Nourishing food, TCM style

1368859_14894374It’s autumn in Sydney, and it’s the start of flu season. Alhamdulilah, with my twice-daily ginger tea and goji berry ritual, I’m feeling pretty good. If you’re feeling cold, get those fantastic ginger sachet drinks from your local Asian grocery store. I add goji berries to mine to increase the potency of the tea. Drink it in the morning and afternoon, and even in the night if you need more warmth.

Anyone who knows me well enough will see my current good health as a testimony to the effectiveness of TCM. Yup, I was that sick kid in primary school with the tissues and Vicks Vapour Rub. God bless the person who invented Vicks!

In the spirit of knowing what foods are good for you, check out this great Traditional Chinese Medicine website.

Potato: neutral, sweet, Sp, Sp Qi tonic, heals inflammation
Sweet Potato: neutral, sweet, Lu, Sp & Ki, Qi, Blood & Yin tonic, benefits Kidneys, astringes Jing

I love potato and sweet potato, and interestingly enough, I have to strengthen my lungs and kidneys…it’s amazing when the food we enjoy actually helps to heal our bodies. Lu = lungs, Sp = spleen, Ki = kidneys, Qi = life-force.

Learning more about food properties actually puts a whole new spin on cooking. It’s not just about cooking healthy food, it’s about cooking food that will nourish me, depending on what season it is. I’ve been having mutton soup, sweet potato, apple stews and other warming foods because of the colder weather. Mmmm. Sooouup.

Disclaimer: You’d actually need to see a TCM practitioner or apprentice/student in order to get your diagnosis e.g. Lung Yin deficiency or Liver stagnation etc. Once you know what’s going in your body (your kidney, spleen, liver and lung system), you can then take a look at the above chart then cook the food your body needs. And remember to avoid food which might actually harm your body.

I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist for over a year now, and her knowledge continues to amaze me. All she has to do is feel my pulse, look at my tongue, my nails and my general complexion, and she’s able to give me a good summary of how I feel, and, best of all, the right kind of treatment.

It’s important to note that the ‘kidney’ in TCM is actually the entire kidney system, including the adrenals and the bladder. This fantastic article helped to explain it to me: My Kidneys Are What?

Handy tip: If you’re feeling the beginning symptoms of a cold like a scratchy throat or runny nose, cut up a small piece of raw ginger and chew on it. Literally. If that doesn’t do the trick, eat more raw ginger. It’ll warm you up and expel the cold in your body. When it’s cold outside, remember to cover the back of your neck, which is susceptible to wind invasion.

Stay tuned for more TCM updates!

5 thoughts on “Nourishing food, TCM style

  1. Ginger is a natural antibiotic- it is excellent
    for getting rid of the flu, I make a mixture of ginger(peeled and shredded) tea, lemon, and honey. I boil the ginger in water then add the
    lemon and honey. Echinacea tablets are also
    great for getting over the cold real quick.

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