“Those who practise medicine must first recognise the origin of an illness; they must know which violations have caused the suffering. Then they must treat it with dietary means. If dietary therapy does not cure the illness, only then can they employ herbs.”
Sun Si miao -680 AD
Food therapy of traditional Chinese medicine aims to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle through diet and nutrition. Traditional medical diet therapy, aims to achieve the balance of Yin and Yang through the combination of nutrition and herbal medicines. On the basis of traditional food therapy, medical diet therapy adopts traditional culinary skills and modern processing methods to produce food, which is not only with terrific color, aroma, taste and shape but also promotes health, disease prevention and healing as well as promotes longevity.
Written more than 2000 years ago, Plain Questions: On Laws and Times of Organs had already pointed out that grains to nourish, fruit to assist, livestock to benefit, vegetables to supplement, take them in proper proportion to supply energy. The key point is to keep a balanced diet. Besides, it has suggested that when one’s illness is already under control, it could be removed gradually by eating grains, meat, fruit and vegetables. There is no more need to take too much medicine, which might cause extreme side effects to our health. The claimed “grains to nourish” refers to using millet, sorghum, beans, wheat, rice and other cereals and beans as staple food for maintaining one’s life. “Fruit to assist” means that pears, apricot, chestnut, peach and other fruits and nuts are essential food aid to balanced diet. “Livestock to benefit” emphasizes that cattle, sheep, pigs, chicken and other livestock are beneficial to human body along with making up the deficiency of nutrition that grains can’t provide. They serve as the main complementary food in the balanced diet recipe. “Vegetables to supplement” indicates that vegetables like kwai, leek, allium, scallion, shallot etc. can supplement various essential nutrients.