Chinese Dietary Therapy

Chinese Dietary Therapy is a key modality of treating disease, maintaining physiological balance, and optimizing health and wellness in Chinese medicine.

Leveraging the idea that food and drink are naturally endowed with thermal qualities and flavors that impart either a "Hot", "Warm", "Cool", or "Cold" quality ("4 Natures"), and the idea that the "5 Flavors" of Sour, Bitter, Sweet, Spicy, and Salty, we can use diet to positively (or negatively) influence and impact our overall health of body and mind.  Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that each taste favors, or "homes" to a "5 Element" associated internal organ: sour favors the liver, sweet favors the spleen, bitter favors the heart, pungent favors the lungs, and salty favors the kidney.

The 5 Flavors, being a part of the 5 Elements, directly influence the associated Organ and Channel networks they are associated with, and guide the effect of diet to certain organs and areas of our body, and even aspects of our mind and mood.  Each has a unique effect on the body's overall "climate," and influences the elimination or formation of one or more of the 6 Pathogens.  For example, Sweet is nourishing and building, but also engenders Body Fluids and can adversely form "Dampness," while Spicy being acrid and dispersing can help us "Release The Exterior" to sweat out a cold or flu, but can over the long term harm Body Fluids and adversely form "Dryness."

Hot foods - for example: chili peppers, garlic, mango, lobster & lamb will heat, energize, metabolize, and  seek the upper and outer parts of our body

Cold foods - for example: cucumbers, lemon, lettuce, watermelon, & seaweed will cool, calm, consolidate, and seek the lower and inner body parts

Generally speaking, the typical American diet contains too much of the Sweet, Salty, and Spicy flavors, and not enough of Bitter and Sour foods.  An ideal diet perfectly balances the 5 Flavors, and the "heat index" is Neutral- neither too Hot nor Cold.  

When we are ill, injured, or out of balance, we can increase or decrease food and drink with specific temperatures and flavors to help bring ourselves back into a state of harmony and ideal health.

See this BLOG post to learn more about optimum nutrition.

"Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food" - Hippocrates

Piedmont Acupuncture + Oriental Medicine 1415 West First Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101  336.777.0037

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