According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) after going through the stomach, food enters the Spleen where it is separated into what is useful and what is not. The waste travels through the pylorus to the small intestine. What is not waste is said to “rise” to the Lungs where it is combined with air and sent to the Heart to produce blood. If the Spleen is not functioning properly, a person may suffer from lack of appetite, indigestion, fullness and distension in the epigastrium (upper middle section of the abdomen), loose stools, lassitude, and/or loss of weight, among other symptoms.
The Spleen also absorbs and transports water. If the Spleen cannot absorb water properly, the body retains water, resulting in edema, dampness, and/or diarrhea. Thus the Spleen absorbs both food and water at the same time, and both functions are connected. An abnormal function of one will lead to an abnormal function of the other.