Archive for the ‘Food Remedy’ Category


Chinese food therapy or nutrition therapy is an ancient practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine that relies mainly on the consumption of natural foods to heal the body. In Western countries, physicians generally regard dietary changes as an important part of medical treatment but not the primary cure to most diseases. Traditional Chinese Medicine views the nature and functions of the human body in a unique way, even how diseases manifest and how they are treated.

Chinese Medicine believes that illnesses can be treated by eating specific combination of foods and in a certain amount instead of taking medicines. Chinese food therapy is based on the well-known fact that improper eating leads to illnesses and proper diet contributes to the body’s health.

There are four food classifications in the Chinese diet: grains, vegetables, fruits/nuts and meats. The first two are essential to sustain life (30 to 40% of diet) and the last two are supplementary foods that should be consumed in moderation (10 to 15% of diet).  The Chinese also classify foods according to the five tastes, each acting on or influencing a particular vital organ.

The five tastes are

  1. Sweet (acts on spleen/stomach);
  2. Sour (acts on liver/gall bladder);
  3. Bitter (acts on heart/small intestine);
  4. Salty (acts on kidney/bladder) and 
  5. Pungent (acts on lungs/large intestine).

The proper diet should combine the five tastes in good balance to promote internal body harmony.

The principles of Yin and Yang (opposing but complementary forces) which govern Traditional Chinese Medicine are also followed in Chinese food therapy. Practitioners believe that foods have different natural properties. They can be neutral or posses either yin or yang properties. Yin foods are cold or cool while Yang foods are hot or warm.

The key to good health is to achieve balance by eating foods with properties that are opposite of the body’s constitution, which is also described as cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot. There are specific symptoms indicated in Chinese food therapy to identify a person’s body constitution. For example, a person with cold extremities even in summertime who tires easily and is overweight by 20 pounds is said to have a cold body type and should eat more of Yang (hot/warm) foods to maintain the body’s balance.

Eating foods according to the body’s constitution is fundamental to staying healthy. It is important to understand the nature of foods and their critical role in preventing and treating ailments and diseases. Even with the existence of very high-tech medical technologies today, keep in mind that food is still the most important pillar of health.


What to drink green tea benefits? First of all, necessary to understand the composition of green tea, confirmed by modern scientific research, green tea contains more than 450 kinds of organic compounds, more than 15 kinds of inorganic minerals, most of these components are health care, disease prevention, such as effectiveness. Therefore, green tea is known as the protector of rare.

(A) of the efficacy of green tea have a radiation protection
Who regularly drink green tea to use computers to supplement the specific plant nutrients, the elimination of computer black eye caused by radiation. By the concentration of green tea contain polyphenols, can inhibit the free radicals on the skin to support the fiber damage is recognized the most effective anti-free radical factor. Low-caffeine drink green tea not only removes the black eye, which contains catechins, which help the body fat metabolism, but also help to sleep, sleep quality can not only stability, but also make people less likely to have the feeling of fatigue.

(B) beauty detoxification effect of tea
Whether foreign, tea has proved to be a healthy drink, compared to coffee, but also by the size of welcome young and old, although a cup of tea every day, but not everyone is a tea expert, it is necessary to have a healthy drink tea, in fact, will also contribute greatly to knowledge , especially in Western-style tea, you may be most frequently in touch with more than tea bags. However, leisure time, may wish to stress that serious red tea pot, tea detoxification beauty at the same time more effective, than any building even more drinks.

(C) can beautify a person with more green tea
Green tea can even more beautify a person, no doubt! Because it is not only rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, of which vitamin C can enhance the efficacy of the antioxidant, which is also a valuable nutritional flavonoids … the main ingredients of propolis, so it is the maintenance of skin whitening, the young can be said to have rare-class results.

(D) the efficacy of green tea has weight loss
The caffeine in tea, inositol, folic acid, pantothenic acid and aromatic compounds and other substances to regulate fat metabolism, especially the tea on the protein and fat have a very good role in the decomposition. Tea polyphenols and vitamin C can reduce cholesterol and blood fat, so drink to lose weight.

(E) green tea to cancer prevention
The ingredients contained in green tea polyphenols and caffeine, both arising from the combined effects, in addition to play a pick-me-up, the effect of repose, but also have the ability to enhance the body’s immune and anti-cancer effect. In recent years, the Federation of American Chemical Society found that tea not only to the digestive system have inhibited the effectiveness of cancer, but also skin and lung, liver cancer is also inhibited. After scientific research confirms that the organic tea anti-cancer substances are mainly tea polyphenols, theophylline, vitamin C and vitamin E; tea anti-cancer elements in the main inorganic selenium, molybdenum, manganese, germanium, etc.. Chinese, Japanese scientists believe that the catechin polyphenols in the best anti-cancer effect


Giving prevention the priority means to take measures to prevent the occurrence of disease. Since the occurrence of disease is related to insufficiency of healthy qi and attack of pathogenic factors, the preventive measures taken should focus on reinforcing healthy qi and preventing the invasion of pathogenic factors by means of regulating psychological state, diet and living habit as well as doing physical exercise. Besides, cares should be taken to avoid attack of pathogenic factors.

Regulating psychological state
Regulating psychological state covers three aspects: avoiding direct damage of the viscera and disturbance of qi and blood; avoiding invasion of pathogenic factors due to deficiency of healthy qi caused by psychological factors; protecting and cultivating healthy qi to further strengthen Constitution. There are various ways to regulate psychological state, the general principle is to be free from avarice. If one keeps the mind tranquil, qi and blood will flow normally, yin and yang in the body can communicate freely with that in the natural world, which can not only prevent the invasion of pathogenic factors but also strengthen constitution.

Proper diet
Diet provides necessary nutrients for the body, but unhealthy eating habits and improper food (such as intemperance or starvation, unhygienic food and food partiality) impair the viscera and damage harmonious state of qi and blood. To cultivate health through regulating diet can supplement essence, adjust the state of yin and yang, improve constitution and strengthen body resistance. There are various ways to cultivate health through regulation of diet, these methods should be applied according to individual conditions. The general principle is to eat regularly at the right time in proper proportions with hygienic eating habits.

Proper living habits
Proper living habits include regular work and rest, temperance in sexual activity and proper clothing in different seasons. Proper living habits are effective in abiding by the variations of yin and yang in the natural world, protecting the viscera, qi, blood and body fluid, and preventing invasion of pathogenic factors.

Exercising the body
Exercising the body can promote the flow of qi and blood, reinforce the functions of the viscera and prevent retention of pathogenic factors. There are various ways to exercise the body. However traditional ways to exercise the body are more effective for strengthening constitution, eliminating disease and prolonging life, such as Wuqinxi (five-animals frolics), Baduanjin (eight-sections exercise), Yijinjing (tendon-relaxing exercise) and Taijiquan (taiji box), etc. These traditional exercises are slow in action and general in relaxation, very effective for directing the flow of qi and blood. They combine static actions with dynamic activities, effective for regulating both yin and yang without damaging tendons and exhausting qi and blood. People with different constitution should select different exercise.

Avoiding attack of pathogenic factors
ince pathogenic factors are the key elements in causing disease, measures have to be taken to avoid the attack of pathogenic factors in the cultivation of healthy qi. Some pathogenic factors are very toxic, even strong constitution cannot resist them. Thus the avoidance of these pathogenic factors is the only way to prevent the occurrence of disease.

Preventing transmission and change

When disease has occurred, it may transmit from a local area to the viscera and other regions. In this case, measures have to be taken to stop such transmission and change.

Early treatment
At the early stage, disease is easy to treat because it is still light and healthy qi has not declined yet. However, delayed treatment may worsen the disease and make it difficult to treat due to transmission of pathogenic factors from the external to the internal and damage of healthy qi. If healthy qi is seriously impaired and pathogenic factors become more and more predominant, the disease is hard to treat and tends to become aggravated. So early treatment is very important.

Controlling the transmission and change
Transmission and change refer to movement and change of disease in the external and the internal, the upper and the lower, the zang-organs and the fu-organs, the meridians and the collaterals, wei, qi, ying and blood phases. The transmission and change of disease follow certain rules and routes. Measures can be taken according to these rules and routes to prevent the transmission and change of disease in advance.

The method for controlling the transmission and change of disease is to regulate and nourish the organs or areas that the disease is liable to transmit to by means of reinforcing healthy qi to prevent the transmission of the disease. For example, it is said in Jingui Yaoliie “measures must be taken to strengthen the spleen in the treatment of liver disease because liver disease tends to transmit to the spleen.” That means to invigorate spleen-qi to prevent liver disease from transmitting to the spleen. Take febrile disease for another example. Since pathogenic heat damages yin, the impairment of stomach-yin can damage kidney-yin. Under such a condition, the prescription composed herbs sweet in taste and cold in nature for nourishing the stomach can be added with some herbs salty in taste and cold in nature for nourishing kidney-yin in order to prevent pathogenic heat from impairing the kidney.


By John Chen, PhD, PharmD, OMD, LAc

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Chen’s article is particularly timely in light of the current concern over swine flu.)

The first reference to infectious disease appeared in Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic), compiled in the first or second century CE. This text discussed re bing (hot disease), which refers to the various types of infectious disease.1
The understanding of infectious disease progressed further during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Many doctors recognized that these patterns of illness were significantly different from shang han (cold damage) patterns, so must be diagnosed and treated differently. Three of the most influential doctors during that era contributed to a new school of thought, namely wen bing (warm disease).2-4

According to this new theory, warm and hot disease plagued everyone, starting “from one person to the entire household, from one household to the entire street, and from one street to the entire village.” The disease first affects the exterior of the body and progresses to the interior, following the patterns of wei (defensive), qi (energy), ying (nutritive) and xue (blood) levels.5 Furthermore, the cause of these warm and hot disease have “no sound nor smell, and no shape nor shadow.” In addition, the warm and hot disease may be transmitted from one person to another via “heaven [air-borne]” or “earth [direct contact],” and affect individuals with low immunity.6

Many of the bitter and cold herbs and formulas used to treat these warm and hot diseases are recognized today to have remarkable antibiotic effects.7 Wen bing theories accurately described the origins and transmission of epidemic disease and the importance of the immune system in relationship to the pathogens. One of the fundamental concepts in traditional Chinese medicine is that “superior medicine prevents disease, and inferior medicine treats disease.”8 Prevention of infectious disease is certainly no exception since bacteria and virus tend to adversely affect those who have weakened immune systems. Many herbs and formulas that tonify wei qi can boost the immune system. Examples include:

Classic formulas with immuno-stimulant effect10
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (All-Inclusive Great Tonifying Decoction)11
Ren Shen Yang Ying Tang (Ginseng Decoction to Nourish the Nutritive Qi)12
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction)13
Si Jun Zi Tang (Four-Gentlemen Decoction)14
Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Windscreen Powder)15

Herbs with immuno-stimulant effect16
dong chong xia cao (Cordyceps)17
ren shen (Radix et rhizoma ginseng)18
dang shen (Radix codonopsis)19
huang qi (Radix astragali)20
bai zhu (Rhizoma atractylodis macrocephalae)21

Traditional Chinese medicine treats wen bing with heat-clearing herbs. Many of these herbs have remarkable antibiotic effects, including antibacterial and antiviral. In addition to traditional diagnosis and treatment, the following herbs and formulas more precisely target and treat infectious disease:

Classic formulas with antibiotic effect23
Yin Qiao San (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder)24
Huang Lian Jie Du Tang (Coptis Decoction to Relieve Toxicity)25
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (Gentiana Decoction to Drain the Liver)26
Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin (Universal Benefit Decoction to Eliminate Toxin)27
Ba Zheng San (Eight-Herb Powder for Rectification)28

Herbs with antibacterial effect29
bai tou weng (Radix pulsatillae)30
chuan xin lian (Herba andrographis)31
huang lian (Rhizoma coptidis)32,33
hu zhang (Rhizoma et radix polygoni cuspidati)34
huang bo (Cortex phellodendri chinensis)35
huang qin (Radix scutellariae)36
ku shen (Radix sophorae flavescentis)37
pu gong ying (Herba taraxaci)38
shan dou gen (Radix et rhizoma sophorae tonkinensis)39

Herbs with antiviral effect
ban lan gen (Radix isatidis)40
da qing ye (Folium isatidis)41
jin yin hua (Flos lonicerae japonicae)42
lian qiao (Fructus forsythiae)43
ye ju hua (Flos chrysanthemi Indici)44

In Western medicine, the discovery of antibiotic drugs is one of the major breakthroughs in modern medicine. It enables doctors to effectively treat many different types of infections. Unfortunately, decades of abuse and misuse have led to growing problems of bacterial mutation and resistance. Many of these “super bugs” can only be treated with the newest and most potent antibiotic drugs. Unfortunately, many of them have potent side effects as well. The key points are to select the correct antibiotic drug with least potential side effects and make sure the patient finishes the entire course of therapy.

In traditional Chinese medicine, herbs and herbal formulas are also extremely effective for treatment of various infections. In fact, most modern pharmaceutical drugs were originally derived from natural sources, including penicillin (the oldest antibiotic) and gentimicin (one of the most potent). One of the main benefits of using herbs is their wide spectrum of antibiotic effect, with indications for bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore, most of these herbs are extremely safe, and do not have the same harsh side effects as drugs.

In summary, both drugs and herbs are effective to treat mild to moderate cases of bacterial infections. However, because drugs are more immediately potent and can be prescribed with more laboratory precision (via cultures and sensitivity tests), they are more appropriate for life-threatening infections, such as meningitis or encephalitis, or mutant strains of bacteria, such as beta-lactam-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). On the other hand, use of herbs is far more effective than drugs for treating certain viral infections, such as the common cold and influenza. Most importantly, herbs are much gentler to the body and safer than drugs. In other words, herbs treat infection without damaging the patient’s underlying constitution. This allows the patient to recover faster and become more resistant to secondary or re-current infections.


1. Gilbert D, Moellering R, Sande M. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy. 29th Edition. Hyde Park, Vt.: Antimicrobial Therapy, Inc., 1999.
2. Wu You-Xing, also known as Wu You-Ko, circa 1580-1660.
3. Ye Gui, also known as Ye Tian-Shi, 1666-1745.
4. Wu Tang, also known as Wu Ju-Tong, 1758-1836.
5. Wen Re Lun (Discussion of Warm and Hot Disorders) by the apprentices of Ye Gui, 1745-1766.
6. Wen Yi Lun (Discussion of Epidemic Warm Disease) by Wu You-Xing, 1642.
7. Wen Bing Tiao Bian (Systematic Differentiation of Warm Disease) by Wu Tang, 1798.
8. Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang (Thousands of Golden Prescriptions for Emergencies) by Sun Si-Miao.
9. Chen J, Chen T. Clinical Manual of Oriental Medicine 2nd Edition. City of Industry, Calif.: Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine.
10. Chen J. Chen T. Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications. City of Industry, Calif.: Art of Medicine Press, 2009.
11. Zhong Yi Fang Ji Xian Dai Yan Jiu (Modern Study of Medical Formulae in Traditional Chinese Medicine), 1997;652-4.
12. Guo Wai Yi Xue Zhong Yi Zhong Yao Fen Ce (Monograph of Chinese Herbology from Foreign Medicine), 1992;14(2):52.
13. Zhong Yi Fang Ji Xian Dai Yan Jiu (Modern Study of Medical Formulae in Traditional Chinese Medicine), 1997;520-1.
14. Zhong Cheng Yao Yan Jiu (Research of Chinese Patent Medicine), 1981;12:28.
15. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi (Journal of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine), 1990;12:22.
16. Chen J, Chen T. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry, Calif.: Art of Medicine Press, 2004.
17. Shang Hai Yi Yao Za Zhi (Shanghai Journal of Medicine and Herbology), 1988;1:48.
18. Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998;729:736.
19. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi (Journal of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine), 1985;5(8):487.
20. Biol Pharm Bull, 1977;20(11):1178-82.
21. Xin Yi Yao Xue Za Zhi (New Journal of Medicine and Herbology), 1979;6:60.
22. Chen J, Chen T. Clinical Manual of Oriental Medicine 2nd Edition. City of Industry, Calif.: Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine.
23. Chen J, Chen T. Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications. City of Industry, Calif.: Art of Medicine Press, 2009.
24. Zhong Cheng Yao (Study of Chinese Patent Medicine), 1990;12(1):22.
25. Hu Bei Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Hubei Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1981;4:30.
26. Zhong Yao Yao Li Du Li Yu Lin Chuang (Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1991;1:5.
27. Chen J, Chen T. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry, Calif.: Art of Medicine Press, 2004.
28. Zhong Yi Yao Xin Xi (Information on Chinese Medicine and Herbology), 1987;6:31.
29. Chen J, Chen T. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry, Calif.: Art of Medicine Press, 2004.
30. CA, 1948;42:4228a.
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33. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi (Journal of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine), 1989;9(8):494.
34. Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998;556-8
35. Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian (Dictionary of Chinese Herbs), 1977:2032.
36. Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1988;137:140.
37. Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998;148:151.
38. Zhong Yi Yao Xue Bao (Report of Chinese Medicine and Herbology), 1991;1:41.
39. Xian Dai Shi Yong Yao Xue (Practical Applications of Modern Herbal Medicine), 1988;5(1):7.
40. Zhong Cheng Yao Yan Jiu (Research of Chinese Patent Medicine), 1987;12:9.
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