Chinese Nutritional Therapy For Various TCM Syndromes And Conditions

There’s no such thing as ‘bad’ food or ‘good’ food in Chinese medicine. There are inappropriate foods for a certain individual, just as there are appropriate herbs for a specific individual depending on what their health needs are. For a fatigued and cold person, warm Yang tonic herbs would be a bit helpful; however, these same warming nourishing herbs may lead to headaches and irritation in someone experiencing night sweats and thirst, which are typical telltale signs of Yin Deficiency. Foods, like herbs, have unique energetic qualities; they can, for instance, be cooling or warming. Chinese nutritional therapy which is a component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is just a larger system of medicine that includes herbal medicine and Fremont acupuncture.

During the past three decades, well-meaning health food advocates extolled praise to the importance of enzymes from raw food for digestion as well as to the benefits of raw foods. However, proponents of TCM believe there are three very critical flaws in this logic:

There isn’t one dietary guideline that is going to be appropriate for all people, meaning, when it comes to foods and herbs, there is no such thing as one universal guideline that can treat all the various health conditions of people.

The Spleen energetic system can be severely affected when one over-consumes raw foods, since these foods are known to possess a ‘Cold’ quality. The Spleen is connected to the Abdomen, in Chinese medicine, and is extremely vital in the normal digestion and absorption of food. Hence, overconsumption of fruit juices, raw fruits, juiced vegetables, and raw vegetables will have an opposite effect on your health than previously believed.

People who eat large quantities of raw foods usually suffer from loose bowel movements the whole day.  This is a sign that the digestive system is too efficiently purging due to enzymes; in TCM, loose bowel movements are actually an indication of damage in the Spleen.

 Foods for Internal Dampness and Deficient Spleen Qi

Rye, sunflower seeds, kasha, yams, amaranth, winter squash, aduki bean, pumpkin, cooked soy beans, garlic, millet, bitter greens such as dandelion and arugula (eaten in moderation as they are cold), horseradish, cooked celery, cooked carrots, turnip, green onions, radish, and asparagus.

Consider the herbal formula, Restore the Middle Way.

Use in small amounts or avoid: fruit juices and fruits, watermelon, cucumber, sweets, refined and processed carbohydrates, fried foods, tofu, eggs, meat, and dairy.

While it is important that you want to maintain hydration; according to TCM, drinking too much liquid such as forcing yourself to drink ‘8 glasses of water’ a day just because you think it is healthy to do so may only be putting an extra burden on your Kidneys. In addition, chronic thirst and dryness tend to be signs of Deficient Yin wherein your cells aren’t absorbing properly the water that you are drinking. If you can visualize your cells as dried peat moss; when you put water to the peat moss, the water just rolls off. If you are suffering from Yin Deficiency, Yin foods and tonic herbs can be used to enhance the permeability of the cells so that the water you drink can actually be utilized by the cells.

A perfect way to observe all of the blood drain out of your acupuncturist’s face would be to say to him or her that you’ve been drinking enormous amounts of iced water because you’ve heard that it can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. In Chinese medicine, this most recent totally flawed logic connects the ability to compromise the Kidney energetic systems and damage the Spleen; the outcome would be additional weight for the person and more severe imbalances that may take years to fix.

Foods for Deficient Yin

Goji berry, rice (preferably brown short grain), white mulberry, amaranth grain, quinoa, beets, millet, string beans, wheat germ, spirulina, barley, seaweed, black beans, mung beans, tofu, and kidney beans. In moderation: raspberry, pork, blackberry, clam, eggs, sardine, and oysters. With more extreme conditions: grapes, banana, watermelon, dairy products. Consider herbal formula, Yin Valley.

Avoid: spices, coffee, alcohol, red meat, fats

Lots of people think that water drunk is going to moist their tissue and cells and as a result, cleanse the body. The truth is, only the quantity of fluids needed for healthy cellular function is going to be absorbed into the tissue; the extra water will be eliminated through the urine. Over time, forcing fluids will only lead to Deficient Kidney and poor health and disturb the balance of Yin-Yang in the body.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy for Liver Imbalances

Eliminate Liver Wind – chamomile, western skullcap, lemon, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, coconut, vinegar, pine nuts, black sesame seed, black soybean, oats, anise, ginger, fennel, sage, basil, celery. Avoid: buckwheat, crab meat, and eggs

Warming Foods for Deficient Qi or Deficient Yang

Aduki beans, black beans, lentils, sesame seeds, walnuts, molasses, shrimp, mussel, trout, chicken, beef, lamb, butter, mustard leaf, kale, winter squash, vinegar, onion, cumin, fennel, chili peppers, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, ginger, black pepper, and garlic; cooked fruit: guava, peach, cherry, date, raspberry, coconut.

Consider herbal formula, Ancestor Treasure.

Avoid: dairy, wheat, asparagus, eggplant, juices and vegetables, raw fruits.

Cool Liver Heat

Mung nettle, sprouts and beans; raw green vegetable juices; daikon radish and radish; rhubarb; mushrooms; plums; cheese; tofu; watercress; cucumber; millet; amaranth; quinoa; rye bread; lettuce; seaweed; and celery

Tonify Liver Blood

Animal and beef liver, pork, eggs, chicken soup, oysters, sesame seed, mulberry fruit, dates, nettle, avocado, kelp, alfalfa, red beets, artichoke, cardoon, gelatin, blackstrap molasses, blueberries, red grapes, spirulina, and greens.

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