Traditional Therapeutic Food Therapy Research Paper

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¶ … Recipes of Traditional Therapeutic Food Therapy

Yao shan?

shi liao?

/ shi zhi (?

) the food therapy

What is Yao shan (?

), shi liao (?

) and shi zhi (?

)? Yao shan translates as "the food used as medicine by itself." Shi liao (?

) or shi zhi are the terms used to describe foods used as nutritional therapy. These practices are designed with TCM diagnosis to develop, repair and balance the human body to prevent and treat diseases. These practices also assist in anti-aging and longevity. For several centuries, this tradition has been carried out as foods mixing with herbs for the treatment of disease is historically popular in Far East cultures. Traditional cuisines are essentially modified in this practice to treat large varieties of diseases. This form of culinary medicine has been used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes as well. Since the ancient period, many have maintained a belief that medicine and foods are from the same origin, thus, they perform the same functions. This supports the time honored saying, "food is the best medicine." The purpose of this research is to provide a greater understanding to the benefits of therapeutic food recipes for the traditional medical applications.

Research Objective:

To investigate the benefits of Korean traditional medicinal cuisine.

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Research Paper on Traditional Therapeutic Food Therapy Assignment

A healthy diet with well-balanced foods are the basis of a well-functioning body. Food provides energy for the functioning of the body, which affects how our minds and bodies operate. Typically, a healthy diet is very critical for a high quality of life, disease prevention and maintenance of a healthy weight. The energy delivered by the food in the form of calories is very critical for all parts of the body including physical activity, healing and growth. More importantly, an equal amount of nutrients and calories are very critical for a balanced diet. A healthy diet prevents obesity and allows one to maintain a good body weight.

On the other hand, a poor diet can lead to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Moreover, too many saturated fats can cause atherosclerosis, which is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Despite the health benefits of a well-balanced diet, many people do not understand the medicinal value of Korean traditional recipes. Moreover, there is still a shortage of literature that investigates the medicinal values of the Korean traditional foods. This study attempts to address the problems by providing a greater understanding of the benefits of Korean traditional recipes for their medicinal values.

The Theory

What is the definition of Yao shan? For example, a watermelon is a fruit which has the desired medicinal effects. It is sweet, has the cool property and enters the heart, stomach and urinary bladder meridians through digestive functions. Watermelons treats summer-heat and reduces fever by consuming its juice. Yao shan shi liao or shi zhi, the medicinal food therapy can be this simple or can be more combined with other medicinal or culinary ingredients.

The foundation of Yao shan shi liao?

emphasizes starting with the diagnosis based on an overall analysis of the illness and the patient's condition. This analysis begins with correlating between and the five zang organs and the consideration of the seasons, climate, geographic environment, patient's emotions and their life style then define the causes of disease, the nature of disease, and the location of the disease and external or internal condition of the body. In addition, diagnosis depicts what is the right medicine and the culinary ingredients to cook the medicinal foods to treat or prevent the disease.

To determine which dietary measure should be taken for what condition is the task of TCM diagnostics. Physicians analyze the state of the patient's qi-flow, going beyond the obvious and immediate impressions. This analysis includes questions about symptoms and case history includes tongue inspections, pulse analysis and abdominal palpation (Kohn 2005 63-74; 2010a. 61-65). After this inspection, the health practitioner recommends certain foods and herbal supplements while prohibiting others.

*quoted [11]

Theoretical Frameworks

The study reviewed the relationships of Yin-Yang and Five elements: five taste and five zang organs based on the scientific research carried out on the medicinal cuisine and psychological benefits to be derived from specific foods with reference to taste, color, smell and other food properties. Studying the interaction of the five tastes is very important to understand the gained health benefits. Since the culinary ingredients is identified with the use of smell, color, and taste, it is very important to investigate the strategy behind the traditional medicine in order to control and have the desired effects on other culinary ingredients.


The interaction of the five tastes is interesting on the medicinal cuisine because of how they are enhancing, destroying and weakening each other. Since the culinary ingredients also can be defined by color, smell, taste, and properties, it is interesting to find out how they react to the other ingredients by changing the flavor and taste.

The Five Tastes.

Wood can break the ground (Earth).

Earth can soak up Water, blocking its flow.

Water can control Fire.

Fire can melt Metal.

Metal can chop Wood.

- too much Wood overacts Fire

- too much Fire overacts Earth

- too much Earth overacts Metal

- too much Metal overacts Water

- too much Water overacts Wood

The acrid or spicy taste has the ability to deliver a warming effect on food. Typically, the taste stimulates blood circulation, boosts energy, and increases lymphatic fluid, saliva, sweat and tears. Additionally, the spicy taste improves digestions by counteracting poor digestion, mucus production and poor blood circulation. Since pungency assists in scattering energy, pungency should be limited to individuals experiencing high level of fatigue. Moreover, excessive intake of spicy foods should be avoided because it can exhaust energy reserves. Moderation is the key in this aspect. Examples of spicy tasty foods include black pepper, ginger, garlic, green onion, peppers and jalapenos.

Salt is also important in this area as salty tastes reduce body temperature. Salt also regulates and stabilizes the fluid balance within the body in combination with enhancing a softening effect. Salty taste is also beneficial to lymph nodes. Excessive consumption of salt can damage the kidneys because of the relationship to high blood pressure and water retention. People suffering from anemia and dehydration should avoid eating salty food. Most seafood, seaweed, soy sauce, fish sauce, soy bean paste and salt are the examples of salty tasty foods.

Sweet tastes harmonize a diet, and when adding in proportion to a diet, the sweet tastes are able to strengthen individuals by providing boosts of energy. Ultimately, sweet tastes can make the blood sugar level fluctuate, making the blood sugar rise and drop sharply. In essence, sweet-tasting food, complex proteins, and carbohydrates can strengthen the body and add energy to the body. Excessive sweet foods in the body can lead to a poor digestion, lethargy, and congestion. Raisins, honey, grains, fruits and also yi ren, long yan rou, da zao and gan cao are the typical examples of sweet foods.

Moreover, bitter tastes are the foods that detoxify with dry, cool and anti-inflammatory features. The bitter tastes stimulate a secretion of bile, stimulating eliminating of normal bowel and assisting a digestion process. Bitter foods also assist in protecting the body against parasites and viruses. Moreover, the bitter substances assist in reducing cholesterol. Excessive amounts of bitter foods are good for people who are cold and weak. The bitter tastes are found in liquor, rye, escarole, rhubarb, romaine lettuce, quinoa, asparagus, mountain vegetables like baby leaves of Wu Jiao Pi (Acanthopanax gracilistylus), Ge gen, Sha Shen, Qian cao are the examples of bitter substances.

Sour tastes assists in enhancing the muscles and tissues of the body. These foods also help in drying up mucus. In essence, sour tastes assists in stopping excessive diarrhea, perspiration, frequent urination, bleeding and copious mucus. Moreover, sour taste assists in stimulating metabolism, digestion and helping in the breakdown of fats, and facilitate fat's absorption and drain and removed excessive water from the liver. When taking sour substances excessively, it can cause constipation and harm digestion. Examples of sour foods include vinegar, citrus, and pickles. The next section discusses different medicinal foods that can be used for the treatment of various type of ailments.


The history of Yao shan (?

) began with the discovery of oriental medicine. An ancient text, Divine Farmer's Materia Medica (Shennong B-nc-o J-ng: ), introduced a total of 365 different kinds of herbs and about 50 of the 365 were the culinary ingredients.( i.e. Da zao, citrus, ginger, clam, red bean, yi ren, long yan rou, apricot seed, ginko nuts and crabs.) Another ancient text, Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic Huangdi Neij-ng (?

) described the ideal medicinal diet which includes maintaining the relationship between the five zang organs and the five tastes, bitter, sour, sweet, acrid and salty. Using meat, grains, fruits and vegetables in diet therapy is suggested to complete many… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Traditional Therapeutic Food Therapy.  (2015, August 24).  Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

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"Traditional Therapeutic Food Therapy."  August 24, 2015.  Accessed October 22, 2020.