The Importance of Chinese Diet Therapy and Phytotherapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Good morning dear readers,

Today our text is dedicated to talk a little about Diet Therapy and Phytotherapy and their importance in the practice of Chinese Medicine.

In Chinese Medicine, diseases are classified as Excess or Deficiency, and what does that mean?

Excess Diseases are those in which there is stagnation of Qi and/or Blood or the presence of Pathogenic Factors (heat, dampness, dryness, cold, wind or phlegm). In many cases, stagnation occurs due to the presence of one of these pathogenic factors. From this definition, we can say that to treat a patient who is suffering from an excess condition, all the therapist has to do is move the stagnations and remove the pathogenic factors when they exist.

For this, there are acupuncture points with these energetic actions:

  • Remove Heat, Damp, Wind and Phlegm
  • Move the Qi
  • Move the Blood

The points must be chosen according to the blocks and existing pathogenic factors and the patient’s improvement is very fast, and can be noticed even in the first acupuncture session.

Deficiency Diseases are characterized by deficient production of Qi, Blood and/or Body Fluids. The body, for some internal and chronic reason, is no longer able to carry out the necessary transformations to obtain these vital substances.

There are also acupuncture points to treat these issues, with the following energetic actions:

  • Tonify the Qi
  • Tonify the Blood
  • Tonify Body Fluids

However, Deficiency Diseases are considered more difficult to treat, because just using the points, without giving the body the raw material for the production of vital substances, will not bring the expected results in the treatment.

It is, at this moment, that Diet Therapy and Phytotherapy become extremely important for the Chinese Medicine professional. Only through the correctly indicated Foods and Herbs used as medicine we will have the opportunity to provide the body with what it needs, to produce what it needs and the acupuncture points will only organize its production.

In some literatures we find phrases such as: “It is impossible to treat Deficiency Diseases only with Acupuncture” or even “Diet Therapy and Phytotherapy are the main forms of treatment of Deficiency Diseases”.

For this reason, if you are a Chinese Medicine therapist and do not have the knowledge to apply Chinese Therapeutic Food or Phytotherapy, know that having this knowledge is essential, and when applied, it will beneficially affect the results in your office.

The following are very common Diseases / Deficiency Syndromes that appear in our office:

  • Infertility – Liver or Spleen Blood Deficiency or Kidney Yin Deficiency
  • Anemia – Deficiency of Spleen Blood.
  • Amenorrhea – Deficiency of Blood in the Spleen or Liver.
  • Chronic Fatigue – Deficiency of Yin or Kidney Qi or Spleen Qi
  • Body weight problems/Water retention: Deficient Spleen Qi
  • Chronic Cough / Dry Skin – Lung Yin Deficiency

And many other examples could be given.

Thus, we can conclude that each food and each herb can and should be indicated to the patient according to the existing Deficiency, until, together with the acupuncture points, the body is able to resume the production of the deficient vital substance, restoring the health of the patient. As soon as the patient is no longer in the state of Deficiency, the therapist must reassess the need to maintain the treatment with diet therapy and phytotherapy.

I hope you enjoyed it and that you are encouraged to study the areas that are still deficient for you!
A big hug.

Fernanda Mara