Asian Food Therapy

congee

Chinese Medicine has it’s foundation in living in accordance with the seasonal energy; a food which is beneficial in the warmth of summer may have the opposite effect in the cold of winter, and vice versa. This ties into the second principle, that foods carry particular energetics and flavor; cooling, neutral or warming, sour, bitter, pungent, sweet and salty. This confers particular properties to a food; astringing, heat clearing, relaxing, dispersing, moisture generating, descending, tonifying, warming and so on.

Based on your individual diagnosis, certain foods can be recommended to bring balance to your constitution or condition and enhance your acupuncture treatments and herbal prescriptions. For example, a persistent cough in the fall, might be partly attributed to the dryness of this season, which is also the season of metal, which relates to the lung. Patients who have a tendency to metal dryness will benefit from sipping pear juice in fall, which happen to be plentiful at this time of year. The pear flesh is white, the color we relate to the lung, and it’s flavor is sweet, which tonifies earth, which is the mother or generator of metal and the lung, and can therefore support the function of the lung. The difference between apples and pears is that pears have a tougher skin.

The Lung and our skin are related, since the lung is said to govern the skin which is viewed as an extension of this organ system, and in turn, the protection provided by the barrier of the skin protects the lung. Therefore the energy of a pear has a greater influence on the lung versus an apple, even though they might seem similar. On the other hand, pear juice would not benefit a cough with thick mucous in winter, when ginger tea would be more appropriate. This is an example of how Chinese Dietary Therapy can be used to support healing.

Finally, one’s diet can be analyzed according to these principles. For example, dairy is known to carry the energy of cold and damp. Some of us have a constitution that can accommodate this energy, but some of us do not and it’s repeated ingestion can precipitate imbalance and be an obstacle to healing. Lastly, diet gives power to the patient. By educating you on what is beneficial, and what may contribute to imbalance, depending on your individual body type and condition, we can provide you with the information to feed yourself well. This is something you can do for yourself at home, every day.