The Small Intestine is an organ of summer time. Which means its energy is heightened this time of year. It’s important to nourish and utilize the energy of the Small Intestine especially in the summer.




Physically the Small Intestine is a semi-permeable barrier that plays an important role in digestion. The outer surface of its barrier is composed of a mucous layer and is colonized by beneficial bacteria and elements of the immune system.



The Small Intestine receives food and fluids from the Stomach (after it has been “rotted” and “ripened”) and the Spleen (which has extracted the food essences). It is important to note that the Small Intestine receives whatever is put into the body including medications, drugs, chemicals, etc. It then absorbs nutrients from the food. Once it has absorbed the nutrients from the food it then must decipher the “pure” from the “impure” substances.


The “pure” fluids are sent to the Kidneys and the “impure” fluids are passed to the Bladder and excreted as urine. The Small Intestine also has a close relationship with the Bladder and therefore plays an important role in urination.



The “pure” foods are sent to the Spleen to transform for the body to use. The Spleen then transports this essence to other organs and all over the body. Part of this essence gets sent to the Liver to be processed and assimilated into blood and flesh. The “impure” food substances are passed to the Large Intestine, which releases the solid waste as stool.


Whatever impurities the Small Intestine allows to pass into the body enters the Liver. If the SmallIntestine is deficient and allows impure substances/toxins into the Liver, the Liver will have more work to do (on top of its abundance of current functions) to clear these impurities. If the Liver is deficient and/or the leaking of the Small Intestine continues over time and overloads the Liver, impurities and toxins will spill into the blood. The blood then sends the toxins into the lymphatic system. Once affecting the Lymphatic System, the Immune System becomes overburdened and drained.


The Small Intestines counterpart in Chinese medicine is the Heart. As a counterpart, energy, essence and disease can transfer directly from one organ to the other. If the Heart is deficient it can draw energy from the Small Intestine or pass anything unwanted to it. If the Small Intestine allows impurities to leak into the body, just like with the Liver, the Heart can be the receiver of these toxins leading to disease.


In Chinese medicine every organ is connected with mental and emotional energy. Just as the Small Intestine separates the “pure” from the “impure” food and fluids, it does the same mentally and emotionally.


It involves a “sorting and separating” function, which is a reflection of “pure and impure”.   Your job may require you to take in information and sift through it and deliver the important details (pure) to a client, while discarding the unneeded information (impure).  Even having a conversation with a friend requires “sorting and separating”. Your friend shares with you stories of their recent travel and as you’re listening you’re taking in the information and assimilating it. You make note that they love to fly on airplanes (what a great gift.. a glass airplane… or something..) and discard the details of how long they stood in line to use the bathroom at the airport (do you really need to remember that anyway?). As you flow through your day you are continuously taking in information; like, dislike; yes, no; hot, cold; etc. This energy taxes the Small Intestine. Granted it is a natural function of the Small Intestine, but if there is imbalance of the Small Intestine it will impair your ability to deciphering what is useful. This can be overwhelming and cause confusion and fatigue (among other things).


Your Small Intestine and Digestive System is always the most important function in the body. Everything you receive to maintain your day-to-day functions come from them. Even the other organs rely on the Digestive System so they can function.


If you ever question why you’re feeling off, consider your Digestive System. And when you’re feeling oh so good, thank your Digestive System.