The History of Chinese Nutrition
For centuries, Chinese physicians and researchers have documented their search for ways to facilitate the survival and good health of their families and patents.Medicinal therapy was based upon the discoveries that most foods have medicinal qualities, that some medicinal substances are also useful as food, and that the various tastes of substances directly relate to specific medicinal/energetic qualities.They referred to this dynamic as, “Food medicine of shared origin”. This is the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) nutrition dietary and therapy.
Historical records indicated that in the early Shang Dynasty (1766-1154 BC), people cooked herbs to treat diseases. Yi Yin invented cooking wares and soup and broth making techniques. According to legend, Yi Yin also developed the herbal decoction technique of treating diseases. Our ancestors took advantage of the medicinal qualities of food to prevent and treat disease.
In the imperial palace of the West Zhou Dynasty (1122-721BC), “Food Doctors” selected and prepared meals for Kings, using vegetables, fruits, grains, poultry, meats, herbs, and other ingredients. The thought was to make food that was both delicious and health preserving. At that time, “Food doctors” had higher status than “disease doctors” (Internists) and “Carbuncle Doctors” (Surgeons). Theses “Food doctors” were the first professional nutritionists.
The “Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine”, believed to have been written during the periods of the spring and autumn (780-403 BC), and the Warring Statues (403-221 BC), systematically described nutrition and food therapy. It said, Medicines are toxic and only for excessive pathogens. Their theory was five grains for daily nutrition, five fruits for additional nutrition, five live stock are for benefiting and the five vegetables are for filling. Mix all of the different Qi’s and tastes of food and eat them to nourish the body and provide energy.
This book listed ten herbal formulas for oral ingestion. Of these, six used regular foods as ingredients and all of them demonstrated the use of food as therapy. This book formed a theoretical and practical foundation for further development of Chinese nutrition and food therapy.
Doctors in the period of Warring States (403-221 BC) paid much attention to nutrition and food therapy. Bian Que, a well known Doctor of that period said, “As a Doctor, one should investigate the origin of, and pathological changes created by diseases and then treat the patient with food. If food does not cure the disorders, then medicine is given. This important advice has influenced succeeding generations of Physicians.
Written about 2,000 years ago during the Qin (221-216 BC) and Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), “Shen Nong’s Classic of Medicinal Herbs” is recognized as the first Chinese materia medica. This text includes references to many grains, fruits, herbs, fishes, poultry and other meats as well as minerals. Dates, sesame seeds, grapes, walnuts, lotus seeds (Lian Zi), Chinese yams, beans, scallions, honeys, and salt are examples of substances recognized as having medicinal qualities. Zhang Zhong Jing a preeminent Chinese medical sage, recounted his experiences in using rice and other foods with medicinal herbs in his book - “A Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases”. His “angelica, ginger and lamb broth” is still popular today.
During the Tang Dynasty (670-907AD), Sun Si Miao listed over 154 foods in this book - “Essential Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Talents of Gold”. He said, “Food can expel pathogens and protect the internal organs, make people happy, and benefits the Qi and blood. A good Doctor explores the origins of a disease and and its pathogenesis, then prescribes foods to treat the patient. Medicine should be used only if food therapy fails. His student Meng Xian wrote the book, “Nourishing Recipes” in which he increased the number of foods to 241. Zhang Ding Meng’s student revised this book and named it "Dietetic Materia Medica”, Hhis was the first Chinese book on dietetic therapies and actions of foods, cooking techniques, along with dietary principles discussed.
During the Song Dynasty (960-1278 AD), the government ordered medical officials Wang Huan Yin et al to compile “Peaceful Holy Benevolent Prescriptions”, which listed dietetic therapies for 28 diseases. Around the same time, Chen Zhi’s book, “Care of Aged Parents,” listed 162 dietetic recipes for older people
Dietetic therapy reached a peak during the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1341 AD). Huo Si Hui wrote “The Principles of Nutrition and Dietetic Therapy”, Based on his experiences as a nutritionist for the emperor and his family, he described 94 courses of food including such factors as types of foods which balance each other and the order in which foods are served, 35 kinds of soup, and 29 recipes for longevity. He also discussed the toxicity of foods and dietary hygiene. This was the first complete, systematic book on Chinese nutrition and dietetic therapy.
The Ming (1368-1644 AD) Dynasties saw an even deeper understanding of nutrition and dietetic therapy developed. The great Physician and naturalist Li Shi Zhen (1518-1593 AD) wrote “Compendium of The Materia Medica” a monumental work listing many dietary therapy recipes which placed most foods in the pharmacopeia. At the same time, many nutrition and diet therapy books such as Lu he’s “A Dietary Material Medica”, Bao Sagan’s “The Collection of Vegetables” and Wang Shixiong, “A Collection of Recipes in Leisure Residence”, were published. All of theses texts discussed the properties, actions and indications of foods, and dietary structure, from different angles.
From the Han dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, over 300 nutrition and/or dietetic therapy books were published, of which 16 are still existence.
Because of a deep commitment to improving the healing arts, dietetic therapy is continually reaching new levels in modern China. Many books, magazines and pamphlets are presented to health professionals and common people every day. Since the late 70's and early 80’s, many Chinese medical schools have offered Chinese nutrition courses. Some have even set up Nutrition Departments. Thousands of professional Chinese nutritionists provide services in hospitals, factories, schools, and restaurants. At the same time, many new Chinese food supplements and nutrition products have flooded into the market.
The Chinese Concept of Nutrition -
Because food and medicine shared the same origin, and deeply affect our health and state of mind, they should be conceptualized and described in the same way.
Yin and Yang in Food -
Yin Yang theory is the basis of Chinese nutrition and medicine. Foods which have the nature of warmth or intense heat, activation, motion, going upward, and exciting such as ginger, garlic, alcohol, chili, and lamb, belong to Yang. Yang foods can tonify the Yang energy, expel cold, and move Qi and blood. Foods which have cool, cold, subduing, contracting, astringing, going downward, and calming, such as peppermint, watermelon, pear spinach, and turtle, belong to Yin. Yin foods can nourish Yin energy, clear heat and subdue hyperactivity.
Studying of colors about Yin and Yang -
The colors like blue, indigo, and purple belong to the category of Yin. For instance, animal liver, animal kidney, animal pancreas, blackberry, eggplant, hair-like seaweed, kiwi, poppy seed, purple cabbage, purple plum, purple vine, sea crab, water, etc., are purple, dark purple, indigo or blue. They belong to Yin, therefore most of these three colors tonify Yin deficiency.
a.Black color has two types; moist black bone chicken, black mushroom, black sesame seed, black bean, catfish, Japanese shiitake mushroom, sea cucumber, tortoise, and turtle belong to Yin.
b.White color belongs to Yin. It possesses a very cold property to reduce the temperature in different organs. Foods such as animal lung, cow milk, egg white, oat milk, lotus root, radish, pear, soy milk, daikon radish, and tofu are in this category
1) Dry black and red belong to Yang
Foods such as animal heart, barbecue sauce, black coffee, black pepper, cherry, ham, hot dog, red apple peel, red onion, red radish peel, red salmon, red snapper, rock cod, scorched foods, and tomatoes, are dry black or red
2) Red color affects the blood, circulatory, digestive, heart and small intestines.
3) Orange and yellow also belong to Yang
Foods in this category are animal stomach and spleen, animal spleen, animal pancreas, fat tissue, butter, cabbage, carrot, citrus, egg yolk, lemon, orange, pineapple, yellow corn, etc.
4) Orange and yellow color affects the digestive, immune, muscular, stomach, and spleen system.
5) Dry black affects the essence, liquid and the water of the body.
6) Dry black, red, orange, and yellow colors are classified as yang.
Green color stays in the middle of the light spectrum acting as a fulcrum to balance the colors.
7) The green gallbladder is very important in classical Medicine.
Green color affects all the organ and systems, particularly the gallbladder system. Green color is classified as in between Yin and Yang.
8) Dark green and blue affects the gallbladder, hormonal, liver, metabolic, and nervous system.
9) Indigo and purple affect the bone, kidney, reproductive, and urinary bladder system.
10) Moist black also affects the bone, kidney, reproductive, and urinary bladder system.
11) Dark green, blue, indigo, purple and moist black are classified as Yin.
Five Element Theory and Food -
After being classified as either Yin or Yang, foods are divided into five subgroups, according to color, tastes, smells, texture and appearance. For instance, one food may be Yin and sweet, while another may be Yang and sweet. White fungus (an edible mushroom) can nourish the Lungs because it is white in color, Tortoise, being black, can benefit the Kidneys. Sweet apples, being sweet, can strengthen the Spleen. Vinegar is sour, so it can help the Liver.
Zhang Fu Theory and Food -
Zhang Fu theory, one of the basic theories of nutrition, is the study of the physiological functions and pathological changes of internal organs, and the relationships between organs. For example: the large Intestine are paired, the lungs being the “interior” and the large Intestine being the “exterior.” Any food therefore, which affects the lungs, will also affect the large Intestine: Pear clears Lung heat and moistens the lungs while also moistening the large Intestine
One of the unique theories of Chinese nutrition is “Treating Like With Like,” A specific organ or tissue in an animal often has much of the same function, nutrients, chemical constituents, and balance of energies as the same organ or tissue in a human, thus giving them a special affinity and nourishing and healing ability for each other: Pork kidneys nourish human kidneys: ox testicles and penis can strengthen male human sexual function: pork or chicken livers can benefit persons having liver disorders. Pork lungs can be good for chronic pulmonary diseases; anemic patients will benefit by pork blood and bone marrow; a person with poor memory, insomnia, and mental weakness may be helped by chicken brains and fish heads, which are rich in lecithin and other brain specific fats that reinforce the human central nervous system function. Animal bone marrow contains many T immune cells, so people with compromised immune systems can benefit from eating bone marrow.
Food and Pathogens -
Western medicine defines pathogens as purely physical substances that harm the body, such as bacteria, molds, or viruses. Regarding Chinese Medicine, a pathogen might be cold, heat, damp, or wind. These are qualities which can facilitate, exacerbate, or cause physical problems. If a person’s condition is caused by cold, then eating warm or hot food can help; if the problem is heat, then eating cool or cold foods can help. “Cool” or “cold” does not necessarily refer to the physical temperature but rather to energetic qualities long recognized by Chinese Nutritionists and Physicians.
Some foods have specific, predictable effects on pathogens. For example, Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua) expels wind, ginger release cold, mung bean clears heat, watermelon relieves summer heat, Coix seed (Yi Yi Ren) drain dampness, pear moistens dryness, radish resolves food retention, Apricot Kernels (Xing Ren) dissolve phlegm, and Hawthorn Berry (Shan Zha) invigorates blood circulation.
Properties and Taste of Food -
In terms of their properties, there are five types of foods: cold, cool, hot, warm and neutral as do hot and warm, differing only in the degree of their coolness or warmth. Generally speaking, cold and cool food, such as watermelon, bitter melon, pear, mung bean, cucumber, tofu, eggplant, rabbit meat, eel and turtle will clear heat and fire, detoxify, and can be used for heat or excessive Yang Syndromes. Warm or hot foods, such as alcohol, ginger, garlic, mustard, walnut, lamb, and deer meat, warm the Yang energy, expel cold pathogens, and can be used for cold or Yin Syndrome. Neutral foods, such as rice, black bean, yam, pumpkin, pork, duck, egg, and carp, can be used for any condition and especially for patients who are deficient but cannot be nourished; or who have excess but cannot be sedated.
There are five basic food tastes: sour, sweet, pungent, and salty. The neutral or bland taste is in between these tastes. Each food has specific functions, which are related to its taste.
The sour taste is from organic acids, such as citric acid, malic acid, and acetic acid. Acetic acid is antiseptic. Sour taste can promote appetite, strengthen the spleen and stomach, improve liver function, and aid in the absorption of calcium and phosphor. Sour tasting food, such as immature plum, hawthorn berry, and pomegranate can act as an astringent stopping diarrhea. Immature peach stops sweating; processed plum stops vomiting and sweating and pomegranate can stop spermatorrhea and leucorrhea.
Bitter taste is from ions of organic alkaline substances. Vegetable leaves, coffee, green tea, and cocoa taste bitter because they contain theophylline (for bronchodilator) and/or caffeine. Bitter tasting foods dry up dampness and clear heat. For example, bitter melon can be used for summer heat and blood heat.
Sweet taste is from sugar. Sugar is the main source of the calories essential for growth of the body. Sweet tasting food nourishes the body, relaxes urgency (from pain, etc), and neutralizes other foods. For example, mulberry fruit (Shang Shen Zi) nourishes the blood and benefits the complexion and the liver and kidneys; date strengthens the spleen and neutralizes hundreds of other foods, grapes nourish the blood, tendons and bones; and moistens the lungs and relieves abdominal cramping.
Pungent taste comes from capsaicin. It can stimulate stomach and Intestinal peristalsis and increase production of digestive fluids, thereby increasing the appetite. It also promotes blood circulation and stimulates the metabolism. Pungent flavored food can expel exogenous cold and relieve the exterior. For example, ginger and scallion can be used for wind cold, and chili pepper is good for cold type stomach pain.
Salty taste comes from chloride ions. Salty foods regulate the balance of osmotic pressure between cells and blood and regulate metabolism of water and minerals, uplift the energy and appetite, prevent muscle cramping, dizziness and nausea, Salty foods can soften hardness, moisten Yin and submerge. For example, jelly fish can be used for swollen thyroid.
Bland tasting foods, such as Co-ix seeds (Yi Yi Ren) have a diuretic effect.
The Direction of Activity in Food -
There are four directions of activity of food: ascending, descending, floating, and sinking. Foods which ascend and float tend to go downwards and toward the inside of the body. For example, fresh ginger, peppermint and chrysanthemum tend to ascend and float, diaphoresis, relieving the exterior, expelling cold and lifting up Yang Qi are their actions. Turnip, rhubarb and turtle go downwards and inside, descend the stomach Qi and lung Qi, submerge Yang, clear heat, purge, and astringe.
Although ascending and floating energies go in the same direction, they differ slightly. Floating refers to an action whereby food energy goes to or stays in the upper part of the body. While ascending refers to food energy that not only goes upward or stays in upper part of the body but also brings other energy upwards. For Example, both Chrysanthemum and Astragalus (Huang Qi) work on the head but Chrysanthemum does not bring other energies upwards while Astragalus does. So the direction of activity of Astragalus is ascending and floating, while that of Chrysanthemum is floating. Sinking foods tend to go downwards, while descending foods tend to not only sink themselves but also to take other energies along with them.
Meridian Affinities of Food -
The meridian affinities of foods refer to the effects of food on specific internal organs and meridians. For instance, pear and almond have affinity with the lungs and people with pulmonary disorders can use these foods. Longan Aril (Long Yan Rou) and Lily Bulb (Bai He) have affinity with the heart. People with heart palpitations should eat them. Mulberry fruit (Shang Shen Zi) and sesame seeds have affinity with the liver and people with liver blood deficiency can benefit from these foods.
Essential Nutrition for Health -
The goal of dietary nutrition is to provide nutrients to enable the body to survive, grow, develop and to maintain health and prevent some disease. Huo Si Hui said, “The way for people to stay happy and peaceful is to preserve health. To preserve health, one most takes care of the middle (burner). If one can take care of the middle (burner), there will be no disease of deficiency or excess. Therefore one who is not good at preserving health is not as good as one who is good at taking medicine. When they are sick, they cannot blame heaven but only themselves.”
Balance between different Foods -
One cannot stay healthy eating only one kind of food because there are critical nutrients, such as some essential amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, which cannot be synthesized by other nutrients; they must be acquired directly from the specific foods. There is no one food which provides all the required nutrients for the body. Therefore, we must eat a combination of different foods in reasonable proportions.
We can group all food into two types: staple and non-staple foods. Staple foods provide calories. These foods are mainly grains, and foods rich in sugar and starches. In Chinese nutrition, these are mostly Yang foods. Non-staple foods provide proteins for the body and are also called protective. In Chinese nutrition, these foods are mostly Yin foods.
Balance between tastes -
Although each food with a particular taste and a special nutritional value, eating too much food with one flavor can be harmful. For example, too much food may produce excess gastric juice causing digestive disorders. Too much bitter food may lead to diarrhea and dyspepsia, excess pungent food will increase the burden on the kidneys, triggering hypertension and edema: too much sweet food causes Qi stagnation, increases blood sugar and cholesterol levels leading to being overweight, cardiovascular disorders and calcium and vitamin B1 deficiency.
Studying about natural food taste to the body organs -
In nature, some foods are naturally sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, astringent or bland. These different tastes are benefit to the different organs. Foods of the same taste usually have similarities in effect and composition. Foods of different taste usually have difference in effect and composition.
Spicy foods have the effects of dispersing exopathogens from the exterior of the body and promoting the circulation of energy and blood. Spicy foods are usually used for the treatment of superficial and mild illness caused by invading exopathogens, coldness caused by stagnation of energy and blood stasis. Foods of this taste affect the lung and large intestine systems. If one loves to eat very spicy food, we know that his or her lung or large intestine system is deficient.
Spicy foods such as Daikon radish, garlic, leek, mustard, onion, and pepper, can stimulate energy, particularly the energy of the lung system. It is also good for balancing a cold. Pathologically, cold indicates the first stage of infection in the body.
The spicy taste has its different degrees. Chili pepper, dried ginger, pepper, and raw garlic are the spiciest foods while leeks, spearmint, and mustard are the more spicy foods. Rabbit meat and taro root are less spicy foods.
Sweet foods affect the spleen and stomach. Many people crave sugar and this indicates that the spleen or stomach is sweet taste has the effects of nourishing, replenishing, tonifying, and enriching the different organs within the body. They normalize the functions of the stomach and spleen, harmonized the properties of different foods and relieve spasm and pain. Foods sweet in taste are usually effective in treating deficiency syndromes such as dry cough, constipation due to dry intestine, uncoordination between the spleen and the stomach, and various pains.
Sweet foods such as spinach, watercress, western celery, tomato, carrot, and cucumber, is slightly sweet. Beef, pork, mutton, chicken, pigeon, shrimp, fish, rice, wheat, barley, oats, millet, potato, pea, mung bean, soybean and corn are more than slightly sweet.
Sweet melon such as water melon and sugar cane have the effects of detoxification. If sweet tasting foods, such as water melon and sugar cane, have the effects of detoxification. If sweet taste are too strong, its food value level is lost and it becomes detrimental to health. Candies, cookies, and cakes are sweet and must be avoided
Astringent foods of this taste generally affect the lung, large intestine and kidneys. If one desires astringent foods, his/her lung, large intestine or kidneys need protection. Foods of this taste have similar as those of the sour taste.
Astringent foods such as persimmon, olive, wild jujube and its seeds and raw foods, can be used to stop diarrhea.
Sour foods are the opposite of astringent and affect the liver and gallbladder systems. If one does not mind having very sour foods, it shows that his/her liver or gallbladder systems dried up. Sour tasting foods have the effects of inducing astringency and arresting discharge. Some foods are often used to treat sweating caused by debility, chronic cough, chronic diarrhea emission, spermatorrhea, enuresis, frequent parturition, chronic leukorrhagia, metrorrhagia, and metrostaxix. Vinegar is a typical sour condiment, which is successful in draining the energy flow of the liver to prevent the formation of gallbladder stones, weight gain, cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, etc.. Vinegar, green plum, raw hawthorn, lemon citrus, and olive are the sourest foods. Grapes, kumquat, mango, pineapple, mandarin, tangerine, peaches, tortoise meat and horse meat are far less sour foods.
Bitter food is very good for the warm or the hot stage of the blood system, heart and small intestine and vascular system. Bitter tasting foods have the effects of clearing heat, purging fire, sending down the adverse flow of energy to treat cough and vomiting, relaxing the bowels, and eliminating dampness. If one does not mind having bitter foods, it shows that his/her heart or small intestine system is drying. Such foods are mostly used for syndromes of pathogenic fire, cough with dyspepsia, vomiting, constipation due to excessive heat, damp-heat syndrome, and damp-cold syndrome.
Not too many people really like the bitter taste but the Chinese have a very famous proverb which says, “Good herbs are beneficial to diseases, although they are bitter to the mouth,”
Confucius (551-478B.C) says, “The superior man eats food but does not also for the benefit of the body, based on the principles of Classical Food Medicine. We do not have too many bitter foods, yet there are quite a few medicinal herbs, which are very important for taking care of our health.
Bitter melon is the bitterest food. Lotus leaf, black tea, lily bulb, and ginkgo nut are less bitter than above foods. Bran and mustard leaf are far less bitter foods.
Salty foods affect the kidney and urinary and bladder systems. If one overeats salty foods, his/her kidney or Ub system will have problems. Salty foods have the effects of reliving constipation by expurgation and used in treating constipation, scrofula, goiter, and mass on the body. Selected foods, such as seaweed, kelp, and bumppo are used to help prevent against cancer. Sea cucumber, pork, sea horse, turtle meat, and tortoise crest are good for males under 60 years of age and female over 50 years of age.
Salty food is good for the bone system, kidney system, muscular system, nervous system, and reproductive system. Salt refers to natural salt, such as sea salt or well salt. Sea salt contains magnesium, potassium and sodium. Refined salt is not good because it consists of sodium chloride only. Natural salt is good and well balanced.
Sea water or sea salt is the most salty. Most sea fish are less salty than above
Chlorella, kelp, sea moss and seaweed are salty but after natural processing, the food taste is a little less salty than before.
Pork meat and venison are little salty and affect the kidney system.
Bland food is the balanced taste. Bland foods affect all systems.
No food is completely plain in nature except water. The plain taste often goes along with the sweet taste, such as poria and job’s tears.
Foods of the same taste generally have similar actions and foods of different tastes have quite different actions. Yet some foods are the same in color but different in taste, or the same in taste but different in color. Therefore, their effects are not all the same. From this understanding, we know that the properties of a particular food should not be treated separately but should be taken into consideration as an integrated whole.
Balance between Animal foods and vegetable foods -
There have been many arguments over whether a meat and fish or a vegetable diet is better for your health. Some people think that vegetarians are healthier and live longer. Grains and vegetables are more alkaline, so vegetarian’s blood is more alkaline, while meat and fish eaters have more acidic blood. Acidified blood affects the metabolism. The fats in grains and vegetables are mostly unsaturated fatty acids. The fiber in vegetarian food can clear up cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels and promote intestinal peristalsis, thereby reducing the absorption of toxins. Vegetarians are less likely to develop hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases caused by arteriosclerosis or from high blood cholesterol levels. But some people think that nutrients from grains and vegetables, especially protein, phospholipids, and some minerals, are not enough to maintain a healthy body, particularly for children.
Very strong alkaline foods are Chlorella and sea weed. Strong alkaline foods are curry, almond, coffee, honey and kumpo.
Less strong than above but still strong foods are pears, plum, mushroom, spinach, soybean, lemon, banana, taro root, fig, carrot, grape, peach, strawberry, and tomato.
Alkaline foods are cabbage, potato, radish, bamboo, lotus root, orange, apple, persimmon, cucumber, onion and watermelon. Weak alkaline foods are cow milk and tofu.
Strong acidic foods are liver, crab, egg yolk, and lobster. Less strong than above but still strong foods are beef, chicken, egg, pork, mutton, and peanuts.
Acidic foods are eel, bread, oyster, white bean, cheese, shrimp, corn flake, pea and lard. Weak acidic foods are wine, beer, wheat soup and asparagus.
Different Diets For the Four Seasons -
More than 2,000 years ago, the Chinese people realized the importance of adjusting their diet according to the season(s). The text “Rites in Zhou Dynasty-Heavenly Officer” said that one should have more juice and soup in the summertime because of sweating and eat more hot/spicy food in the winter because of the cold weather. Many seasonal factors affect the human body. In the spring warmth is dominant, during the summer it is hot, in the fall/winter it is dry. In the summer (or with too much clothing), the skin and subcutaneous tissues open which causes sweating. When it is cold, the skin and subcutaneous tissues close and the Qi does not flow freely and body fluid flow downwards to the Bladder, where it becomes urine.
When it is hot, the stimulus of heat affects the temperature regulating center in the Hypothalamus which makes the cutaneous blood vessels expand, increases secretions of the sweat glands, and accelerates breathing to releases heat. At the same time, the Hypothalamus lowers muscle tone, decreases secretion of thyroxin, and weakens the Liver metabolism thereby reducing the production of heat. When it is cold, the temperature adjusting center in the Hypothalamus increases the releases of heat and reinforces production of heat, thereby maintaining the home thermal status.
In China, there are many local "flavors" of diet. Usually, foods are sweeter in the south, more salty in the north, more pungent in the east, and more sour in the west. This is harmony with differences in local environments and weather.
In the spring when the weather is warmer, Yang Qi and blood in the body flow towards the surface of the body and heat accumulated during the winter begins to release. Spring time diets should be bland, warm food, instead of rich or greasy food. The body did not get enough vitamins in the winter because of the lack of fresh vegetables. That being said, one should eat more fresh vegetables such as spinach, celery, and bamboo shoots, less animal foods that are rich in fat and less pungent flavors.
In the fall, it is cooler and dryer. People’s appetites pick up. There are many different foods to choose. One should maintain a balance of different foods.
In the winter, it is cold and In order to keep warm and cope with the cold weather, one should eat more rich foods, such as meat and fish with more hot and pungent flavors such as chili, ginger, garlic and onion. One should eat as many fresh vegetables (especially greens) as possible.
Different Constitutions Need Different Diets -
Everyone is born with certain tendencies toward imbalance of the body’s Qi. A person with a Yang deficient constipation is colder than average, and should eat more warm foods, such as lamb, ginger, cinnamon, shrimp, while a Yin deficient person who tends to be warmer, and should eat more Yin nourishing foods, such as fungi, eggs, pears, etc.
Diet Therapy -
Diet Therapy or Aliment Therapy is a therapy which adjusts the daily diet to treat an illness or correct imbalances in the body. It can be either a primary or sole treatment or an adjunct treatment which complements other treatments.
Chinese Medicine has always emphasized Diet Therapy. Generally, a Doctor should first use food to treat the patient. Only if Food Therapy fails, should he use medicine. For example, people use fresh ginger root and scallion to treat and prevent the flu and the common cold.
Many medicines, including medicinal herbs are toxic or harmful to the body. In this case, Diet Therapy can protect the body from potential damage from these medicines. This is the main reason that some medicines and herbs must be taken with food. Completion of Diet Therapy also provides nutrients which are essential for the healing process. “The Yellow Emperor’s Cannon of Internal Medicine” said, when a doctor is using extremely toxic medicine, he should stop treatment when six-tenths of the disease is gone: If slightly toxic medicine the threshold is seven-tenths and if non-poisonous, eight-tenths. After reaching the aforesaid stage of healing, the patient should use grains, meats, fruits, and vegetables to finish the healing process. People with or after major medical interventions or debilitating disease(s), should rely on diet therapy.
Food Therapy for Ailments (w/Recipes) -
Bronchitis includes acute and chronic bronchitis, both of which are mainly characterized by cough, expectoration and dyspepsia (known as “cough, phlegm retention and asthma” in TCM).
Common types of Bronchitis
Characterized mainly by the types of wind-cold and wind-heat. Acute attack of Chronic Bronchitis can referred to as the principle of diagnosis and treatment on the basis of differentiation of syndrome in TCM.
a. The types of wind-cold
Marked by cough with itching of the throat, thin/white expectoration, often accompanied with aversion to cold, fever without sweating, stuffy nose, watery nasal discharge, headache and overall aches in the limbs and so on and thin/whitish fur floating and tense pulse.
b. The types of wind-heat
Marked by a cough, a dry and painful throat and difficulty expectoration. Additionally, sticky phlegm or thick and yellow phlegm which is often accompanied with symptoms of aversion to wind, fever, thirst, perspiration, yellow nasal discharge headache and so on. The tongue has a thin and yellow fur, floating and rapid pulse or gloating and slippery pulse.
2) Chronic Bronchitis
It can be divided into types of phlegm-dampness, phlegm-heat and deficiency of the Lung.
a. The types of Phlegm-dampness
Marked by a cough with white and abundant phlegm which is sticky and greasy or thick, oppressed feeling in the chest and gastric region, poor appetite, lassitude and the tongue is white and greasy with fur that is soft and floating with a slippery pulse.
b. The Types of Phlegm-Heat
Manifested as a cough abundant with phlegm which is thick or sticky, dyspepsia, oppressed feeling in the chest, fever, thirst, red tongue with yellowish and greasy fur and a slippery and rapid pulse.
c. The Types of Deficiency of the Lung
Symptoms of frequent cough, shortness of breath, low voice, pale complexion, lassitude, pale tongue with thin and white fur, along with a thread and weak pulse. This is attributed to the deficiency of the Lung-Q. While symptoms of a frequent dry cough or cough with little or blood tinged sputum, night sweats, dry mouth and throat, feverish sensation in the palms and soles or low fever, red tongue with thin fur and thread and rapid pulse belong to deficiency of the Lung Yin
Bronchial Asthma results from bronchi spasm and increasing secretion due to an allergic reaction and is characterized clinically by paroxysmal dyspepsia, wheezing, cough and expectoration. Its medicated diet treatment can be selected and in used in light of its clinical manifestations based on differential diagnosis.
Coronary Heart Diseases
Coronary Heart Disease belongs to the “Obstruction of Qi in the chest, angina pectoris and palpitations.” In TCM, diet therapy is both helpful and beneficial to the prevention, cure and recovery of this disease.
Common types of This Disease
TCM believes that this disease is in most cases deficiency in origin and excess in superficiality. The deficiency and the excess vary with different patients but syndrome of deficiency of Qi with blood stasis is more common.
Syndromes of deficiency in origin
The syndromes of deficiency of this disease include deficiency of Qi, Yin and Yang.
Deficiency of the heart Qi is manifested as shortness of breath , stuffiness in the chest, dyspepsia due to exertion, lassitude, palpitation, disinclination to speak, perspiration, primordial dull pain, pale tongue with teeth mark, weak, thread y and irregular pulse.
Deficiency of the Heart Yin is marked by palpitations, vexation, insomnia, dizziness, dryness of mouth and throat, night sweats, primordial burning pain, reddened tongue, lack of saliva, little fur or without fur on the tongue, thread and rapid pulse.
Deficiency of Heart Yang is characterized by aversion to cold, mental tiredness, shortness of breath, palpitations or severe palpitations which is/are aggravated due to exertion, cold limbs, spontaneous perspiration, oppressed feeling in the chest primordial pain which will be aggravated due to the attack by the cold, pale and bulgy tongue with white or greasy fur, weak thread slow or irregular pulse.
Syndromes of excess in superficiality
The syndromes of excess of Qi and occurring in the fixed region, accompanied with oppressed feelings in the chest for a long tine. If not cured, a dark red or purplish dark tongue with lachrymose and an irregular pulse. Accumulation of phlegm is marked by distinct oppressed feeling in the chest, accompanied with primordial pain, fat, vomiting with sputum or saliva in the vomit, greasy fur, slippery pulse. Stagnation of Qi is systematized by fullness and oppressed feeling in the chest, paroxysmal dull primordial pain not occurring in the same region, desired to sighing, attack or aggravation due to unease of the mind or accompanied with delch, distending pain in the hypochondria, fullness sensation in the stomach, thin and with fur, wiry or wiry and thready pulse. Accumulation of cold is manifested as sudden precordial pain so severe as if something twisted there, attack or aggravation after exposure to cold, cold hands and feet, perspiration with cold sensation, thin and white fur, and tense pulse.
It is common that a patients indicates not only syndrome of deficiency. In origin but also symptoms of excess in superficiality. If a patient has the manifestation of both deficiency of the Heart Qi and blood stasis at the same time, the patient is said to manifest “deficiency of the Heart Qi with blood stasis”.
A medicated diet can be used not only as a supplementary treatment for essential Hypertension but also for its prevention and recovery and for health care.
Common types of Hypertension syndromes
Common symptoms are vertigo and headache. Essential Hypertension per TCM theory is divided into three types on the basis of the differentiation of syndromes; flaming up Liver fire, deficiency of both the Liver and Kidney Yin and hyperactivity of Yang due to Yin deficiency.
Flaming up Liver fire
It is mainly manifested as distending pain in the head, dizziness, flushed face, conjunctiva, congestion, anger, bitter taste, dry throat or accompanied with tinnitus, deafness, vexation, insomnia (which are aggravated by anger or over straining), red tongue with yellow fur, wiry and rapid pulse.
Deficiency of both the Liver Yin and Kidney Yin
This type of syndrome is mainly manifested as dizziness, headache, dim eyesight, tinnitus, dry mouth, dryness in the eye, insomnia, feverish sensation in the palms and soles, lassitude in the loins and knees, mental tiredness, red tongue with little fur, thread and wiry pulse or thread, wiry and rapid pulse.
Hyperactive of Yang due to Yin deficiency
This syndromes is marked by more serious distending pain in the head, occasionally flush face, anger, vexation, red tongue with thin and yellow fur, wiry, thread and rapid pulse as well as the symptoms of deficiency of the Liver and Kidney Yin.
Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer
The stomach is affected by both Chronic Gastritis and Peptic Ulcers (Gastric Ulcer and Duodenal Ulcer), so they are known as “Stomachache” in TCM.
Common types of syndromes
It is manifested as a sudden and violent stomachache aggravated when the epigastrium is exposed to cold and alleviated when it is warmed. The desire is for hot food and drink, thin and whitish fur on the tongue and a wiry and tense pulse
Stagnation of Qi
Manifested as distending pain in the stomach which radiates coital region with frequent belching which will become worse whenever the patient is angry, thin and white fur on the tongue and a deep and wiry pulse.
It is marked by a Stomachache and fullness in the epigastrium, nausea, belching (with a foul odor), acid regurgitation or vomiting of ingested food. Some relief comes after vomiting, thick and greasy fur on the tongue and a wiry and slippery pulse.
Marked by a Stomachache so severe that the patient cannot tolerate being touched in the affected area or feeling as if the stomach were being pricked by needles and the pain continues at the affected site. It manifests as a hematemesis and melona if the condition gets more severe along with a purplish dark tongue or with eccymosis,wiry and an irregular pulse.
Deficiency of Yin
Manifested as a dull stomach ache with a burning sensation, dry mouth and throat, red and dry tongue and a thread and rapid pulse.
Experience a pain in the stomach, desire for warmth and pressure over the affected area, extreme pain before meals, relief after meals, mental tiredness, poor appetite, loose stools, cold extremities and in serious cases, a pale tongue with a deep and threaded pulse or a slow and moderate pulse.
Acute and Chronic Enteritis (Colitis)
Acute and chronic Enteritis can be both induced by various types of diseases but the main clinical manifestation of them is diarrhea.
Common types of Syndrome
Manifested as clear and thin/watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, arboretums, stuffiness in the stomach or poor appetite and have an aversion to cold. Also sometimes accompanied by fever, headache, stuffy nose, aching limbs. There is a thin and whitish fur or whitish and greasy fur on the tongue with a soft floating and moderate pulse.
Manifested as abdominal pain and diarrhea which is drastic and can be accompanied with yellow-brown and offensive feces (difficult to relieve oneself), a burning sensation of the anus dysphoria, thirst, dark urine. The tongue has a yellow and greasy soft fur with a floating and rapid pulse.
Those are two types of syndromes of acute Enteritis resulting from an attack of exogenous factors.
Deficiency of the Spleen
Manifested sometimes as loose stools or as diarrhea with the presence of undigested food in the stool, more frequent stools after eating greasy food, poor appetite, discomfort and stuffiness in the stomach after meals, lassitude and a sallow complexion The tongue is pale with whitish fur and a thread and weak pulse.
Deficiency of the Kidney Yang.
Marked by abdominal pain before dawn, then arboretums and diarrhea, a cold sensation in the abdomen, cold limbs, lassitude in the loins and knees. The tongue is pale with whitish fur and a deep and thread pulse. Those are two common types of syndromes of chronic enteritis.
This disease has 2 major types:- Icteric and Non-Icteric.
Icteicr Hepatitis belongs to the category of “jaundice” marked by Icteric Sclera and skin and yellow-colored urine: While Non Icerteric Hepatitis is in the category of “Hypochondriac Pain” which is labeled the “disturbance of the Liver Qi”. This is marked by nausea, hypochondriac pain, distension and fullness in the abdomen and lassitude. Medicated dietetic treatment is an auxiliary aid of great importance to the treatment of this disease which plays a role by not ignoring the patient’s symptoms for relief and recuperating the health of the organisms
Common types of syndromes
Bile oozing from the Gallbladder due to damp heat accumulating in the Liver and Gall Bladder.
Marked by Icteric Sclera and skin, with yellow-colored urine, accompanied with fever, irritability, nausea and vomiting and loss of appetite, The tongue has yellowish and greasy fur with a taut and rapid pulse
Discord between the Sp and St.
Caused by accumulation of excessive damp heat in the interior marked by nausea, hypochondriac pain, distension and fullness in the abdomen, lassitude, accompanied with loss of appetite, irritability, white and greasy or yellowish and greasy fur on the tongue, and slippery and rapid pulse.
Stagnation of Qi and blood resulting from discord between the Liv and Sp.
Marked by wandering or stationary distending pain or piercing pain in the hypochondrium, dim complexion, loss of appetite, distension in the abdomen, belching or hepatosplenomegaly, dim and pale tongue or with lachrymose, thin fur on the tongue and taut and uneven pulse.
The above composite recipes are applicable to the type of incardination between the liver and the stomach caused by damp heat accumulation in the interior, and the type of stagnancy of qi and blood in acute and chronic hepatitis. It can be used as an auxiliary treatment for chronic hepatitis patients.
This disease belongs to the category of Xiao Ke in TCM and is characterized by polydipsia, polydyuhagia (but getting thinner) and polyuria or turbid urine. Recuperation by proper diet plays a very important role in relieving the symptoms for the patients. Therefore, dietetic Chinese drugs and a medicated diet are comparatively desirable aids in treating this disease.
Common types of syndromes
Dryness of the lung and the symptoms include, dry mouth and tongue with normal action of the stomach fire. Additionally, extreme thirst, dry mouth and tongue, normal stools with frequent urinating, red margin at the tip of the tongue with a thin and yellow coating and a rapid pulse.
Excessive stomach fire with insufficiency of Yin fluid (a general term for various kinds of body fluid, such as blood, saliva, etc....). Marked by extreme thirst, severe hunger, constipation, with a yellow and dry coating on the tongue and a smooth and rapid pulse.
Deficiency and exhaustion of vital essence and energy due to the disruption of the lower jiao. Marked by polyuria, turbid urine, dizziness and waist-soreness, dry mouth and red tongue with a deep and thready pulse.
Nephritis is divided into acute and chronic Nephritis. Both of which are clinically characterized by edema, proteinuria and hypertension. Acute nephritis in most cases falls into the category of “wind edema” and “Yang edema”; while chronic Nephritis in most cases falls into the category of “anasarca"(shortness of breath) stony edema and Yin type edema. A medicated diet as an auxiliary treatment has a positive effect on both the improvement of symptoms of the disease and the recovery of the organs.
Common types of syndromes
Clinical manifestation of acute and chronic Nephritis are different from each other and so are their types of syndromes.
Attack of the wind-cold of the Lung and stagnation of Qi in the jiao. Manifested as aversion to cold with a fever, cough, dyspepsia, edema of the face and extremities or accompanied with a stuffiness sensation in the chest. Accompanied by thirst, oliguria with tawny urine, dry stools, thin and white fur on the tongue with a floating and tense pulse or deep and thread pulse.
Retention of wind-heat in the Lung with accumulation of dampness and toxic materials. Manifested as a headache, fever, swelling and sore throat, thirst, mild edema of the face and extremities at the onset, serious edema gradually develops, Oliguria with dark urine and difficult to urinate, dry stool, a red tongue with white fur with a yellow center and a deep and slippery rapid pulse.
Toxic heat attacking the interior causing damage to the Yin-blood. Manifested as swelling of the tonsil, mild edema, dry mouth, oliguria with dark urine and difficulty urinating, or blood in the urine which is the same in color as the water that has been used to wash meat and a deep and threaded rapid pulse.
Overflow of water in the body due to insufficiency of both the Spleen Yang and the Kidney Yang. Manifested as pale or sallow complexion, heavy, abdominal distention so severe as if the abdomen were a drum, cool limbs and aversion to cold, poor appetite, loose stools, oliguria, light-colored urine, aching pain in the waist, pale but corpulent tongue with teeth marks on its margin with thin and white fur, deep threaded pulse or deep and slow pulse.
Insufficiency of both the Spleen and Kidney with deficiency of essence and blood. Manifested as pale and lusterless complexion, mental and bodily tiredness, lassitude in the loins and knees, albuminuria, pale tongue, weak pulse
Hyperactivity of the Liver Yang due to deficiency of both the Liver and Kidney Yin. Marked as dizziness, headache, poor vision, tinnitus, dysphoria with feverish sensation in the chest, palms and soles, dry mouth, desire for drinking water, restlessness in sleeping, lassitude in the loins and legs, red tongue with fur and a wiry thread with a rapid pulse.
Diseases including cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral thrombosis, cerebral embolism, subchranoid hemorrhage, hypertensive cerephalopath and so on, all belong to the category of apoplexy in TCM. Among them, cerebral hemorrhage corresponds to “Apoplexy, involving viscera”, cerebral; thrombosis and embolism to “Apoplexy involving channels and collateral's” subcrahnoid hemorrhage generally belongs to “ Wind and phlegm disturbing upwards”, hypertensive cerephalopathy mostly belong to “hyperactivity of the liver Yang and for this disease, refer to Essential Hypertension”. Theses disease are mostly typical of such clinical manifestations as sudden attacks. Facial paralysis, retarded speech or paraplegia in the mild type; sudden fall and coma in the severe case.
Common types of syndromes
Phlegm and heat accumulated in the interior
Manifested as regaining consciousness after a fainting spell, uttering a sigh and opening the mouth, laryngeal rale, retarded speech, stiff tongue with greasy fur and a deep, slippery and forceful pulse.
Blazing of the Liver-fire
Marked by uttering a sigh and opening the mouth after a fainting spell, raucous breathing, restlessness, accompanied with feelings of distension in the head, tinnitus, parietal headache, red margin of the tongue and wiry and rapid pulse.
Vital Qi tending to break
Manifested as closing eyes and opening the mouth, hoarseness and raucous breathing, shortened tongue and darkish complexion, spontaneous perspiration, limbs with coldness extending up to the elbows and down to the knees, involuntary passage of urine and feces, pale tongue and a deep thread and weak pulse.
Deficiency of the Kidney and blockages of the channels and collateral's.
Marked by a shortened tongue with difficulty in speaking, flaccidity of the feet with difficulty in walking, paraplegia, reddish tongue with a threaded and weak pulse.
Of all sorts of suppurative dermatoses. At the initial stage, herpes appears in the affected region and after diabrosis occurs, yellow pussy fluid flows out and the region becomes an erosive surface with itching and aching.
Common types of Syndromes
The most common syndrome is stagnation of noxious dampness with invasion of pathogenic wind. At the initial stage, herpes appears in the affected region of the skin. When the herpes ulcerates, a yellowish pussy fluid flows out. It has a nature of lingering, accompanied with irritability, dark urine, red tongue with yellowish greasy fur and a slippery and rapid pulse.
Hemorrhoid is an anal disease caused by varicose hemorrhoidal veins. There are external and mixed hemorrhoid according to clinical manifestations. Medical treatment has more desirable curative effect.
Common types of syndromes
At the initial stage of hemorrhoid, it is marked by mucosal congestion, discomfort with pruritus ani to the accompaniment of a foreign body sensation. It may cause a little bleeding and pain as a result of blood stagnation with a red tongue and a choppy pulse.
Marked by a sensation of bearing-down, distending and burning pain in the anus, hematologic, constipation or loose stools, scanty dark urine, a dry mouth with a bitter taste, a red tongue with a thick yellowish and greasy fur and a wiry and rapid pulse.
Marked by dizziness, tinnitus and pale complexion due to long term hematochezia, pale tongue with thin whitish fur and a deep and thread pulse.
This symptom is manifested as inability to have an erection or lack of copulative power in men. According to the theory that the Kidney is the organ to make the penis erect, TCM considers it in most cases as insufficiency of Kidney Yang. Therefore, the drugs having the function of reinforcing the Kidneys and strengthening the Yang are chosen to treat it so as to promote its recovery whereas a special diet has a better curative effect on impotence.
Common type of Syndrome
Insufficiency of the Kidney Yang
Manifested as impotence, dizziness, tinnitus, soreness in the loins and knees, lusterless complexion, listlessness, pale tongue with thin white fur and a deep and threaded pulse.
Acne is a chronic skin condition caused by inflammation of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Lesions of acne appear most frequently on the face, chest and back, where the sebaceous follicles are large. Diagnosis of Acne is usually not difficult since there are few other disease that present with papules on the face. Folliculitis should also be considered, especially when lesions occur on the upper back. Diagnosis in such cases may need to be confirmed through a bacterial culture.
Primary cases of acne are -
This is caused by the invasion of external wind which causes pre-existing heat in the Lung channel to accumulate in the skin and tissues, thus giving rise to the lesions.
This is typically caused by a high-fat diet or overeating of fried and/or spicy foods which leads to the accumulation of heat in the Spleen /Stomach. As the condition becomes protracted, the heat rises and lodges in the skin and tissues thus producing the lesions.
This type of Acne often has an emotional disturbance as its source. The resulting Qi stagnation if unresolved, accumulates and transforms into heat that enters at the blood level and then lodges in the skin and tissues, thus causing the lesions.
This is a result of the combination of Lung and/or Stomach heat with external toxins that form heat toxins that rise upward and lodges in the skin and interstices, thus producing the lesions.
Damp toxin with blood stasis
Acne of this type arises when pre-existing dampness accumulates in the skin and tissues followed by an attack of external toxins which then congeal with dampness to form damp toxins. Blockage of the channel and collaterals ensue thus giving rise to disharmony between the blood and thus the lesions.
Warts are common, benign skin tumors. In Chinese Medicine, warts are classified as you, which means and extraneous growth on the body. Bio medically, common warts are caused by at least thirty-five types of the human Papilloma Virus.
Common types of syndromes
Lesions can vary in shape depending on location and viral type. The most commonly affected sites include the fingers, elbows, face and scalp-areas that are subject to trauma. Warts can appear as a single lesion or in clusters. Common warts are generally painless but plantar warts and those that grow into the finger or toenails can be exceedingly painful.
Common warts are nearly universal and may appear at any age. They are most frequent in older children and are uncommon in the elderly. Complete regression after several months is typical with or without treatment but warts may persist for years and may recur at the same or different sites.
Primary cause of warts are -
Dry blood of the Liver channel
Dry Blood is unable to nourish the sinews whose Qi fails to flourish. Thus when attacked by wind, the blood and Qi congeal and give rise to warts.
According to Chinese Medicine, the original lesion (Mother Warts) should be treated first. After it is resolved, the remaining warts should resolve spontaneously. That having having bean said, it is probably more reliable to treat all of the lesions as the same warts.
Empirical remedies -
Reduce Warts Liquid may be used to treat single or multiple warts.
Most cases of common warts do not require internal treatment. But for recurring and/or recalcitrant lesions, the internal recipes described below may be taken. Most recipes that treat warts are aimed at nourishing and invigorating the blood, calming the spirit and anchoring heat and relieving toxicity. Should be avoided or used with caution in pregnant women.
Dysmenorrhea is a kind of subjective symptom, referring to such a morbid condition in which patients feel pain in the abdomen or in the lumbar region and in some cases, the pain can even be intolerable. Dysmenorrhea is classified into two types: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrheal. A medicated diet treatment can be used as an aid to treating this disease.
Common types of Syndromes
Stagnation of the Liver Qi
Manifested as sensation of distention of the breast prior to menstruation with distending pain in the chest and hypochondrium, dysphoria, feeling of depression in the chest and pain in the lower abdomen before menstruation, purple menses, extending menstrual cycle, dark tongue and a taut pulse.
Blood stasis caused by accumulation of pathogenic cold
Marked by a delayed menstrual cycle, cold pain in the lower abdomen during or prior to menstruation which is relieved by hot medicated compress, scanty menstruation, thin and light menses sometimes with blood clot, pale purplish tongue and a deep and tight pulse.
Deficiency of both blood and Qi
Marked by a heavy or scanty menstrual flow, irregular menstrual period, vague pain in the lower abdomen prior to or after the completion of the menstruation cycle, thin and light menses, relative heavy leucorrhea at ordinary times, a pale tongue with thin whitish fur and thread and an uneven and weak pulse.
The term pre-menstrual tension broadly describes some emotional and physical symptoms occurring prior to the start of the period. These may include depression, sadness, irritability, crying, propensity to outbursts of anger, clumsiness, distension of abdomen and breasts, and insomnia. Additionally, these symptoms can vary in intensity from very mild to intense. Also it can vary in duration ranging from one day to two weeks prior to the period. Rarely, these symptoms are experienced after the period.
Liver Qi stagnation
Manifested as abdominal and breast distension prior to the period, irritability, moodiness, depression, hypochondrial pain and distension.
Phlegm-fire harassing upwards
Manifested as agitation, depression, slightly manic behavior, aggressiveness, a feeling of oppression of the chest, a red face, blood-shot eyes.
Liver blood deficiency
Manifested as depression and crying before the period, slight abdominal and breast distension, scanty periods, tiredness, poor memory, poor sleep, slight dizziness and a dull-pale complexion.
Liver and Kidney Yin deficiency
Manifested as slight breast distension and irritability before the period and occasionally after, a sore back and knees, dizziness, blurred vision, poor memory, insomnia, dry eyes and throat, five center heat.
Spleen and Kidney Yang deficiency
Manifested as slight Ore-menstrual tension with depression and weeping, tiredness, slightl abdominal and breast distension, sore back, feeling cold, low sexual desire,frequent and pale urination.
Black pumpkin with Sesame Cake or Soup
a. ingredients - Black pumpkin 1, black sesame seeds 1/2 lb, black chicken 1 piece.
b. Cooking - Wash the black pumpkin, steam the black pumpkin and black chicken separately, combine in a pot and boil for 3 - 4 hours
c. Serving - Eat 2x/day
d. Comments - Benefits for metabolism and swelling after delivery