have an unhealthy effect on our digestion and the overall functioning of the organism. An ideal beverage for breakfast is the Beverage of Chinese Sages which acts as the “firelighter Pepo”. To make a fire, “dry wood” is also needed, in our case it is porridge with cinnamon (for example, millet, oatmeal, corn, rice, buckwheat porridge…) or hot soups, e.g. beef or vegetable broths. In this case, it is possible to eat something “unhealthy” during the day (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), without damaging our health (tyres and wet wood also burn in a well-made fire).

Foods that strengthen the YANG of the kidneys: all kidneys (preferably from domestic or organic breeding), shrimps, lobsters, sardines, cloves, fennel, star anise, cinnamon, dried ginger, dill, leek, pistachio nuts, walnuts, raspberries, red and black dates.

Foods that strengthen the QI energy of the spleen and dry dampness: Job’s Tears (Job’s Tears – White Pearl of the East (code 910) or Beverage of Chinese sages (code 900)), millet, adzuki beans (small red beans), broad beans (horse beans), corn cobs, sloes, blackberries, bamboo shoots, hyacinth beans.

Foods that move the QI energy stagnation: cherries, coconut, tofu, rice, carrot, gourd, Hokkaido pumpkin, spinach, radish, chives, garlic, onion, caraway, mint, basil, saffron, oregano, cardamom, mushrooms, Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes), lemon, lime, tangerine, beef, chicken (from domestic breeding), lamb, goose and all game.


Taking herbal mixtures:

Always use the herbal mixture Dancer from pear orchard (code 022) (6 tablets 2 times a day) together with the herbal mixture Harmony of Magic Change (code 063) or, in the case of internal heat, a similar herbal mixture Calming of rough water (code 062), (also 6 tablets 2 times a day).


In case of doubt with the choice of herbal products, we recommend TCM Test Tongue Analysis, which is evaluated by Dr. med. Petr Hoffmann and you will receive a recommendation (herbal products and foods) to your e-mail within 3 days.