Pungent foods include green onion, chive, clove, parsley and coriander. In the autumn, do not eat much of the hot flavor, you can get Lung sickness and in the winter, do not eat much salt, as it will harm the Kidneys. Examples of yin foods include millet, milk, beets and bananas. Pungent (spicy) foods … Bitter foods include hops, lettuce, radish leaf and vinegar (I list vinegar as bitter because the Chinese call vinegar "bitter wine." It also disperses energy in an outward direction and releases the exterior. with the largest meal of the day in the morning. Instead of viewing meals as a breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates (sugars), and fats, Chinese dietary therapy utilizes the flavors and natures of foods as a guide to a well-balanced meal. TCM believes our diet should be adapted to focus on enriching yin and subduing yang, which mean we should consume appropriate fats and high protein foods. Sweet and pungent foods are ideal for spring. If you've been diagnosed by your Acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (TCMP) as having “Blood Deficiency”, then this article is for you. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, bitter, pungent foods are drying, too. People should eat according to their particular constitution (more on this below!) A blend of knowledge of the classic texts and new scientific discoveries make Chinese medicine, cutting edge and super efficient. Sour foods are associated with the liver and gallbladder (as well as the health of our tendons and ligaments), so too much sour food can cause injury or pain and cramping of our sinews. Balance is key when it comes to diet and working with the five flavors! Its actions according to Chinese Medicine theory are to direct energy downward and soften hardness, dissolving masses or nodules, and promoting bowel movements. With a background in visual arts and psychology from Rutgers University, Lauren was drawn to the holistic, creative, and complex nature of Chinese Medicine theory and practice. Diet is so essential, that it is c The spicy (or pungent) flavor is a huge category and ranges in temperature from cool pungents to hot pungents. Once you have this information you will be able to make more informed decisions of what flavors, and natures of foods can nurture your body best. Detoxifying foods are for those who carry excess toxins; building foods are good for deficient persons, and so on. This text is the foundation of the medicine and is still very much used today for theory and inspiration. Examples of sour tasting foods are vinegar, lemons, lime, pickles, sauerkraut, and fermented foods. Bitter roots and veggies contain fiber to help sweep wastes through the digestive tract. Sour: Some examples are pomegranate, vinegar, lime, lemon, fermented foods, Bitter: Parsley, mustard greens, kale,dandelion greens, collard greens, burdock root, coffee, Sweet: Rice, chicken, whole grains, sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, squashes, corn, fruits, goji berries, honey, Acrid: These foods include things like scallions, daikon radish, ginger, Salty: Seaweeds, miso, sea salt, tamari, pickles, ocean fish, shellfish, Rice Congee- A well balanced chinese meal. Diaphoretic pungent foods used to help expel EPFs include garlic, mint, cayenne, scallion, chamomile and elder flower. They are associated with a specific organ system or meridian and they have inherent qualities that have a very powerful impact upon that organ itself. A must have reference to TCM dietary therapy. To support balance, emphasize more of the flavor that you are craving. Sour foods include lemon, pear, plum and mango. The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. In Brief Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a system of healing that is thousands of years old. Spleen Qi deficiency means that your body’s ability to generate Qi from foods eaten is compromised. This new awareness can also help you tune in to any food sensitivities or foods that may not be best for your body. Also foods that resemble parts of the body are often used to help support that specific part: walnuts for the brain, pomegranates for women’s health. Winter corresponds to the The usage of herbs and dietary changes speaks to the root of natural medicine as it tries to treat the cause starting with the least invasive technique to bring about the most change. (1). General foods that benefit the middle burner are mildly sweet foods like poultry, vegetables, and grains, however, overindulgence of sweet can be harmful to the spleen. The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. For example, the colors of the face, eyes, and tongue play a big part in using this as a tool for diagnosis. The function of this taste helps to regulate mineral and fluid balance. In Chinese Medicine theory, the approach is to match the energetic actions of the food and herbs to best support the needs of the body throughout the year. TCM PATTERNS & ACTIONS OF FOODS BY FOOD GROUPS . When there is imbalance in the body, the system may send signals through cravings. Source. According to Chinese medicine, every food and herb has a nature, flavor, and organ system/meridian associated with it. One of these is Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”), where food is divided into five flavors, each having unique properties and benefits. Yang increases with deep-frying, roasting or stir-frying. As noted above the flavors all are associated with an organ system as well as an element, or earthly phase. Some spicy and pungent food can be helpful in moderation as it can help to facilitate qi movement, as stagnation of qi is quite common with liver imbalances. chilli peppers) will create too much fire and cause heartburn, excessive hunger, etc. When we are in alignment with Nature our bodies are able to perform at optimal levels. Item of the Week. Cooling pungent foods include peppermint and marjoram. One eats cooling foods for overheated conditions, and warming foods are best for people who feel too cold. Sweet In Chinese medicine, the sweet flavor correlates to … If you understand the nature of medicinal herbs and foods, you will see that the Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lungs, and Kidneys are also classified according to the five elements. Pungent foods are associated with the lungs and large intestine, autumn, white and the metal element. The proper balance of yang keeps the mind alert and the body strong and healthy. Acupuncture + Herbal Medicine, 1235 SE Division St. Suite 117 Portland, Oregon 97202. I was especially intrigued when reading the passages about the power within observation. Sweet flavor has the property of tonifying and strengthening the digestive function. Bland flavor doesn’t have a particular affinity for an organ system. Sour. It is also important to note that too much of a specific flavor can also do harm to its corresponding organ system . Here’s a little exploration into the five flavors and how you might be able to use them to enhance your diet. Bitter foods are often also cool and clear heat from the body. It puts the utmost importance on lifestyle choices and nutrition, and if these fail to bring the body into balance then it is time to look into herbs and acupuncture. The NeiJing is an ancient Chinese text written sometime within the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) that is believed to not have been written by a single author or at a single time. What is acupuncture? The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Some simple ideas are if you are feeling over heated- eat come cooling cucumbers, feeling bloated or have edema- cut down on your salt intake. This sweat carries out toxins and evil wind. This sweat carries out toxins and evil wind. Yin foods moisten the skin, strengthen the blood and semen, and promote the generation and flow of all fluids necessary for the body to function properly. Pungent & warm foods include ginger, peppers, chilli, onions, garlic and many cooking spices (e.g cloves, cayenne, ginger root). Food: Salt, seaweed, soy sauce. For dairy, focus on non-processed dairy (such as goat and sheep products) and pungent foods (such as fermented foods). Pungent foods such as cinnamon, basil, garlic, nutmeg, onions, spring onions, etc are also helpful in stimulating digestion and assisting the spleen function. (, Foods identified as sweet are simple foods that are nourishing and easy to digest. She received a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and is a Board-Certified Diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Cleanses the body. In Chinese medicine the root of many diseases is stagnation, and lack of movement and Qi flow, so make sure you get your blood moving. As with any nutritional changes, always notify your health care provider before making any dietary adjustments. TCM DRAIN DAMP TRANSFORM PHLEGM RESOLVE QI STAGNATION RESOLVE BLOOD STAGNATION WIND DISPERSING ... Spicy/Pungent foods used in small amounts (promote circulation of Qi): Chinese Parsley, Ginger, Dill Seed . Food is viewed and used as medicine in TCM. That’s a common experience of this dispersing outward direction of energy. While there is such a thing as overly sweet (think refined sugar in cakes and cookies), many fruits and vegetables contain a more subtle and balanced sweetness that can support digestive function. Wild Earth Acupuncture and Medicine in Portland, Oregon // Lenore Cangeloso LAc. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a holistic and comprehensive system of health that views the body in accordance with nature. Pungent. Chinese Nutrition Therapy- Written by Joerg Kastner MD.LAc. Salty flavors guide to the kidney and bladder. According to Cornell University, the cooking method also affects the yang quality of the food. Distance Nutritional Counseling Now Available!- Providing nutritional services for all those that are interested in Chinese Medical Nutrition but do not live in the Portland area! Examples of salty foods are seaweed, kelp, miso, soy sauce, and pickles. As such motherwort herbs are thought to target the Heart and the Liver. In addition, “bitter greens” such as kale and collards dispel damp and make a delicious salad, raw or cooked. Sweet: Supplements, tonifies and moistens, reduces side effects of other herbs, lifting action, great choice when conditions of dryness are present, such as some conditions of constipation. Pungent foods like garlic, chillies, peppers, onions and ginger facilitate gastrointestinal movements, dispel gas and promote appetite. The five flavors are a tasty way to support your most healthy, radiant self. VEGETABLES Used to cool and cleanse / making cool foods warm – cook, add spices, chew very well / most sweet foods are also moistening Artichoke cool / sweet / LIV – cools LIV heat / moistening / stimulates insulin production / cools LIV heat nourishes LU. The sour taste may counteract the effects of greasy or fatty foods and is often used to assist certain types of digestion issues. This article contains scientific references. However, overeating them may cause abdominal pain due to over-stimulation of the gastrointestinal tract. 5 Element Diet Element Flavor Meat Grain Fire Bitter Lamb Corn Earth Sweet Cow Grain Metal Pungent Horse Rice Water Salty Pig Bean Wood Sour Chicken Wheat. Please send me an email to learn more. We are immensely influenced by changes in the climate and we should learn to live and eat in balance with those changes. There are five classifications of food energies: hot, warm, neutral, cool and cold. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. In fact, many Chinese herbal formulas actually contain common household foods such as ginger, dates, and cinnamon. Food also has elements such as taste and temperature, color and texture. Check out this article for more information! 1235 SE Division Street, Suite 117, Portland Oregon 97202 // 732-995-4751. Acrid flavor guides to the lungs and large intestine, supporting the respiratory system. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), this is not an ideal eating habit. Food is viewed as a powerful tool to help create and maintain wellness. Sour. On the other hand Pungent ingredients tend to promote the circulations of Qi and body fluids. Eat moderate amounts- It is important to listen to your body when it tell you it is “full” or has had enough. Sweet foods and herbs have a harmonizing action on the body’s energy. supportive foods: Fermented radishes specifically are great—they help your gut, so … Pungent foods like garlic, chillies, peppers, onions and ginger facilitate gastrointestinal movements, dispel gas and promote appetite. There is also the belief that the seasons have a profound impact upon our well-being, and eating according to the seasons can have great impacts on our health. Using the Five Flavors of TCM for Radiant Health. The taste of food is an important aspect of eating. Check Out. Eating foods like pears and apples ensure balance. However, too much of this can just as easily be a hindrance. Excess sweet foods weaken the kidneys (aka the reproductive system in TCM), which may be why a lot of people lose their period when eating raw vegan fruitarian – they are consuming very many sweet, raw cooling foods and a lack of the other 4 flavors or cooked foods. The nature describes the effect of the food (or herbs) on the temperature of the body, while the flavor describes the taste. Additionally, some herbs are said to be bland in taste, meaning that there is hardly any taste sensation on the tongue when the herb is tested. Boiling, poaching and steaming increase yin in foods. Sweet foods and herbs have a harmonizing action on the body’s energy. These foods disperse moisture and promote circulation; they move stagnation. Foods that are useful to resolve phlegm with heat: Vegetables: seaweed, radish, water chestnut; Fruit: apple peel, grape fruit, lemon peel, pear, persimmon, tangerine peel; Herbs and spices: licorice; Beverages: elderflower tea, grapefruit juice, peppermint tea, grapefruit or pear juice; Foods that are useful to resolve phlegm with cold. Examples of moistening foods: pears, mushrooms, and honey. The correspondences referred to within these chapters also relate also to categories such as the five colors, types of shen, seasons and associated body parts (see chart above). Five Element theory in Chinese medicine establishes relationships between the organs, flavors, and other factors such as seasons, emotions, and colors. And you can Human beings should consume foods that are in season. Because of these actions, this flavor of herbs and foods may help to protect you during sniffle season. Fascinated by the body’s innate ability to heal, she practices to facilitate that process of healing in others through a holistic and integrative approach. Try cooking seasonally by adding more foods and herbs that correspond to that particular time of year. Find extensive video, photos, articles, forums, and archival content from some of the best movies ever made only at TCM.com. Bitter foods, such as coffee, are associated with the heart/small intestines organs in Chinese medicine and while coffee can stimulate fluid circulation and help increase your metabolism, too much can be … Examples of pungent foods are scallions, ginger, garlic, radish, turnip, cayenne, fennel, and cinnamon. A great way to incorporate healing foods and herbs into your diet is to make congee! Mutton, beef, goose, duck, eggs, rabbit meat, Chinese yam, sesame, glutinous rice, dates, longan, black fungus, bamboo shoot, mushrooms, leek and nuts are common ingredients in the Chinese dishes this time. Sour: Astringents, helps to control Qi, blood, shen, essence. Examples: Warming pungent foods that might be used for horses include rosemary, garlic, cinnamon bark, fresh and dried ginger root, cayenne, fennel, anise, dill, basil and nutmeg. Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition- Written by Paul Pitchford- This book is amazing! Top 5 Causes and Solutions. Let this be your guide. Many ancient traditions and philosophies say “YES.”. This will usually be an explanation of where the body is out of balance in regards to the five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, wood) or organ systems (heart/small intestine, spleen/stomach, lung/large intestine, kidney/bladder, liver/gallbladder). Sweet foods include sugar, cherry, chestnut and banana. 5 Element Meat Sources. Food is medicine, medicine is food. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food. Besides creating a variety of tastes, incorporating each of the different flavors may help to correct imbalances, supporting healthy functioning of the body’s organ systems. It is also important to eliminate foods that congest the liver like saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, excess amounts of nuts, and highly processed foods. Black, dark foods like eggplant, black beans, black mushrooms, and blueberries nourish the kidneys and bladder; green foods like leafy vegetables, cucumbers, green peppers and peas nourish the liver and gallbladder. In Chinese Herbal theory Schisandra berry (Wu Wei Zi), known for its antioxidant effects in modern nutritional therapy and considered an adaptogen, includes all five flavors! Salty: Energetically leads downwards and softens hardness, helps purge, can help lubricate intestines and help remove waste accumulation. Natural medicine and wellness solutions from a licensed practitioner. Foods strong in the yang force include beef, shrimp, kidneys and liver. These foods will also stimulate and clear the lungs. Here is a great compilation of recipes to try out. 24. This will harmonize their internal state with weather conditions. There is a lot to learn when it comes to Chinese medicine and the Five elements, but even learning and incorporating the basics into your everyday life can have profound impacts. Articles, news, frequently asked questions, and tips about acupuncture, natural medicine, wellness, massage, and Chinese medicine. The Chinese categorise the taste of food into five flavours: sweet, bitter, sour, spicy and salty. Can using different flavors also have health benefits? This article will first discuss some basic diet recommendations and then go into further detail of Chinese medical theory at the end for those interested. Beans and grains should be soaked and properly cooked to allow for easy digestion. Examples of pungent aromatic foods: garlic, ginger and onions. For dairy, focus on non-processed dairy (such as goat and sheep products) and pungent foods (such as fermented foods). Pungent foods should be taken in moderation. As with any nutritional changes, always notify your health care provider before making any dietary adjustments. Commonly-use medicinal herbs are listed after the food categories. In Eastern medical traditions such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), foods are considered for their vitamin and mineral content and also for their energy and flavour. In contrast with western medicine, the role of food and medicine in traditional Chinese medicine overlap. Examples of pungent foods are scallions, ginger, garlic, radish, turnip, cayenne, fennel, and cinnamon. The main lesson here is to observe your body and its patterns to learn what it needs to find balance. But if you learn to read it slowly and go over passages a few times you can begin to understand its full meaning. In Chinese medicine, the sweet flavor correlates to the spleen, stomach, and pancreas. Adding acrid foods or herbs to your meals during this time of year may support healthy respiratory function. Chinese Medicine theory recognizes five (sometimes six) flavors and their unique interactions with the body’s systems: sweet, bitter, sour, acrid, and salty, with the addition of bland. Daily exercise can help boost your metabolism and improve your digestive function. A ccording to Dr. Axe, the list of damp-inducing foods includes a nything made with refined sugars or sugar substitutes, wheat products, baked … It is important to have a balance diet with all flavors. “Foods have their own texture or nature,” says Vie Healing founder Mona Dan, an acupuncturist, herbalist, and TCM expert. According to TCM practices, in the fall, pungent foods and herbs will induce perspiration. This is not only about eating fruits and vegetables that are currently in season, but following the five element examples of foods that can help bring you into balance. Bitter foods, such as coffee, are associated with the heart/small intestines organs in Chinese medicine and while coffee can stimulate fluid circulation and help increase your metabolism, too much can be overly drying on your body. BASIC TCM FOOD RULES HYPERHIDROSIS - Easily sweating body type ECZEMA AND RASH INFERTILITY HEMORRHOIDS HEADACHES COUGH YING AND YANG FOODS THE 5 TASTES BODY TYPE LIFESTYLE Basic TCM Food Rules: Proper diet, both what and how we eat, is fundamental in maintaining health and longevity. Their action is astringent and absorptive to hold and contain fluids and energy. TCM evaluates any degree of Kidney Yang deficiency from the length of the luteal phase (i.e., how far short of 14 days is the period of time between ovulation and the first day of the period). Salty(Additionally some people consider Bland to be a flavor, but this isn’t directly associated with the five element theory, even though bland foods and herbs can be very beneficial and are associated with diuretic actions. As you become more familiar with tell-tale signs of patterns and the bodies reactions, these paragraphs will make more sense and have deeper and deeper meaning. Foods have flavor for a reason! In the summer, don’t eat much bitter, it will harm the Heart. (2). Pungent foods also open pores and promote sweating. Most Popular. Acrid: Causes upward and outward movement, dispersing, promotes Qi and blood circulation, lifting action. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is considered medicine. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food. Contraindications of the five flavors are discussed in Chapter 23 and this passage brings more awareness about the importance of gaining true knowledge and acceptance of herbal medicine. Sour foods include lemon, pear, plum and mango. Bitter. Too much hot or warming foods can over stimulate our system while ingesting too many raw or cold foods can slow down our digestive processes. On the other hand, the warming foods you should eat in the fall are pungent and spicy. Here’s a little exploration at how the five flavors of TCM can enhance your diet. Pungent ingredients promote the flow of qi and the expelling of ailments via the exterior, which is why when you eat pungent and/or spicy foods you often sweat, flushing out heat from your pores. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long list of foods that can help get your body in shape — internally. It’s useful to tune into your body’s desires so you can better support your health! 1. Try to avoid eating when you are stressed-out or aggravated as this can negatively impact digestion. And remember not to skip breakfast or eat more than you need! For example sweet foods can help to tonify the spleen/ stomach and improve digestive function, but too much sweet foods can result in weakening the digestive capacity and creating sugar imbalances like diabetes or metabolic syndrome. There are five tastes—sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and acrid (sometimes called pungent or spicy)—consistent with the five element concept. (Warming foods help to move the blood and qi of the body to the surface and may cause sweating.) Having a basic understanding of Chinese medicine theory is important to make educated choices when deciding upon your individualized diet plan. Weakened kidneys due to excess sweets can also cause bone and teeth disorders, obesity, and weakness of connective tissue Sweet. The energetics of this flavor increases circulation of the blood and the body’s energy. In acute cases of pathogenic invasion, warm or hot foods are combined with stronger pungent flavors to drive out the Cold. All suggestions written here are only guidelines and each person should be individually diagnosed by a well-versed practitioner of Chinese medicine and dietary therapy based on a professional Chinese pattern diagnosis. ''. ) inward and downward a balance diet with all flavors in world... Try cooking seasonally by adding more foods and herbs have a harmonizing action on the body ’ s metabolic fire..., and cinnamon cold, raw or cooked fluid metabolism a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food overlap. Is a `` poison ''. ) to perform at optimal levels help... Capacity of this heat clearing property, they are Part of one flavor and most them... ‘ fire ’ that cooks ingested food, allowing the body, kelp, miso, soy,... It needs to find balance metabolism and improve your digestive function or aggravated as this can just easily. Sauerkraut, and other membranes health care provider before making any dietary adjustments, always notify your health provider! Action is astringent and absorptive to hold and contain fluids and energy food or. To imbalance in Asian cooking and are a welcome addition to any savory dish calms shen, has desending.. ; building foods are seaweed, kelp, miso, soy sauce, and foods! Salty foods are associated with the seasons is very important as our bodies are able to figure out pattern. From foods eaten is compromised poison ''. ) like honey and maple syrup sugar! Cakes and cookies ), this is not an ideal eating habit if a person into harmony the... Care provider before making any dietary adjustments clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers to extract from. Nutritionists and dietitians strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present sides... Foundation of the sour flavor, warm in energy and tends to sweat a lot when eat!, contracting, astringent, prevent fluid leakage, dry & firm tissues evaluation and treatment of diabetic patients wellness! And coriander has not reached optimum health, it will harm the Heart text is the.... Sour corresponds to wood, bitter, sour, bitter and salty for a master practitioner Cornell University the. An organ system food to a particular affinity for an organ system foods hot in property ( temperature. “ bitter greens ” such as goat and sheep products ) and foods. Best for your body ’ s a little spice get Liver sickness and the Liver,! Easy digestion firm tissues and may cause sweating. ) Holiday Gifts is Happening Now salt. Consume fresh foods that are the 5 flavors and their healing properties, the! Food also has qualities beyond the biochemical nature assigned by Western medicine and nutritionists will outline key! Is sharp and concentrated, fast acting and intense, spreading quickly to all tissues: eating according Chinese. S ability to generate Qi from foods eaten is compromised malnourished or dehydrated to! To skip breakfast or eat more than one flavor and most of them do flavor! Sniffle season the culprit behind your health care provider before making any dietary.. Almost never happens in the body strong and healthy and pungent foods are associated the. Try a sugar detox to improve your health a craving as your body into!. Evaluation and treatment of diabetic patients more than you need to any savory dish and impairs digestion and. Foods like honey and maple syrup with an organ system as overly sweet ( think content some. The surface and may cause abdominal pain due to over-stimulation of the movement of is. To promote the circulations of Qi and body fluids, clove, parsley coriander... Massage, and organ system/meridian associated with an organ system greasy and overly (... Generate Qi from foods eaten is compromised and channel system respiratory system University, the stomach fire and heartburn. Prevent fluid leakage, dry & firm tissues upon your individualized diet plan your metabolism and improve your function! Dairy, focus on non-processed dairy ( such as goat and sheep products ) and pungent foods such! Of Holiday Gifts is Happening Now salty correspond to that particular time of year may healthy...