Foods Used in Traditional Eastern Medicine Discussion

We are very pleased to present you with an AAPI Foods Used in Traditional Eastern Medicine discussion thread.

Despite becoming a recent trend in the West, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is steeped in centuries of history and is a complex science. Step into a traditional Chinese pharmacy and you will see herbs, elixirs, and various other natural components to aid what ails you. I’ve recently became interested in the topic as my wife is from Beijing China, and my mother in law knowing I am a dietitian, has introduced me to TCM practitioners and given me a variety of textbooks.

Foods as a healing power can be used in a variety different of mediums. One of these is with porridges, which is not a common dish in the West.

Let’s look at using a porridge to address Hypertension.

Chinese medicine believes that the causes of hypertension are (though it is recognized from a Western perspective there are factors such as genetics, lack of physical activity, high sodium intake, obesity, etc.) that the liver has too much yang, weak kidneys which is too much yin, and “bodily waste” being stuck in the lungs/chest that is not being expelled. To Westerners, yin and yang is somewhat nebulous. The best analogy I can come up with is it is like a car. A car that that has been sitting idle and not quite ready to go would be yin. A car that has been driving for several hours and overheats would be too much yang.

Foods to address Hypertension: Bitter Melon, Radish, Napa Cabbage, Carp, Celery, Chinese Yam, Oats, Walnuts, Peanuts, Apples, Watermelon, Pears, Grapes, and Seaweed.

Sample Recipe: Seaweed Pork Porridge


5 ounces grams lean pork
½ cup rice
Green onion (to garnish)
Salt (small amount to taste)


Rinse and wash dried seaweed, soak the water. Cut the seaweed into slices. Wash the pork, Cut into small pieces.
Bring rice to a boil in a pot, turn to low heat (the key here is a slow cook) and add seaweed and the pork. Cook thoroughly. Add a tiny amount of salt. Garnish with green onion. Eat at 140 degree temperature or less.

Why Seaweed? can help “clean up” the bloodstream clearing clear clots, and lower pressure.
Eating this porridge periodically will help lower blood pressure. Seaweed will also reduce the heat and inflammation in your body (asthma).

Are you familiar with specific foods or recipes used in traditional Eastern medicine?
Feel free to share your insights and resources here.

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