Chinese medicine recognizes that foods have an innate temperature that can warm or cool the body, much the same way herbs can. The food we eat can have a profound positive or negative effect on healing.
For example, the condition of a person with chronic inflammation due to heat arising from yin deficiency is more likely to improve if this person eats cooling, moistening foods such as lettuce, cucumbers, and mung beans.
On the other hand, if he or she eats warming, drying foods such as chicken with ginger and onions, the condition will be more difficult to resolve, even if the person is taking cooling herbs. Since they don't affect the body's interior climate, neutral foods are appropriate in most situations.
The charts that follow list foods that have different innate temperatures.
|Persimmon|| || |
|Spinach||Barley ||Mung bean |
|Shiitake mushroom||Yam||Green beans|
|Malt syrup||Sweet rice||Mutton|
|Brown sugar||Fresh ginger||Fennel|
|Black pepper||Red pepper|
Determining which traditional Chinese medical treatments, whether dietary or otherwise, are right for which ailments requires training and experience. For information on finding a qualified practitioner, see the next section of this article.
For more about traditional Chinese medicine, treatments, cures, beliefs, and other interesting topics, see:
- How Traditional Chinese Medicine Works
- How to Treat Common Ailments with Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Coughs, Colds, Flu, and Allergies
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Digestive System
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pain Relief
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Overall Health