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Extra resources for Chinese Nutrition Therapy
Thermal quality initially has a general effect on the body: it cools or warms it. Flavor and association with one of the five phases determine the food’s effect on a particular organ or network. Example The sweet flavor is associated with the earth phase and primarily influences the corresponding organs stomach and spleen. It has a warming or cooling effect on stomach/spleen, depending on thermal nature: Fennel tea warms the stomach, while bananas have a cooling effect. Hot Hot foods increase yang, speed up qi, activate, warm, disperse, move upward and outward, warm the bowels and viscera (zang fu), eliminate external and internal cold, and mobilize defense energy.
In times of emotional stress and anger, the sour flavor should be favored, because it supplements liver yin. The supplementing effect of sour flavors is moved along to the heart element (via the engendering sheng cycle). Bitter–cool, downbears and supports the body’s digestive and excretion functions (digestive teas with amaroids/bitters, such as gallbladder tea, wormwood tea). It supplements heart yin and has a calming effect, especially following stress and mental strain (beer, especially light-colored wheat beer).
25 The Five Flavors (Wu Wei) Sweet—acrid—salty—sour—bitter Organization of Flavors into Yin, Yang, and Organ Network Yang quality Phase Network Sweet Acrid Earth Metal Spleen /stomach Lung/large intestine Yin quality Phase Network Bitter Salty Sour Fire Water Wood Heart /small intestine Kidney/bladder Liver /gallbladder Food Classification According to Flavor Sweet Acrid Salty Sour Bitter Almond Apple Anise Barley Banana Beef Butter Carrot Cheese Chicken Corn Duck Eggplant Fennel Fig Milk Millet Oats Pork Potato Pumpkin Pear Rabbit Rice Spinach Wheat Celeriac (celery root) Chili Cinnamon Fennel Garlic Ginger Kohlrabi Onion Paprika Pepper Radishes Thyme Watercress Crayfish Duck Ham Oyster Octopus Pork Pigeon Salt Soy sauce Adzuki beans Apple Apricot Grape Kiwi Lemon Mango Orange Plum Pineapple Cheese Curd cheese Farmer’s cheese Cream cheese Sour (curdled) milk Tomato Basil Chicory Celeriac (celery root) Coffee Dandelion Lettuce Parsley Tea Tobacco The five flavors are the oldest system of food classification in TCM and are mentioned in the Nei Jing.