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Traditional Chinese Nutritional Food Therapy, also known as Dietary Therapy, plays a vital role in restoring the balance of our body. This ancient practice is considered as an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Here, we explain on this folklore saying, “No need to bother the doctor for a prescription, if eating ginger in summer and radish during winter”.

When it comes to appropriate food selection for healthcare, Traditional Chinese Medicine has a particular set of guidelines or dietary advice for each season of the year in relation to our body condition and these have become a lifestyle pattern for those who would like to seek and maintain good health.

Since ancient time, our ancestors did realize body condition changes whenever there is a seasonal change and our body systems are naturally bound to react to the food intake. There are times and it often happens to people wherein their body energy frequency is not in harmony with the season’s frequency. This will then lead to further balance disorders and will cause the body to suffer a variety of health issues due to internal factors and external pathogens attack.

Since ancient time, our ancestors did realize body condition changes whenever there is a seasonal change and our body systems are naturally bound to react to the food intake. There are times and it often happens to people wherein their body energy frequency is not in harmony with the season’s frequency. This will then lead to further balance disorders and will cause the body to suffer a variety of health issues due to internal factors and external pathogens attack.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, it is believed that during spring and summer (hot and wet season), body energy tends to flow outward that occupies the body surface and disperses peripherally. Therefore, it gets relatively depleted inward having the stomach virtually become weak with a coldness that needs to be replenished or induce heat internally. While during autumn and winter (dry and cold season), the situation is reversed. This time, the energy tends to flow inward that might cause excessive annoying heat to the stomach which needs food to promote the production of body fluids in order to cool down or disperse the excessive heat within. So, as a general rule, there is the need to follow the principle of nourishing yang (energy) during spring and summer time with food such as ginger and tonifying yin (body fluids) in autumn and winter time with food such as radish.

Ginger is classified as a food, at the same time herb with high medicinal value that could boost body energy. It is much preferred instead of using ginseng. Although ginseng has a more powerful effect, it can only be used for a limited period of time with certain quantity due to its side effects (Ginseng Abuse Syndrome). Ginger is pungent in flavour with ascending and dispersing warming effect that passes through the lungs, spleen and stomach meridians. It is used to promote sweating in order to disperse wind-cold, warm the middle energizer (stomach) to stop vomiting, warm the lungs to stop coughing. Due to its existing properties, it should be used in moderation and recommended to have it taken in the day time. For those people who have yin (body fluids) deficiency with excessive internal heat should avoid or take it with caution for it might cause too much dryness and will further injure the body yin.

Radish is a type of vegetable which has a high edible medicinal value that aids in the treatment and prevention of certain ailments. It is pungent and sweet in taste, with a stronger cooling effect if eaten raw. It passes through the spleen, lungs, stomach, and large intestine meridians. It is used to treat cough and resolve phlegm in heat syndrome (not for cold syndrome). It has the function to quench thirst and clear internal heat, stop bleeding and induce diuresis. It directs qi (energy) downward. Therefore promotes digestion and prompts bowel movement. It is contraindicated in case of coldness in spleen and stomach, and patients suffering from qi deficiency. Radish will react negatively and should not be consumed in conjunction with ginseng.

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