28.05.2014

Traditional chinese medicine cooling food items

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a more than 5000 years old healing art anchored in China, which consists of acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbal medicine, moxa, cupping, Chinese massage called Tui Na and the study of nutrition – the 5-Element theory. Traditional Chinese Medicine works with the concept that there are channels or energy lines called meridians, through which Qi flows through the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that health is the state where Qi flows freely.
But TCM believes health is continually moving, similar to the rhythm of our breath and blood flow, and that we can re-establish a balanced state of health by addressing the health problem holistically from all directions. According to the seasonal influences our bodies have different requirements and changes in diet are indicated. Sour foods (Wood) are mostly cooling (yin) and the supported energy is to contract and to collect.
Bitter foods (Fire) are mostly cooling (yin) as well, the energy is contracting and descending. Sweet foods (Earth) are mostly strengthening (yang), the energy can expand upward and outward. Pungent foods (Metal) are mostly warming (yang), the energy is expanding and moves outward. Traditional Chinese Medicine views inbalances in the body as excess ordeficient cold or heat. Chinese medicine divides foods into several categories by their nature:cold, cool, warm, and hot. According to traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda the tea can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever as well as clear the liver, the eyes and skin. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people more alert and is often used as a pick-me-up.


In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk or used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins and atherosclerosis.
Chrysanthemum can be repeatedly steeped in water from 90-95 deg.C for refreshing, tasty, non-caffeinated herbal delight. Barley water is an oldie but a goodie for a hot summer's day, or in Singapore's context, a hot day. Such a humble tiny grain, so tiny it's not even pea-sized, but so wonderfully cooling and cleansing for the body. In this way of thinking our body has a life force which is called Qi that moves through the body, moving with it blood and body fluids.
Symptoms indicate energetic states in their yin or yang qualities: hot or cold, damp or dry, empty or stagnated. Now that I'm finally back home in a country where the over-enthusiastic sun shines the whole year round and temperatures hardly dip below 30 degrees (air-conditioned malls not counted), I find myself actually wishing for a dose of grey London chill. It cools your internal 'fire', so it not only soothes a parched throat, but all heat-related signs, raging irritability and pimples included. Bring water and barley (and candied wintermelon, if using) to a boil in a saucepan and then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until the grains are cooked and softened. For those of you who may not have tried barley water before, it tastes kind of neutral, with the light flavour of those grains, and can be as creamy or mild, and as sharp or sweet, as you like it. If these states are not shifted, they can become manifested states which show themselves as permanent health problems. As symptoms are seen in connection with these elements also, foods have a direct influence on ailments and states of health on a physical and energetic level.
It doesn't really help that I live on top of a hill, and that the bus stop is at the bottom of the hill, and that  the driving school refuses to recognise my driving talent.


I think it's a very exclusively Asian concept, because I only meet with perplexed stares and confused frowns from non-Asian friends when I try to explain why I'm drinking a 'cooling' cup of hot tea in summer.
Each organ and meridian can be correlated with one of the Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) in pairs, each Pair representing either the yin or the yang aspect of the element. If aperson already has a hot constitution (or an overheated system),consuming foods in the hot or warm category will worsen their condition. Jodi Van Tine, DVM, MA, CVA, CVHM, who she’d recommend for acupuncture treatments for humans, she immediately and without hesitation stated Dr. Li’s for over 6 years now, and cannot emphasize enough how much he and his lovely wife have helped me. You can change it up and add a squeeze of lemon for a zesty burst the English way, or add wintermelon for a traditional Chinese detoxifying treat. Too, a person with a cold constitution who consumes cold or cooling foods will delay their recovery.
We don't run straight to the doctor's when we've got a tickle in the throat, we drink some herbal tea instead, or maybe some pears double-boiled with almonds. These random nuggets of wisdom are so ingrained into our culture that even my local GP tells us to avoid 'damp-producing' oranges for phlegm-accompanied coughs, advice that probably will seem queer to those unacquainted with traditional Chinese 'hocus pocus'.
And this is the most refreshingly old-fashioned thing to let run down your throat when you're feeling the heat. If the body is not adjusted back, or if the individual has the body condition of Yin (cold) deficiency, the condition will further stress the internal organs and many other diseases or problems can develop later on, such as nose bleeding, itching skin, infection,insomnia, fatigue, worsened diabetes, anxiety, sometime even urine bleeding or bowel bleeding.



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