In the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, diet is considered to be the first line of defense to any health problems and diseases. A balanced diet should include all essential nutrients and the lack of any, in the long run, could lead to deficiency disease. Every food and herb has one of the following nature: hot, cold, warm, cool, and neutral. Besides, the taste of the food is usually associated with certain healing properties. For instance, bitter food has the nature of drying and cold, which help with damp-heat conditions. Many of the bitter food or herbs also have properties similar to antibiotics. Both nature and taste affect the body’s physiological system and the functioning of internal organs.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the diet should also be adjusted in accordance with the individual’s condition. For example, a person who has Yang Deficiency symptoms, such as cold limbs and pale urine, should consume more nourishing and warming food (Yang). On the other hand, a person with Yin Deficiency symptoms such as dry mouth and eyes and insomnia should avoid consuming food that may overstimulate the Yang energy. The balance in the diet should eventually help balance the Yin and Yang of the body, which works the same when applying for herbal medicines in treating diseases.
In addition, different tastes have affinities with certain organs of the body in accordance with the five elements theory. For example, a person with Kidney deficiency may take a little salt along with herbal medicine to tonify the Kidney. On the other hand, internal organs also have an inverse relationship with each other. A patient with Liver disease is restricted to spicy food because spicy has an affinity with the Lung and a stronger Lung could further weaken the Liver.
Spleen is often considered in the diagnosis and treatment of the majority of disorders. As the foundation of the digesting system, Spleen is the primary organ in the production of Qi and Blood. Any food which benefits the Spleen would benefit the overall health regardless of the condition.
At the Nutrition and Dietary Centre, we help patients with various health problems through dietary advice and essential Chinese herbal medicine. At the college clinic, individuality is largely considered and emphasized. From health strengthening and maintenance to chronic conditions and diseases, we always have treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs.