Dr. Helen Hu, OMD, L.Ac, San Diego Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine practitioner says, “TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) teaches that food and herbs come from the same source. By using natural foods and herbs to balance the body, the body’s energy is restored which is crucial for wellness and longevity.”
In our modern society, food and medicine are totally different entities. Nutritional values all point to supplements from vitamin A-Z, protein and fiber contents. Unfortunately, we use the same modern jargon to classify natural plants and food. However, we have left out something that doesn’t fit commercial jargon – the real healing power of food.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the three most vital components for life are Jing (physical body), Qi (energy), and Shen (spirit). They are the so-called “Three Treasures.” A good diet not only nourishes our physical body and our organs, giving us vital energy, but it also nourishes our spirit. When Chinese medicine speaks of organs, it refers more to the energetic function of each organ than to anatomy only, as in Western medicine. If a person has a weakness in a certain organ and an imbalance between organs, as part of the treatment protocol, the diet can be modified to reestablish the balance and strength.
Food or prepared dishes should have attractive colors, smells, tastes and an attractive design. The formulation of a food therapy diet follows the same principle as when a TCM doctor writes a prescription for herbs, which is also an art form (there are the chief herb, the deputy herb, assistant herbs and convoy herbs that work together like a battalion on the battle field). This means that the TCM doctor prepares the TCM food therapy not only for its therapeutic effect, but also considers the way to prepare, considering the color, taste, body condition, and the seasonal changes, indeed an art form. There are thousands of dishes, soups, congees, desserts, and herbal wines, and hundreds of books through the different dynasties, up until today. TCM food therapy is a specialty within the whole of TCM and an important part of Yang Sheng (Nurturing life).
You can see more about Dr. Helen Hu on her “Who Is” page:
Or, visit her office at:
Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic
1267 Rosecrans Street, Ste C
San Diego, CA 92106