Traditional Chinese Medicine and Diet for Well being Research Paper

Pages: 15 (11060 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Medical - Alternative Medicine

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[. . .] (Huang 11), (Flaws). The diet therapy was officially classified for their pharmacological purposes.

A famous traditional Chinese medicine doctor of the Sui and Tang dynasty (581-682 AD), also known as the Medicine King, Sun Simiao (- -- ) presented food therapy (shi liao --), nutritional therapy (shi zhi --) in his book, Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang --: Essential Formulas worth a Thousand in Gold to Prepare for Urgent Situations. (Kim 2010) In his book, he recorded over 80 medicated wine formulations, covering medical, surgical, gynecological and tonic aspects. He advised that diet therapy should be attempted prior to any use of medicine. He stated the food we typically eat supplies the nutrients necessary for the basic function of the body and consists of the positive effect that medicine would have. Moreover he is the first to discover that people with diabetes have excess sugar in their urine, and he is the first to recognize that diabetic patients should avoid consuming alcohol and starchy foods. (Temple 1986)

In "Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang," Sun Simiao (- -- ) states: "The dietary therapy is the greatest method of the treatment; doctors should define the disease clearly and treat them with the food therapy first" (Sun 2003). This perspective summarizes the confidence placed in food therapy by these cultures for many years. Sun continues: "If the food therapy is not enough to treat the disease then use the medicine" -- the idea being that food therapy can go a long way to contain and/or solve the problem in the body -- but the recognition is clear that it is not in every case a cure-al: "The medicinal properties is strong like an army, the army destroys all furiously at the chance. The medicine is just like an army, it beats and pound randomly" (Sun 2003).

Sun Simiao (- -- ) states the golden principles of longevity in " Qian Jin Fang":

"To maintain a healthy mind and body, have a meal before you feel hungry, drink water before you feel thirsty. Eat smaller meals more often to the point of satiety, instead of eating heavier meals until you feel full. Fullness results in indigestion." (Sun 379). And again: "Heavy meals injure your lungs and starvation damages your Qi, and excess consumption of salty food hurts your tendons and ligaments. Overeating sour food weakens your bones, So you should maintain a simple and a mild flavor diet. Do not overeat during dinner. One full and heavy dinner devastates one day of your longevity" (Sun 380-381). These statements provide awareness about the effects that food can have on the body, which can mistakenly be characterized as illness requiring medicine, when the actual cure can be found in the diet.

According to Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang: "Food has the function of eliminating evil influences and soothing the vital organs, cultivating one's mind and building up one's strength. You are a good doctor if you can treat a hunchback and expel all kinds of disease only with the food and make the person relieved from the symptoms and the disease" (Sun 2003). Thus in order to address the symptoms, the cause should be clearly identified and in many cases, the diet is the place to start. Sun elaborates with this maxim:

"To make a body comfortable, you must dependent to the food. If you do not know what kind of food is good for you and give you benefits, you are not enough to be survived." (Sun 2003).

Jin Dynasty Era

After the three countries within China divided, the Jin dynasty was established and the politics were stabilized up to the Tang Dynasty Era. Economical and medical developments advanced rapidly while the study of Yao shan successfully developed during this time as well. Ge Hong (283-343 or 363) was a Jin dynasty physician, pharmaceutical chemist, and naturalist, who developed the Taoism theory. Ge made a great contribution to literature, medicine, music, and the history of Chinese science and medicine. (Yang, 2013, p. 16)

Ge Hong's book, Zhou hou fang - --, it describes the mutual incompatibility of certain foods. When there is a combination of two incompatible substances, the consumption of this combination produces side effects or toxins; using either substance alone would not cause any of the side effects. For example, lamb liver and wu mei should not be eaten together, and tian men dong and carp should not be eaten together. Zhou hou fang also states that seaweed treats goiter (enlarged thyroid), lamb liver treats nyctalopia, pig intestines treats diabetes (Yang, 2013, p. 16).

Chen Shi ( -- )'s book, Yang lao feng qin shu, ( -- ) book on nourishing old age and taking care of one's parents) is the first specialized work devoted exclusively to the needs and practices of older people and thus opened an entirely new category of longevity literature. This book includes 162 recipes on food therapy that are used to maintain old age. (Kohn 81)

Hu Si hui (- --, 1314 -- 1330) was a court therapist and dietitian during the Yuan Dynasty era. He is known for his book Yinshan Zhengyao (Important Principles of Food and Drink), that became a classic in Chinese medicine and Chinese cuisine. He was the first to empirically discover and clearly describe deficiency diseases (Yang, 2013, p. 18). According to Yinshan Zhengyao, a significant number of diseases are caused by improper eating, and a significant part of diseases can be cured by proper eating. The book propagated moderation, regularity and variety in food, proper hygiene and food storage, and special diets for pregnant women and for children. This book was the first to describe how diseases are connected to the deficiency of certain components in food. It was the first book in China to discuss food poisoning as well. (Yang, 2013, p. 18)

Many recipes presented in this literature demonstrated a strong Han Chinese, Mongolian, Turkic and Persian influence. As Hu Si hui stated, a large variety of foods were known in the court since the time of Kublai Khan, and this circumstance called for a special research. Taken as a collection of recipes and ingredients alone, his book is tremendously important in its description of medicinal food of Eurasia. (Yang, 2013, p. 18)

It is difficult to find Korean medicinal foods from the first to seventh century B.C. in Korean literature. However, the pharmacological effects of Korean herbs such as Ren shen (-), Wu wei zi (- -- ), Xi xin (-), yin jin xie (- -- ), Kun Bu (-), and Kuan dong hua (- -- ) can be found in Chinese literature, such as Collected Commentaries to Divine Farmer's Materia Medica (-- -- ) and Additional Objects by Famous Physicians (- -- ).

Beginning of the 14th century, Korean had lost much of its power due to its subjugation under Mongol rule, which made it very difficult to obtain Chinese medicine. Many Koreans began to use their own domestic herbal medicine, known as Hyang-yak.

The famous doctor, Huh Jun (- -) (1539-1615) compiled TCM and traditional Korean medicine in one book, known as the Dong Eui Bo Gam (- -- -). Huh Jun wrote an entire chapter on medicinal food classified by taste, properties, characteristics and functions in recipes. (Huh 1998) 70% of Korea is covered by mountains, and this type of geographic environment positively affects the genesis of Korean herbal medicinal cuisine. Hence, lots of herbs are able to grow; these herbs are used as ingredients in Korean traditional cuisine. For example, well-known examples of Korean Yao shan cuisines are huang qi chicken soup, huang qi duck soup, huang qi and bei sha shen chicken soup, the medicinal beef short rib stew, ginger beef short rib, du chong sea cucumber stew etc. which passes down from generation to generation to this day (Yang, 2013, p 21). These elements are explored in the following sections.

Health Benefit -- The Five Flavors of Food

The five flavors - acrid, salty, sweet, bitter, and sour, are closely associated with the five zang organs and the wellbeing of the body. It is important to consume the right amount of each flavor to obtain the full health benefits and desired effects on the body.

The consumption of acrid food has the ability to deliver a warming function on the foods. Typically, the taste stimulates blood circulation, boosts energy, and increases lymphatic fluid, saliva, sweat and tears. Additionally, the spicy taste improves digestion by counteracting poor digestion, mucus production and poor blood circulation. The acrid flavor assists in distributing energy throughout the body. Individuals experiencing high levels of fatigue cannot consolidate the distribution of energy, so they should not consume high levels of acrid flavored food. Moreover, excessive intake of spicy foods should be avoided because it can exhaust reserved energy. Some examples of acrid foods are black pepper, ginger, garlic, green onion, peppers and jalapenos. (Dharmananda 2010)

The consumption of salty food regulates and stabilizes the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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