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Heart Health in TCM: Beyond The Blood-Pumping Organ

Heart in TCM

All organ systems are vital for optimal health. But when you’re called “the ruler of all other organs” you have an extra burden to carry. That’s precisely what Heart is known as according to traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. Beyond its role as a blood-pumping muscle in the circulatory system, your Heart plays several other important roles in keeping you healthy and happy. 

Let’s get to know the Heart through the lens of Chinese Medicine….

There have been many ruthless dictators throughout history. But every now and then, a benevolent ruler successfully maintained peace and created harmony for his or her subjects. Likewise, your heart, as the ruler of all other bodily organs, when functioning in a state of balance, will act as a benevolent monarch. In other words, treat your Heart right and it will treat you right. 

From a western perspective, there are certain lifestyle choices which would make the Heart act out as if it were a ruthless leader, leaving a wake of destruction in its path. This would include smoking, being overweight, not eating healthy, not managing stress, drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough exercise. 

Healthy Heart, Healthy Spirit

Your heart, as the ruler of all other bodily organs, when functioning in a state of balance, will act as a benevolent monarch. In other words, treat your Heart right and it will treat you right.

If you don’t treat your ruler with kindness, chronic health conditions can arise such as cardiovascular disturbances. But beyond the obvious physiological ramifications of poor heart health, your mental and spiritual health can suffer, too. 

That’s because according to TCM theory, the Heart is the seat of your “Shen.” Shen is loosely translated as “spirit.” But there’s more to Shen than your spirit or soul. It’s also the seat of your consciousness. It’s your worldview, how you perceive things, how you react to things, whether you take things heavy-handed and seriously, or trivally and lightly. 

How well you can focus on the task at hand and your determination to achieve goals is also largely determined by your Heart’s governance of Shen. So, too, is your emotional well-being. In TCM, every organ has an associated emotion. And how your mind and body react to daily inputs and reacts emotionally to said inputs is determined by the Heart. 

To put it simply, and this should come as no surprise, if you want to experience joy in life and not be burdened by chronic stress, you need to have a healthy Heart. 

How To Have A Healthy Heart

In one sense, the key to Heart health flows through the Kidneys. That’s because every bit of Yin (cooling) and Yang (warming) energy you have is produced in the Kidneys. The Yin and Yang that flows through your Heart? That’s also produced in the Kidneys. 

Stress management is a vital element of maintaining balance in the Kidneys. Worrying excessively about the state of world affairs and financial matters quickly creates Kidney Qi disharmony. 

There’s no substitute for a healthy lifestyle, but the good news is that supporting your Kidneys and Heart may be accomplished with a time-tested TCM formula. Tian Wang Bu Xin Pian (HeartVigor) contains 15 Chinese herbs that synergistically nourish the Heart’s Yin energy, fortifies the Blood and helps calm the mind. 

Chronic stress may produce excess Yang energy in the Heart, which may lead to having difficulty sleeping and having a disturbed Shen. 

Do you have circulation problems because of obvious reasons such as being too sedentary? If so, there’s a modern TCM formula, CircuFine, which may help resolve blood stagnation.

A more simplified version of CircuFine, with only three legendary Chinese herbs is CardioVigor If you already have a balanced Heart, CardioVigor may be appropriate for daily maintenance.


Call it your vibrancy, zest for life or internal fire. It’s all governed by your Heart. If you want to see if somebody has a good Heart, at least from the perspective of classic Chinese medicine, then take a good look at their eyes. If the eyes lack luster and appear dull, then this indicates a person’s “shen” is disturbed. How do your eyes look? Do they pop with spirit? If so, your Heart’s in good shape. Also observe your sleep patterns and your complexion. If you are sleeping well and don’t have a dull, pale appearance, your Heart is acting as a kind king. 

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