Introduction to Food Therapy
Food Therapy is one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is a practice of healing using natural foods along with or instead of medications. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang-di-ni-jing, written around 300 BC) was most important in forming the basis of Chinese food therapy. It classified food by Yin and Yang food group and five tastes and by their natures and characteristics.
For example, Yang foods are believed to warm Yang, tonify Qi, dispel Cold, move Qi and Blood, resolve stagnation, stop pain. Yin foods nourish Yin, cool blood, clear heat, detoxify. Therefore, Yang foods (e.g., mutton and pumpkin) are used for Qi/Yang Deficiency, Qi-blood stagnation, wei syndrome, Lin syndrome, immunodeficiency. Yin Foods (such as turkey and tofu) are used for the treatment of Yin Deficiency, skin itching, autoimmune diseases, Cushing's disease.
Food Therapy is the preparation of using selected food ingredients and superior herbs. Each recipe was developed under the supervision of TCVM theory (Yin-yang, Five Elements, Eight Principles and Zang-fu physiology and pathology) and is designed to treat specific health conditions.
The recipes can be classified into the following categories:
- Health Promotion and Prevention - to improve health on a regular basis and to prevent seasonal climate related problems.
- Disease Treatment - to treat many clinical conditions including skin problems.
- Adjunct Therapy - to complement the primary treatment to treat diseases including otitis, urinary crystals & stones, UTI, IBD, CHF, cancer, renal failure and liver failure.