Traditional chinese medicine therology focuses on the concept of Yin and Yang, and the balance of both to maintain harmony within the body.
Oriental medicine diet and nutrition includes five tastes - spicy, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Particular tastes tend to have particular properties. For example, bitter foods and herbs tend to be drying and Cold in nature, which makes them ideal for treating Damp Heat conditions. The bland flavor property is considered in addition to the basic five, and tends to aid areas unreachable by other flavors. Foods and herbs can have more than one taste or can incorporate all five.
Certain tastes are drawn to particular organ systems. As a basic and not absolute nutrition guide, salty tends toward the Kidneys and Bladder; sour to the Liver and Gall Bladder; bitter to the Heart and Small Intestine; spicy to the Lungs and Large Intestine; and sweet to the Spleen and Stomach.
The principles of yin and yang also apply to foods. Meats tend to be yang in energy, while vegetables are yin. As a very general nutrition guide, one can achieve balance by eating yang foods during winter (the most yin time of year) and yin foods in the summer (the most yang time of year). Sometimes it is appropriate to have a diet that is in tune with the season, and each individual requires different properties and energies in their diet.
The Acupuncturist will recommend a specific diet with treatments to better the balance of Yin and Yang.
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