What is Jing?
Jing is the first of the Three Treasures that form the foundation of the Taoist tradition and oriental healing arts. The Three Treasures are known as Jing, Qi and Shen. There is no direct translation of these terms in English, but rather a conceptual understanding of what they represent and embody; “Essence” - Jing, “Vitality” - Qi and “Spirit” - Shen.
The primary intention of the Taoist herbal practitioner is to bring the entire being into harmony, this is accomplished by placing focus on, and nurturing the Three Treasures. In this regard herbs and lifestyle practices are used and embodied to establish robust and buoyant health.
In both Chinese philosophy and the Taoist system of tonic herbalism, the all encompassing universe is thought to be, at its foundational level, comprised entirely of energy (Qi). In these systems, life and its various components are not considered to exist merely at the material level. The Taoists believe that there is an underlying dance of energy that exists within all things, one that is always shifting and changing, accumulating and dispersing. We’ve all heard the concept of Yin and Yang right? Of the interchange that occurs between these two dualities, the seasonality and birth death cycle of all things.
So how does Jing fit into this picture?
Jing is where it all begins, it is a form of Qi.
Jing is articulated as the foundational Essence of all life, described as the “superior ultimate” Treasure in Taoist philosophy. Jing is expressed in the body as one’s genetic potential, the quantity of which is thought to determine an individual’s lifespan and overall vitality. Jing Essence is housed in the Kidneys. Not only is Jing expressed in the physical organ structure of the Kidneys themselves, but it is also involved in the many functions governed by the Kidney system as a whole. Think muscular skeletal health, endocrine and nervous system function (hormones and stress response), energy, stamina, strength, cellular turnover, healing, DNA expression etc.
Master Tonic Herbalist Ron Teeguarden says "it is always beneficial to regulate and strengthen the Kidneys, no matter what the disorder, and even when there is no disorder,” Jing is a crucial element in the health of the entire body and this statement helps us understand why.
The concept of Jing, like all the Treasures, is somewhat whimsical and poetic in the way it is expressed in Chinese philosophy. Here Jing is said to be involved in the process of birth, development, maturation, decline and death and described as the texture that is specific to all organic life.
We have both prenatal and postnatal Jing. We inherit our prenatal Jing from our parents, our postnatal Jing (in our opinion) can be cultivated using diet and lifestyle practices. You can think of these two concepts as your savings account - prenatal Jing, and your weekly income - postnatal Jing. Ideally we want to keep our savings account flush and stable, ready to catch us in case of emergency, and use our weekly income as general currency. It’s the same story with our Jing Essence.
The connection between Jing Essence and Yin and Yang is explained beautifully by Dr Leon Hammer in the quote below:
“Kidney essence is, after all, the stored True Qi of the entire organism from both before and after birth and is the lifelong source of Yin and Yang. Rather than just Yin and Yang, there is Yin-Essence and Yang-Essence, and since Kidney Qi is a combination of yin and yang, we must also have Kidney Qi-Essence.”
*Note: Throughout this article the term ‘Jing Essence’ is used interchangeably with the term ‘Kidney Essence’. The name of particular organs are capitalised e.g. Kidney vs kidney, to represent the entire functional system the organ is involved in within the context of the Taoist and Chinese Medicine systems. The Kidney system in this instance represents the skeletal structure, reproductive organs, endocrine system and brain.
What Is SuperFeast Jing?
As we’ve explored above, Jing is the Chinese word for ‘Essence’ - specifically the Kidney Essence. In the ancient Taoist tradition, fatigue, weakness and hormonal imbalance were all considered to be a result of Jing depletion. Our nourishing JING blend has been intentionally crafted to nourish, restore and ignite the body’s Jing energy. To promote vitality, vibrancy and vigour. Without enough foundational energy or Jing Essence, the body is unable to heal or function at an optimal capacity.
Where and How Do The Herbs In SuperFeast JING Grow?
The herbs in our SuperFeast JING blend are sourced Dì Dào (地道) (*with the exception of Cordyceps) from various regions in China, below are the sourcing regions, harvesting medium and extraction methods used for these potent herbs
- Sourced from the Hunan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Guizhou regions of China.
- Sustainably semi-wild harvested from the Eucommia tree, where it grows freely in the wild earth.
- A dual extraction of the herb body (legume) is used.
- Sourced from the Ningxia Zhongning districts of China.
- Semi-wild harvested in the wild soil on the land in which it loves to grow.
- A single water extraction of the herb body (berry) is used.
Due to the prohibitive cost of wild cordyceps, the Chinese developed a method in which to cultivate the cordyceps mycelium, which they grow in liquid fermentation tanks. The result is a pure mycelium product which is known as Cs-4, this is what we use at SuperFeast. Please see our FAQ page for more info.
- Sourced from Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang regions of China.
- Semi-wild harvested from the wild desert soil in which it loves to grow.
- A single water extract of the herb body (root) is used.
- Sourced from the Henan, Shanxi regions of China.
- Semi-wild harvested in the wild soil in which it loves to grow.
- A single water extract of the herb body (root) is used.
- Sourced from the Yunnan, Guizhou, Zhejiang regions of China.
- Semi-wild harvested in the wild soil on wood bark and chips.
- A single water extract of the herb body (stem) is used.
Top 5 Benefits of JING
When we support the function of the Kidney system with herbs such as those in our JING blend, along with sustainable lifestyle practices, we support the capacity of the Kidney system as a whole, to function at a capacity that is optimal. Just as nature intended. In doing so we support all the physiological processes that the Kidney system is involved in. The body is a synergistic organism, no function or process is isolated, all the systems of the body are unified as one embodied entity.
JING, Energy, Fatigue & Adrenals
As we’ve explored above Jing is where it all begins, there can be no animation of the Qi Treasure without Jing. Jing is our Essence, it is the root of the body's material energy and power. Qi, our energy currency, arises from our Essence or Jing, a decline in our Essence leads to a decline in our Qi, our daily energy (and vice versa). So naturally when we are experiencing low energy/fatigue, a reduced capacity to handle stress, or an overall inability to thrive, we have to look at the body’s systems and structures that are involved in our expression of both Jing and Qi - so what are they?
The Spleen and Lungs
The Spleen initiates the transformation of the food we eat into available energy, which manifests in the form of gu-qi. A portion of which becomes the postnatal Essence/Jing we spoke about earlier, otherwise known as Kidney Qi.
If there is not enough nourishment coming in by way of diet and breath work, or there is a deficiency in the conversion of Qi due to digestive weakness, there will be a deficiency in available Kidney Qi aka Jing. If this cycle becomes chronic, the body will start to tap into its reservoir of prenatal Essence/Jing, drawing on its deeper constitutional reserves. We don’t wanna dip into our savings account remember?
The Yang Jing energy of the Kidney’s aids the digestive fire. Herbs such as Eucommia Bark and Cordyceps strengthen Yang Jing and help the Kidney’s stay warm. When the Kidneys are warm, the Spleen is supported and can perform it’s transformational duties efficiently. This allows the body to yield nourishment from the foods (and herbs) we consume.
Remember that classic saying “you are what eat”, well really it should read “you are what you absorb/metabolise”, this can be an extremely important missing link for those of us who are “eating all the right foods” and still feeling a little less than vital. For those whose diet and lifestyle reads well on paper but in practice something is falling a bit short. Keeping the Spleen warm and happy helps it to transform nutrition into energy - Qi. This, accompanied by living within the means of our genetic capacity helps us save that sweet, sweet Jing $$. And bazinga we’re on our way to a comfortable retirement.
Adrenals and Nervous System
In Taoist philosophy it is said that anything in excess drains Jing, and this includes excessive simulation and emotion. Something we in the West may not even register as a tax on the system. Living in the age of technology, many of us are plugged into something daily, a phone, a computer, a tablet - whatever. Through these platforms we are inundated with a constant stream of information, much of it confusing and driven by fear. Take diet advertising for example - eat this food, do this juice cleanse, practice this yoga style, sit with this meditation technique, perform this high intensity work out etc etc. Our poor nervous systems are constantly on edge. Consuming the hundreds of messages we are exposed to daily. Via the media platforms we voluntarily tune ourselves into.
The non stop nature of these platforms does not align with the native rhythms of the primitive bodies we are living in. Social media scrolling has been associated with the release of dopamine, giving us a feel good kick and wanting more, and it’s the wanting more part that depletes us. It’s a given that most of us can’t escape this reality entirely as these are the ways in which we connect both socially and in the workplace. This is our world now, and it's a world that consumes our Jing.
So what can we do to buffer some of this tech noise? Firstly we acknowledge it and then take steps to support the body systems that bear the brunt of it. In this case namely the nervous system and endocrine system, particularly the adrenal glands. Check out our de-stress blog for some of our top tips.
JING + Bone Health/Musculoskeletal Integrity
The Kidney’s govern the bones, and the tissues associated with the skeletal structure. When Kidney energy/Qi (Jing) is strong the bones will be strong, our musculoskeletal integrity will be strong. In Chinese Medicine the bones are considered to be a manifestation of Kidney strength. On a biochemical level it is the interplay between the Kidney’s, calcitriol (the active form of vitamin D), calcium, phosphorus and parathyroid hormone that keeps the integrity of the bones intact.
Anecdotally, Eucommia Bark was known to fortify the skeletal structure after injured deer were observed consuming the herb to aid their healing. Since then, Eucommia bark has been revered as a potent Yang Jing herb, used in the Taoist tonic herbal system to strengthen the Kidneys, bones and sinews.
JING & Brain Health
In Taoist philosophy the brain is referred to as “the sea of marrow”, considered to be an extension of the Kidney system as the Kidney’s govern the bones, marrow and sinews of the body. The brain is powered by Kidney Qi, when our Jing is tapped out our brain power is too.
“When Kidney Qi is depleted, the mind will be cloudy and slow, memory will be weak, and intuition will be veiled." - Ron Teeguarden.
Many of us know the above feelings so well, and usually when they descend upon us we’ll reach for a coffee or something stimulating. However beneficial for concentration and alertness in the short term these substances actually further diminish our already waning Jing, setting us up for a longer rebound period. An inconvenient truth I know! I love a cuppa joe as much as the next person.
Leaning into the intricate web that is the body and its systems helps us to get underneath the underlying cause. If you’re constantly feeling foggy headed and rely on stimulants to access your cognitive powers it may be time to start replenishing your Jing. The good news here is that simple lifestyle measures such as consuming a nourishing diet, working with Jing herbs and getting adequate sleep and rest, can create strong foundations on which depleted Jing can become replenished.
JING, Sexual Potency & Hormonal Health
Libido, sexual potency and reproductive capacity are all governed by Jing. As our foundational Essence, it makes sense that when we are tapped out of this vital resource our sexual capacity will dissipate. From here it becomes obvious that problems with reproduction stem from problems with Jing. At an evolutionary level it doesn’t make sense for an organism to replicate if it cannot sustain its own life, a simple but harsh truth.
Our sexual potency is what drives our feelings of arousal (and not just sexual arousal, but arousal for life itself) our fertility, it’s what keeps our sexual fluids primed and juicy. This is our life force energy, our creative power, this is the reservoir that houses our deep capacity to become, in whatever form that may take.
This is some serious stuff.
At this point it is also important to acknowledge that fertility is not just about making babies and is an area that needs to be addressed consistently throughout the lifecycle by both sexes. In this context and as quoted earlier by Ron T, it is always essential to nurture Jing Essence.
As we’ve explored above, when there is no Jing there is no life or potential for it, from here we can conclude that when there is deficient Jing, there is deficient life. Luckily there are many lifestyle practices we can embody to restore and cultivate our Jing Essence and therefore enrich and strengthen our capacity to nourish our genetic potential and ability to conceive.
SuperFeast JING is:
- A potent 10:1 herbal extract powder
- Vegan and gluten free
- Zero additives / starches / preservatives; 100% pure herbs only
- Ethically and sustainably sourced and produced.
SuperFeast JING May Support One To:
- Cultivate core energy or Jing Essence.
- Manage stress and counter fatigue.
- Support Kidney and adrenal health.
- Reduce or release caffeine.
- Move from ‘fight or flight’ into ‘rest and digest’ (pretty much all of us right?!).
- Rebuild core energy after child birth.
- Strengthen the knees and lower back.
- Support musculoskeletal health e.g. the bones and joints.
- Balance Yin and Yang Jing Essence.
JING and the Traditions
In the Taoist tradition of Tonic Herbalism the herbs in our JING blend have been revered for their superior ability to support the cultivation of the body’s foundational energy reserve, aka Jing Essence. As we’ve explored above Jing is the first of the Three Treasures that the Taoist system of herbal wisdom endeavours to support. Each herb in our JING blend carries a specific energetic (Yin/Yang or both) and offers potent medicine to a particular facet of the Kidney system. See below for a spot light on each herb present in the blend.
Botanical Name: Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.
Plant Family: Eucommiaceae.
Chinese Name/s: Du Zhong 杜仲.
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Kidneys, Liver.
Treasure/s: Yang Jing.
Key Herbal Actions: Tonifies the Liver and Kindeys, nourishes Kidney Yang, fortifies skeleton, strengthens bones and sinews, reduces blood pressure.
Botanical Name: Lycium barbarum.
Plant Family: Solanaceae.
Chinese Name/s: Gou Qi 枸杞.
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Liver, Kidney, Lung.
Energetics: Sweet, Neutral.
Treasure/s: Kidney Yin, Blood.
Key Herbal Actions: Tonifies Kidney Yin Jing, nourishes Liver Yin, nourishes Blood, brightens the eyes, moistens the Lungs.
Botanical Name: Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly Cordyceps sinensis).
Plant Family: Ophiocordycipitaceae.
Chinese Name/s: Dong Chong Xia Cao 冬虫夏草.
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Lung, Kidney.
Treasure/s: Yin Jing, Yang Jing, Qi.
Key Herbal Actions: Tonifies the Kidneys, strengthens Yang, augments (enhances) Jing, nourishes Lung Yin, transforms Phlegm and reduces bleeding.
Botanical Name: Cistanche deserticola Y. C. Ma.
Plant Family: Orobanchaceae.
Chinese Name/s: Rou Cong Rong 肉苁蓉.
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Kidney, Large Intestine.
Treasure/s: Kidney Yang
Taste/s: Sweet, Salty.
Key Herbal Actions: Tonifies the Kidneys, strengthens the Yang, nourishes Jing and Marrow, moistens the Intestines, facilitates the passage of stool.
Botanical Name: Radix Rehmanniae Preparata.
Plant Family: Orobanchaceae.
Chinese Name/s: Shu Di Huang 熟地黄.
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Kidneys, Liver, Heart.
Treasure/s: Yin Jing, Blood.
Key Herbal Actions: Enriches Blood and Jing, fortifies the Marrow, nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin.
Botanical Name: Dendrobium nobile.
Plant Family: Orchidaceae.
Chinese Name/s: Shi Hu 石斛.
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Kidneys, Lungs, Stomach.
Energetics: Slightly Cold.
Treasure/s: Yin Jing.
Taste/s: Sweet, slightly Salty.
Key Herbal Actions: Nourishes Yin, clears Heat, generates fluids, enriches Kidney Yin, tonifies the Kidneys, augments (enhances) Jing, brightens the eyes, fortifies the tendons and bones, strengthens the lower back, nourishes Stomach and Lung Yin.
How To Use JING
JING, like the rest of the SuperFeast herbal range is not heat sensitive and can be added to just about ANYTHING! Hallelujah!
JING carries a sweet earthy flavour and embodies a warm energetic. We love it added to hot cacao/chocolate, herbal tea, chai etc. It’s also delightful when taken as a simple tea, just added to hot water.
If you’re a coffee drinker, JING is a great addition to your morning cuppa joe. This nourishing blend will support the foundations of your body, and may soften some of the undesirable side effects caffeine has on the adrenal glands and nervous system.
JING can also be added to savoury meals such as broths, stews, curries and soups.Below are a few recipe suggestions to get you started:
JING Pairs Well With
In the context of health optimisation and the Taoist tradition, tonic herbs are not directly used to treat or clear individual symptoms, rather to create harmony within the system as a whole. To further utilise the medicinal magic of the herbs in the JING blend, pair its use with the actions below:
Consuming Kidney nourishing foods such as saturated fats, eggs, meats, dark foods like leafy greens, black beans and lentils, kidney beans etc. The Kidneys love a diet that is seasonally and metabolically appropriate.
- Kidney cleansing.
- Geriatric care - Jing Essence wains as we age, Jing herbs are a great ally as we enter into our twilight years.
- Healing from emaciation, chronic illness or wasting disorders, being ill robs us of our Jing.
- Chronic weakness.
- Healing and supporting weakness in the knees, lower back and sinew.
- Bone healing - JING can be taken along with bone strengthening Western herbs such as nettle and horsetail etc.
- Safe full body sunbathing/Vit D exposure.
- Restoring healthy sleep patterns.
- Exhaustion due to excessive stress, chronic stress, adrenal depletion.
A Final Note
I know some of the concepts we’ve explored above may seem a little lofty and difficult to grasp, there’s no doubt about it, the Taoists were total romantics! It’s what we love most about their philosophies. But…. We totally get it, it’s deeep!
Remember guys, we are still students of the Taoist healing arts and of life in general, and we always will be. It’s a beautiful place to be.
We are continuously exploring and furthering our understanding of these concepts and their application to our contemporary world. By no means are we experts. Our offerings are the product of the alchemy that has occurred over the years. A result of us turning the soil of what these philosophies have come to embody for us in our journey’s of exploration, study, and experience on the ground using the elements and practices of tonic herbalism.
It is an ever evolving space where our knowledge is deepening and solidifying as we dance and twirl through this earthly life. We invite you to dance and twirl with us, at your own pace and in your own time. I mean we all came here to enjoy life’s ride, let’s allow the herbs to make that process a little sweeter, a little more steady. Let us live big beautiful lives where we feel safety and strength in our bodies, love in our hearts and tranquillity in our minds. Pretty simple hey!