Yin Deficiency Diet

Yin is like the oil in your oil lamp. It’s best to use just as much as you need and ration in throughout your life. Just like the oil we use on this earth, it’s finite and will eventually run-out, unlike qi which is like sunshine, soil, and air.

Yin is a cooling, moistening substance. When this essential substance is lacking, we experience symptoms of dryness and heat.

Diet is helpful for yin deficiency, but this is a deeper level of deficiency and requires herbs and/or supplements to refill the tank, so to speak. Because yin is a thick, moistening substance, the herbs to treat yin deficiency tend to be cloying and difficult to digest. They can cause loose stools and bloating for people with weak or congested digestive systems. Please refer to the Qi Deficiency diet page if you are not digesting your yin tonics easily. The following guidelines are to compliment care received from a licensed acupuncturist.

Foods to Nourish the Yin

Flavors that nourish yin are salty, sweet, and sour. Yin, by nature, is cooling, and foods that nourish yin tend to be cooling.

black sesame seeds, almonds

bone-marrow soup, bone broth

black beans, string beans, kidney beans, mung beans

millet, barley, wheat

sardine, crab, clam



melons, blackberry, mulberry, blueberry, banana

milk, ghee


seaweed, chlorella, spirulina

fish oil

(if dryness symptoms are an issue, refer to the Dryness page as well)

Foods to Avoid

Avoid foods that are hot, drying, and stimulating



spicy peppers

Related Posts: