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Tokay geckos

Chinese: 蛤蚧

Pinyin: Gé Jiè

Parts used: Whole animal

TCM category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Salty

Organ affinity: Kidney Lung

Scientific name: Gekko gecko

Use of tokay geckos (Ge Jie) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Remove the internal organs. Wipe clean, stretch around bamboo sticks and dry under mild fire.

Dosage: 3 to 6 g

Main actions according to TCM*: Tonifies the Kidneys and the Lungs. Stops panting by invigorating Qi. Supplies Essence and promotes virility.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which tokay geckos may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Dyspnea Asthma Coughing Hemoptysis Impotence Seminal emission

Key TCM concepts behind tokay geckos (Ge Jie)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), tokay geckos are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yang Tonics are generally used in combination with a small amount of Yin tonics. If Yin is deficient, neither Qi nor Yang herbs alone will be effective. The most common symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency are low libido and impotence. It is worth mentioning that another very effective remedy against Yang Deficiency is regular exercise.

Furthermore tokay geckos are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that tokay geckos typically don't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of tokay geckos means that you don't have to worry about that!

Tokay geckos also taste Salty. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Salty ingredients like tokay geckos tend to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such tokay geckos are thought to target the Kidney and the Lung. According to TCM, the Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body.