In Chinese Medicine, diet plays a huge role in the health and longevity of an individual. In conjunction with acupuncture and herbs, diet is used to help restore health in the body when illness and health disorders arise. In Chinese Medicine, diet can play a big role in helping to restore health and vitality when an individual has health issues. Foods help to nourish, warm, cool, move stagnation as well as tonify deficiencies. In Chinese Medicine, foods are differentiated by their color and taste. The color and taste of a food determines its healing potential in the body. For example, onions are warming and pungent. They go to the lung organ. Eating chicken soup with onion and garlic helps to treat the common cold because of the warming components of the onion help to dispel a “cold” pathogen. People who complain of nights sweats with anxiety can be yin deficient which is a type of fluid insufficiency where the body looses the “cooling” characteristics of the body and as a result heat manifests. Therefore, foods that replenish yin, which are cooling and nourishing are recommended. These types of foods can include yams, vegetables and soups. On the contrary, individuals with this type of condition should avoid foods that can increase heat including coffee, alcohol and spicy foods. For a dry cough, I often tell patients to eat cooked pears. Pears help replenish fluids in the lungs in order to help a dry cough.
Both in chronic and acute health issues, diet can play a big role in healing an individual and has been used throughout time in China both in treatment and prevention of health disorders.
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