Comparative Guts

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The Spleen and Stomach

(from Hǒ Chun, Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine).

The spleen helps stomach ki 氣in digesting food and water. The stomach receives food while the spleen is responsible for digesting food. The five viscera and six bowels all receive ki from the stomach. Food passes through the stomach to the intestines. Located in the center of the body, the spleen resembles a horseshoe, scythe, or an upside-down jar. It emulates the shape of earth. It guards the viscera and bowels. The spleen houses blood and warms the five viscera. It is the Yellow Court, where the spirit (hon 魂) stays, and where thought stays, meaning it governs the storing of ideation. The spleen spirit is Sangjae 常在 (constantly existent), alias Honjǒng 魂停 (spirit court). It wears yellow silk clothes. The stomach is the market as well as a huge storage place and rice container. It is also the sea of food and water.