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TCM diet

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a healthy diet is centered around consuming fresh, chemical-free foods that are minimally processed. These foods are believed to contain the most Qi and are therefore considered essential.

To preserve beneficial enzymes and vitamins, vegetables should be lightly cooked.

It's important to eat by one's constitution and health goals, with the largest meal of the day consumed in the morning. Additionally, soaking and properly cooking beans and grains can facilitate digestion.

Of course, a healthy diet is just one aspect of overall wellness, which also includes physical and mental exercise, as well as rest.

Fresh Produce

TCM diet theory

To use moxa for therapeutic purposes, it is typically positioned about one inch away from the skin or placed on top of acupuncture needles.

This allows the warmth generated by the moxa to flow directly into the body.

When applying moxa directly to the skin, it is often recommended to use therapeutic materials such as ginger, salt, or a bamboo moxa box to enhance the therapeutic effect and minimize any potential discomfort.

What are the 5 natures?

The properties of different foods and herbs can affect the temperature of the body. For instance, consuming warming foods can help to bring Blood and Qi to the surface, potentially leading to sweating.

The temperature-based nature of the food itself, as well as how it is prepared (e.g. roasting, broiling, heating, or consuming iced or raw), can influence this effect.

Foods that take longer to grow, like carrots, ginseng, cabbage, or rutabaga, are considered warmer than those that grow quickly, such as cucumbers, radish, and lettuce.

It is important to maintain balance in our diet by consuming a variety of warm and cool foods, as consuming too much of either can overstimulate or slow down our system.

Chinese medicine categorizes foods into five groups based on temperature: hot, warm, neutral, cool, and cold.

How is food associated with organs?

According to Chinese Medicine, the Organ Systems (zang-fu) provide a comprehensive blueprint of the human form. They encompass not only the physical tissue that makes up each vital organ but also the entirety of its bio-mechanical pathways, mechanisms, and connections with nature, including emotions, taste, sense organs, season, color, and time.

The Five Flavors are closely related to a specific Organ System, and each flavor has the potential to benefit or harm its corresponding Organ System.

For example, Sour foods are linked to the Liver and Gallbladder, as well as the health of our tendons and ligaments. Overconsumption of sour foods may cause injury or pain and cramping of our sinews.

Similarly, Bitter foods, such as coffee, are associated with the Heart and Small Intestine organs in Chinese Medicine. While coffee can stimulate fluid circulation and increase metabolism, excessive consumption of coffee can be overly drying on the body.

To summarize, the Five Flavors and their corresponding Organ Systems are as follows: 1. Sour- Liver/Gallbladder

2. Bitter- Heart/Small Intestine

3. Sweet- Spleen/Stomach

4. Pungent - Lung/Large Intestine

5. Salty- Kidneys/Bladder

Energetics And Therapeutic Uses Of The Five Flavors

  • Sour: Astringents, help to control Qi, blood, shen, and essence. Helps retain our needed body fluids, and moves inward and downward. Can help promote contraction in the digestive system.

  • Bitter: Clears and purges, helps to dry dampness, consolidates yin, and calms shen, has descending movement.

  • Sweet: Supplements, tonifies and moistens, reduces side effects of other herbs, lifting action, a great choice when conditions of dryness are present, such as some conditions of constipation.

  • Acrid: Causes upward and outward movement, dispersing, promotes Qi and blood circulation, lifting action.

  • Salty: Energetically leads downwards and softens hardness, helps purge, can help lubricate intestines, and helps remove waste accumulation.

Tips To Incorporate This Diet Into Your Life

  • Listen to Your Body

  • Eat With the Seasons

  • Eat at Regular Intervals

  • Eat Moderate Amounts

  • Make Breakfast your Largest Meal

  • Cut Back on the Cold, Raw Foods

  • Eat Lots of Vegetables

  • Cook and Eat Mindfully

  • Get Up and Move!

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