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Chinese Food Therapy

Chinese food therapy is a practice in the belief of healing through the use of natural foods instead of, or in addition to medications. It is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), also known as Chinese Nutrition therapy. Chinese food therapy has more than 3000 years history. "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine", also known as the "Huangdi


Neijing", which was written around 300 BC, was most important in forming the basis of Chinese food therapy. It classified food by four food groups, five tastes and by their natures and characteristics. "Shennong Bencao Jing", which is the first Chinese herb book (300BC-200AD). There are 365 herbs in it. 50 of them are food. Such like, dates, crab, grape, ginger, oyster, etc. There are some food recipes in Shang Han Lun. Such like, Zhu Fu Tang (pork skin, rice powder and honey), and Danggui Shengjiang Yangrou Tang (Danggui, ginger and lamb). 

Chinese food therapy is based on traditional Chinese medicine theory. The properties and actions of food material are same as herbal material. There are "Four Natures" (cold, cool, warm and hot) and "Five Flavours" (pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty)*. They all have different functions and indications. Based on these Natures and Flavours, practitioners choose different ingredients and cooking method to help and support patients. It is similar to prescribe Chinese herbs. Of course, it's more tasty.

*There are also astringent and bland flavours. TCM holds that astringent flavour falls under the sour flavour category and bland flavour falls under the sweet, so they are still included in the five flavours. The actions of astringent flavour are very similar to those of sour flavour, which all have astringent action. Those bland in flavour possess the actions of removing dampness and promoting diuresis, and are often used for edema and dysuria.

Common used cooking method

1 Congee
Congee is a dish consisting of rice, water, and other ingredients added to give flavor. It is served as a breakfast food, a main meal, or a dessert depending on the recipe and added ingredients. It typically has a thick, slightly uneven consistency, similar to a thick soup. 

To make congee, a cook boils rice together with a small amount of salt and oil, then simmers the mixture over a low heat until the rice grains break down. This is a lengthy process, requiring at least half an hour of cooking time and often much longer. Once the congee is ready, the cook may add other ingredients such as sliced vegetables, meat or sauces. In some rice porridge recipes, stock adds flavor to the congee during cooking. 

ShanZha LianZi Congee

Recipe >


Shanzha Lianzi Congee: 

Hawthorn      50g 
Lotus seed      20g 
Rice            100g 

Function: Warm Stomach, nourish Spleen. 

2 Soup
Chinese soups are usually based solely on broths and lacking in dairy products such as milk or cream. Thickening for the soups usually consists of refined starches from corn or sweet potatoes.

Chinese soups are generally categorized as either savoury or sweet. The quality of a savoury soup is determined mainly by its fragrance and umami or "xian" flavour, as well as, to a lesser extent, its mouthfeel. Sweet soups are enjoyed for their aroma, mouthfeel, and aftertaste. Many soups are eaten and drunk as much for their flavour as for their health benefits and touted for their purported revitalizing or invigorating effects.

HongZao Yin'Er LianZi Geng

Recipe >


Hongzao Yin’er Lianzi geng: 

Lotus seed               200g
Red dates                100g
White Fungus             50g
Sugar (Brown sugar or Honey)                                    some 

Function: Nourish Spleen, Kidney and Heart, calm and relax. 

3 Other dishes (stew, steaming, boiling, stir fired, oven, grill, etc.)
Based on different body condition and different ingredients, choose different cooking method. Make the dishes tasty and improve its medical function.

Steaming egg with fish & prawn

Recipe >


Steaming egg with fish and prawn: 
Fish                       100g
Prawn                     50g
Egg                            2
Carrot                      half
Salt                         few
Cooking alcohol         5g
Cooking oil               3g
Spring onion             little 

Stir fried yam with mushroom

Recipe >


Stir fried yam with mushroom:

Mushroom      15g
Fresh yam       300g
Celery           100g

Function: Nourish Spleen-Qi and Kidney-Essence; Improve immunity

Celery, Toufu salad

Recipe >


Celery, Toufu salad


Celery       150g
Toufu         1 cube

Function: Calm Liver; Clear heat and dampness; Detoxify

4 Drinking 
Include juice, tea, alcohol, milk, smoothie, etc. Most of them can regenerate body fluid, clear heat, relieve vexation and induce diuresis.


5 Jelly 
Jelly (or Gao in Chinese) is one of traditional Chinese medicine dosage forms. One traditional Gao recipe require boiling a variety of herbal ingredients, so that the liquid is gradually evaporated and a jelly-like residue forms. Rock sugar, honey, rice flour or corn starch is added to "thicken" the product. It is easy to store and use. And its taste is better.


Traditional Chinese Medicine


Chinese Herbs


Tui-Na (Massage)

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