Dr. Luciana Thomaz
2 min readMar 12, 2021

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THE SECRET NATURE OF FOODS ACCORDING TO THE TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

At least once in their lifespan, every Integrative Health web page has already cited the classical phrase attributed to Hippocrates, “May food be your medicine.”

The concept behind this knowledge is so fundamental that it may be sometimes obvious. If you have lousy diet habits, you will eventually get sick!

As one of the most known and traditional Medicine systems globally, in Chinese Medicine, this knowledge wouldn’t be far from basic. Combining foods to have a healthy meal is a priority for TCM.

As in other Traditional Medicines of the world, foods are classified according to some natural system. TCM classifies food according to its intrinsic capacity of producing a smooth change in temperature in the body.

According to this classification, some food may warm you in wintertime or refresh you in a torrid climate. The explanation for that might be related to the fact that China has been a continental-sized territory since the Antiquity embraced a notable climate diversity. As a uniform system for Medicine, TCM had to put this diversity into account to serve as many people as possible.

This way, bringing this knowledge to our days, we can say that, if a person catches a cold, according to TCM knowledge, he or she will develop an intern heat. Remember, if someone has a fever, he is feeling hot so, it would be good to have something to act against this heat (an antipyretic substance, maybe). But bringing an ice-cold glass of water would make him feel worst, right?

Chinese medical expertise demonstrates that we can do it by bringing food to soothe the internal heat like neutral foods, for example, rice, potatoes, carrots, vegetables present in a good soup you can take when you want to shake off a cold.

Besides that, if you catch a cold, it means to TCM, you have “let the cold get inside your body,” so, to expel this out, you must put some warm food inside your body. And we do it, naturally, when we take ginger, cinnamon, orange zest, or other spiced tea when we’ve got flu, not to mention the classical grandma chicken soup!

Nature holds superior wisdom. All the wise older men have said that.

But what they meant with that is simple actions may help you get you through rough times. Luckily, sound wisdom resists throughout time, and TCM is here to help us improve and treat our health daily.

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Dr. Luciana Thomaz

A Brazilian Integrative Doctor from São Paulo. I believe that health can be found in so many places and actions, all you have to do is open your eyes.