Three Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine Dietary Therapy

Monday, March 11, 2024

The charm of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) lies in its unique dietary therapy. In this article, we will delve into the three fundamental principles of traditional Chinese medicine dietary therapy, taking you on a journey to understand its mysteries.

Harmonizing Yin and Yang

TCM emphasizes the balance of Yin and Yang in the body, considering it crucial for maintaining health. Yin and Yang are opposing yet complementary forces in TCM theory, and their balance directly affects one's health. In terms of diet, we can harmonize Yin and Yang by consuming foods with different properties. For instance, during cold winters, consuming warm foods helps maintain body warmth, while in hot summers, it's advisable to consume cooling foods to lower body temperature 温度 (wēn dù).

温度 (wēn dù), noun, temperature


  1. The temperature outside is very cold.
    wàimiàn de wēndù hěn lěng.
  2. She checked the temperature of the water before taking a bath.
    tā zài xǐzǎo zhīqián jiǎnchále shuǐ de wēndù.

Regulating the Five Flavors

TCM dietary therapy focuses on regulating the five flavors. According to TCM, foods have five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty, each corresponding to different therapeutic治疗的 (zhì liáo de) effects. Properly combining these flavors can regulate the balance of Yin and Yang in the body and improve overall health. For example, bitter foods have the function of clearing heat and detoxifying, making them suitable for consumption in summer, while sweet foods have the function of nourishing and replenishing Qi, making them suitable for consumption in winter.

治疗的 (zhì liáo de), adj, therapeutic


  1. The therapeutic effect of acupuncture is widely recognized.
    Zhēnjiǔ de zhìliáo xiàoguǒ bèi guǎngwǎn rènkě.
  2. She underwent therapeutic massage to relieve muscle tension.
    Tā jiēshòu le zhìliáoxìng ànmó yǐ huǎnjiě jīròu jǐnzhāng.

Adapting to Local Conditions

TCM dietary therapy emphasizes adapting to local conditions by adjusting diet according to the climate, geography, and season. Different regions have different climate conditions, and thus, different nutritional needs. Therefore, we should select appropriate ingredients and cooking methods based on local conditions. For instance, in hot and humid regions, it's suitable to consume light and cooling foods to relieve heat; whereas in dry regions, it's suitable to consume nourishing and moisturizing foods.

  1. Chinese medicine emphasizes Yin and Yang.
    Zhōngyī jiǎngjiù yīnyáng.
  2. Moreover, there are five flavors to regulate the body.
    Bìngqiě hái yǒu wǔ zhǒng wèidào qù tiáolǐ shēntǐ.
  3. Not only that, the body is also influenced by geographical location.
    Bù jǐn rúcǐ, shēntǐ yě huì bèi dìlǐ wèizhì yǐngxiǎng.

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