Health Intuitive

The Importance Of Rice In Chinese Nutritional Therapy

Chinese nutritional therapy is a vital component of any holistic treatment plan. The book, Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold, written by Sun Simiao and published in 652 A.D., is the earliest written text that that discusses the treatment of illnesses through nutrition. For instance, in the treatment of goiter, Sun Simiao espoused eating the thyroid glands of farm animals and also of seaweed. This early form of hormone replacement and iodine therapy was already practiced in China before the dawn of the first century, predating Western medicine by hundreds of years.

The Role of Rice in Chinese Nutritional Therapy

Ever since the publishing of Sun Simiao’s book, Traditional Chinese medicine in Cleveland (TCM) has included nutritional therapy to its list of treatments. Exactly a century after the publication of Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold, Wang Shou published A Collection of Diseases wherein he discusses his mode of treating diabetes. He advocated the eating of pig pancreas (cooked, of course) as a way to treat diabetes. This predated insulin therapy by a millennium. Without the benefit of lab experiments, his means of checking for sugar in the urine was quite clever: He instructed the patient to urinate on a flat brick to see if ants would be attracted to the presence of sugar in the urine!

Foods are classified within the traditional system of nutritional therapies based on the organs they are associated with, their energetic properties (the route in which they move chi and how they affect chi and blood flow), their inherent temperature, and the organs they are associated with in the traditional system of nutritional therapies.

For instance, a person with abundant, clear mucus suffering from wind cold may be advised eat hot soup made from mustard greens and onions. The mustard greens calm excess yin, dispel cold, and possess warming qualities; the onions share similar qualities. The mustard greens can also alleviate chest congestion and help expectorate mucus. Enhancing the flavor of the soup with black pepper and ginger boosts the warming quality, and enhances the expelling of mucus.

On the other hand, if the same person’s lunch is salad and his drink is a cold glass of milk, the damp and cold quality of his lunch would worsen his cold wind condition. At this point, any herbal treatment given to that individual would prove ineffective since the treatment need to neutralize first the adverse impact of the food before the acute ailment could be dealt with. This is why a patient is always taught what kind of foods will help restore balance and the kind of foods that will cause the worsening of the imbalance.

Beans and grains in general, are known to be a stabilizing factor in the body. They promote stability and rhythm and build chi and blood. Vegetables, which bring vitality, are best eaten in season. Root vegetables provide strength to the lower/middle body, while green leafy vegetables have a connection to the upper body. Fruits remove toxins, build fluids, and have cooling qualities. They ought to be consumed alone, otherwise, they cause indigestion.

Meats are easy sources of blood and have the full range of temperatures. But they are intended to be eaten in small portions; In the West, their overconsumption has caused a rise in heart disease. Last but not least, dairy products are excellent sources of fats although they too need to be eaten moderately. Too much eating of these products can lead to excess mucus or excess dampness.

A nutritious meal should mainly consist of different kinds of vegetables, beans, ands grains, preferably, all organically grown; animal meat and fruits should be consumed in smaller amounts. Although a vegetarian diet can be well-balanced and healthy, people who don’t consume meat should take vitamin B12 supplements or eat foods that contain vitamin B12.

Making Rice Congee

The most common and easiest healing food to make is congee, a rice porridge that is quite easy to digest and has a soothing effect on the abdomen. We start by slowly cooking six parts water with one part white rice until the consistency of the rice is that of a thick soup. Most people use a crock pot to cook rice congee.

The Chinese tend to cook congee in large pots with leftovers are eaten the next day. People gather in the morning to eat congee for breakfast.

For healing purposes, specific ingredients are added to the congee. For instance:

Seniors who are dealing with constipation caused by deficient yang might eat walnuts due to its lubricating and tonifying effects. Or people who suffer from weak eyesight due to deficient blood can eat Lycium fruit which have nourishing qualities that can benefit the eyes.

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