Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food Cures

Dietary therapy is a component of traditional Chinese medicine which sometimes gets forgotten about even though common herbal formula prescriptions contain everyday foodstuff such as ginger, licorice, citrus peels, mint, turmeric, cinnamon plus many more spices, seeds and flowers.
When we move away from eating whole natural foods diseases develop. Dietary therapy means using food as medicine not as a way to lose weight. The old adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away actually holds some truth. All foods have nutritional components - vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. Now we have the technology to determine which foods are best at helping prevent or fight specific diseases. A recent study on hypertension found that beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure due to the nitrate content. Another study shows that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and low fat dairy also helps with hypertension. A common recommendation for people with high blood pressure is the DASH diet.

From a TCM perspective celery juice is good to treat hypertension with high cholesterol, while hawthorn tea is good if hypertension is combined with heart disease. Other foods that may help are apples, black sesame, chrysanthemum, carrot, persimmon, seaweed, tomato, spinach and watermelon. Ideally the TCM diagnosis you receive from your Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine will determine the most appropriate foods as they all have certain properties and actions on the body.

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