Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Herbal Diet Therapy

Herbal diet is a delicacy made by matching herbs and food ingredients

It is one of traditional Chinese therapies

Herbal diet is the product of the combination of traditional Chinese herbs knowledge and cooking experience.

It combines herbs with food, using herbs as food and giving food for medicinal purposes. Herbs rely on the power of food, and food aids herbs.

Herbal diet not only has high nutritional value but also it can prevent and cure diseases, maintain health and strengthen the physical body and prolong life.

Advantage of Modern herbal diet

1.It summarizes and applies the experience of predecessors without being muddled by the past.

Modern herbal diet is guided by the theories of Chinese medicine.

Herbal diet are prepared from the theories of Yin and Yang ,the five elements, the theory of viscera, the properties and compatibility of Chinese medicine, etc.

Follow the meridian theory of herbal medicinal properties, emphasizing that sour enters the liver, bitter enters the heart, sweet enters the spleen, pungent enters the lungs, and salt enters the kidneys.

Advocate the use of herbs based on syndrome differentiation and prepare herbal meals according to individual person and time.

2.Pay attention to the combination of traditional Chinese medicine and diet.

It has the general characteristics of food with a positive effect on the health and disease prevention for physical body.

It has a good nutritional effect on the human body, and also stimulates people’s appetite.

3.Since herbal diet is a special food, it also has its own characteristics in cooking methods.

In addition to general food cooking methods, the raw materials must be processed according to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine processing.

History of herbal diet

The last years of the Shang Dynasty was the most rudimentary period of the combination of medicine and diet, created by the famous historical figure Jiang Ziya.

The Jin and Tang dynasties were the formation stage of herbal diet therapy.

At that time, the herbal diet theory had made great progress, and some special works have appeared.

In the Tang Dynasty, the earliest surviving pharmacological monograph named after dietary therapy “Diet Therapy Materia Medica” appeared in China, author Meng shen.

The book contains 227 kinds of medicinal foods (including animals, plants, and minerals).

He described the nature, flavor, origin, identification, and preparation of the herbs.

Under each herbs, there are listed the formula of the food and its therapeutic indications.

The book also noticed that there are regional differences in dietetic herbs.

The Song and Yuan Dynasties were the period of comprehensive development of dietary therapy and medicated diet.

A famous book named “The Principles of Drinking and Diet” by Hu Sihui, the emperor’s doctor of the Yuan Dynasty.

The book is the earliest monograph on nutrition in China. It transcends the old concept of medicinal diet therapy.

From the point of view of nutrition, it emphasizes that normal people should strengthen dietary hygiene.

Nutrition adjustment to prevent disease.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Chinese medicine dietary therapy and medicated diet entered a more complete stage.

Almost all books on Materia Medica have noticed the relationship between Materia Medica and dietetics.

The cooking and production of medicated diets have also reached a very high level and most of them meet the requirements of nutrition.

Herbs medical diet classification


1.Juices: Juices obtained by smashing and squeezing fresh and sap-rich plant fruits, stems, leaves and roots.

Fresh products commonly used in juices production.

2.Drinks: The herbs or food used as the raw materials of medicinal diets are crushed and processed into coarse powder.

The powder can be brewed in boiling water for warm soaking. The production feature is that it does not need to be decocted. It is time-saving and convenient.

Sometimes it can be brewed with tea leaves to make as a tea.

3.Soups: The herbs or foods to be used as medicated diets are processed in a pot boiling with water, and simmered to get the juice extracted.

This is the most widely used dosage form in medicated diet applications.

Most edible soups are made by one cooking, and the herbs can also be eaten.

4.Alcohol: Add the herbs to a certain amount of white wine and soak it for a certain period of time.

5.Thick Soup: Adding medicinal materials into meat, eggs, milk or seafood as the main raw materials, then cook for a thick soup.


1.Creams: also known as “creams”.

A semi-fluid thick paste made by decoction of medicinal materials and food with water, removing dregs, and adding sugar or condensing honey after concentration.

It has the power of nourishing and moisturizing dryness.

It is suitable for long-term preparation and consumption for people who have been suffering from physical weakness for a long time, and who have been recuperating after illness and maintaining health care.

2.Congee: It is a kind of food that is rich in starch, such as rice, millet, husked sorghum, barley, and wheat.

Adding some herbs with them then boiling together with water to turn into a semi-liquid food.

Traditional Chinese therapies has always said that “meat porridge is self-supporting”.

It is especially suitable for people with weak spleen and stomach such as the elderly and infirm, or after illness, or after childbirth.

3.Paste: A dried product made from starch-rich food powder, mixed with medicinal and edible medicinal materials, and hydrolyzed after frying, broiling, steaming, and boiling.

It contains a lot of dextrin and carbohydrates, so it can be eaten when it is made into a paste with boiling water.

Medicinal edible solids

1.Meals: Rice and pasta foods made from rice, glutinous rice, wheat flour, etc. as basic materials and added with tonic and mild medicine.

Divided into rice, cakes, rolls, pancakes and other types.

2.Confectionery: solid or semi-solid foods are made by adding sugar as raw material, adding medicinal powder or concoction, and boiling with water.

Medicinal diet is divided into functions

They are Health care and longevity, for Beauty, for eliminating evil and cure diseases, for illness rehabilitation.

Cooking methods for medicinal foods

According to the production method, it is divided into stewed, braised, simmered, steamed, boiled, boiled, stir fried, braised, marinated, burned, deep fried.

According to tonic form, the medicinal diet is divided:

Slowly gentle tonic: It is a slow tonic method to treat people with chronic physical weakness and slower disease development with Gan Ping and gentle tonic prescriptions.

Clear heat tonic: it refers specifically to summer nourishment. It refers to the selection of a diet with a certain effect of expelling heat and promoting body fluid to supplement the body’s consumption.

Warming tonic: A method of treating deficiency-cold syndrome with warming tonics.

Aggressive tonic: A method of using powerful tonic drugs to treat the deficiency of qi and blood or the violent fall of yin and yang.

Due to extreme weakness and critical symptoms, non-large doses and strong tonics are not enough to save the dying.

Four seasons use of medicine and food homology

Spring: It is recommended to eat more high-calorie and high-protein foods in early spring.

Eating more foods rich in vitamins and minerals in mid-spring; drinkingmore soups that clear heat and relieve the throat in late spring.

Herbs and food homology: Codonopsis, lotus seeds, yam, Dendrobium, Gynostemma, wild chrysanthemum, winter melon, lotus leaf, etc., ginseng, yam, jujube, lily, ginkgo, longan. Seasonal green vegetables and fruits.

Summer: relieving heat. The summer diet should be light and vegetarian.

Eating more protein, not cold drinks.

Eating more garlic and vinegar, more bitter food, more vegetables and noodles with more vinegar.

Raw fruits such as water melon or other fruits, washing first and then scald.

It is best to drink tea and clear soup every day.

Herbs and food homology: lily, lotus seed, coix seed, ginseng, yam, poria, amomum, tangerine peel, mung bean, red bean, kapok, frangipani, lentil flower, honeysuckle, white chrysanthemum, soil cocos, kudzu root, tuckahoe, plantain , Adenophora, Agastache, Cassia Seed, Peppermint, Agastache, Lotus Leaf, Ginger, etc.

Autumn: nourishing yin and lungs.

The autumn diet should be based on the principle of nourishing yin and lungs. Intaking more sesame seeds that nourish yin and moisturize dryness.

Drinking more porridge soup with relieving heat function. Eating less spicy food and intaking more sour food.

Herbs and food homology: white sesame, white lentils, ginkgo, Ophiopogon japonicus, polygonatum, dendrobium, lily, yam, jujube, chrysanthemum, longan, lotus seed, winter mushroom, polygonatum, gastrodia, wolfberry, almond, tangerine peel, ebony, white fungus Wait.

Winter: Warm yang and nourish the kidneys. In winter, you should avoid the cold and keep warm, so as to restrain the yang and protect the yin.

In the diet, eating more high-calorie, warm foods, more porridge, pay attention to tonic.

Dinner advocates: not full but with some meat, not sweet, not too late.

Herbs and food homology: black sesame, walnut, American ginseng, angelica, rehmannia, yam, white peony root, peony root, cordyceps flower, eucommia, black fungus, black bean, wolfberry, dodder, ginseng, codonopsis, astragalus, donkey-hide gelatin, ginger.

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