Yin and Yang of the Menstrual Cycle Part 2 – Supporting the Yin Phase

An account on instagram I follow – @traditionalchinesemedicine posted a pic in response to a question – ‘what does the world need now?’ and her reply was “Yin”. I really couldn’t agree more.
Yin energy is something we are lacking in individually and it is continually being depleted from from a global perspective too. We are not short of faster technology, anger, stress, heat or exhaustion but we are short on love, understanding and patience and self care. This is Yin.

Yin is also the cooling, feminine, restorative, gentle, peaceful, quiet, reflective, creative, wise and imaginative energy.

Yin energy controls the first half of a female’s menstrual cycle, from the first day of your period until ovulation. It functions very similar to estrogen, the women’s reproductive hormone.

A deficiency in Yin is the most common pattern I see in women who have been diagnosed with poor egg quality.

At this time, your follicles are needing blood and nutrients and the lining of your womb needs warm, nourishing energy to help develop a healthy egg and a healthy endometrium lining – regardless of whether you are looking to fall pregnant or not.

Signs of depleted Yin can be vaginal dryness, reduced amount of cervical mucous before ovulation, night sweats, feeling warm in the afternoon, dry mouth, tired and sore low back or short menstrual cycles. It does present in many other ways, but these are the extreme symptoms.

The quality of your Yin helps determine the quality of your Yang. Remember, the two are a happy co-dependant little pair.

So not nourishing your Yin in the first half of your menstrual cycle can cause problems in the next phase which is associated with embryo implantation and growth.

So what to do to support your Yin.

  • look into the concept of ‘hugge’ – mentioned above and find what it means to you
  • eat warm, nutrient dense foods especially water based
  • avoid spicy, pungent or strong tasting foods
  • participate in restorative exercise like yoga, tai chi, qi gong
  • avoid high stresses
  • get enough sleep
  • avoid too much caffeine and alcohol
  • do more things that bring you joy :)
Foods that nourish Yin
  • Cooling foods – but not cold foods
  • Salty, bitter, sour foods
  • Tofu
  • Barley
  • Seaweed
  • Sweet potato
  • Water chestnut – great in San Choy Bow
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Apple
  • Lemon and lime
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Pomegranate
  • Mango
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Milk
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fish – especially oyster but all seafood is great for Yin building
  • Beef, duck, pork and kidney
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Cows milk – very Yin nourishing but in small amounts
  • Honey