Chinese Nutritional Therapy lies at the center of Chinese Medicine. San Simiao (581-682 AD), a famous Chinese Medicine doctor of the Tang dynasty, wrote in his book “Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold”: “Before a doctor treats a disease, he must be sure of the cause and pathogenesis of the disease, then treat the patient with diet before using any medications.”
In Chinese Nutritional Therapy, foods are classified according to their energetic effects on the human body rather than according to their component parts. Generally, foods are characterized according to their temperature (hot, warm, cold, cool, or neutral), their taste (sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, salty), and their directionality in the body (ascending, descending, stabilizing, etc.). Based on these characteristics, foods will be beneficial to certain organs and certain health conditions. Mastery of this knowledge allows to design an individualized nutrition plan adapted to a client’s particular diagnosis and specific needs.
Unlike many other dietary systems, Chinese Nutritional Therapy rarely makes general broad recommendations for everyone. Everyone’s nutritional needs are unique, and there is not one diet fits all.