Nutrition has always been an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine because the ancient Chinese recognized the truth in the fact that “You are what you eat” and “Food is Medicine”. Foods are such an important healing force, that in the practice of Chinese Medicine, they are categorized as Chinese herbs are, according to their energetic temperature and taste, and their effect on the body.
This information is beneficial in guiding a patient to eliminate or to consume specific foods in order to speed the healing of their condition. For example, if a patient presents with a lot of “damp” symptoms such as abundant phlegm, they can be advised to avoid “dampness causing” foods which contribute to that particular problem (such as dairy products), and instead, consume drying foods (such as celery or pumpkin). In this way, the phlegm condition can be cleared faster than if the patient was unknowingly consuming foods which were fueling the unwanted symptoms. Therefore patients are educated about what food choices are best for them in promoting their health.