Spring TCM Therapeutic Diet

Seasonal TCM Therapeutic Diet

Author: Shang-May Chen, M.S., L.Ac.

Everything in nature is sprouting and giving birth in springtime. It's the season of Liver. For the past generations of Chinese, diets in spring are especially important. Yang start waxing in this time of the year. The weather is changing from cold to warm. Not only flowers and trees, but also bacteria and microorganisms are multiplying. It's still cold in early spring, and easily for people to catch cold or flu. Proper diets help to gain immunity and fight epidemic infections. In “Qian Jin Yao Fang” (Thousand Ducat Prescriptions) by Dr. Si-Miao Sun in Tang Dynasty pointed out, diets in spring is better to nourish and tonify Spleen Qi by taking less sour foods substance but more naturally sweet things. When it comes to “sweet taste” in TCM, we are not talking about sugary foods like donuts and chocolate. Food supplements are sweet in nature without sugary additives, like Chinese dates, yams, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, chestnuts, taro, cabbages, rice, soybeans, peanuts that have the functions to tonify Spleen Qi and promote digestion and enhance immunity. Spring is also the season of Liver. It's good to prepare cuisine with little spices like scallions (Chinese green onions), ginger, Chinese leeks, onions and garlic to help Liver Qi to disperse better, promote Yang Qi , and expel cold Qi . Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang (Bupleurum & Cyperus Combination) is a general formula to help disperse Liver Qi circulation in spring.

For people with hyper tension due to Liver Yang Excess in TCM diagnosis tend to have some headache, dizziness and light headed should drink some chrysanthemum tea (Ju Hua Tea). The temperature is still cold in spring, not only hypertension patients have to be aware of cold temperature, but also people who have upper respiratory weakness should nourish Lung Yin to prevent bronchial infections.


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* Articles Originally Published in SUN TEN Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2006 

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