TCM diet

Traditionally the chinese way of eating is based on ‘Qi’ energy. This is done to maximize the daily amount of qi that we are given. It is important to note that many indigneous cultures seem to have naturally figured out what is best suited for them. For instance- those in tropical regions tend to eat what naturally cools them down, while those in polar regions tend to eat what will keep them warm. The diet is based on some of the principles of the macrobiotic diet- which is eating according to where you are. Currently I am living in a North American temperate zone that has four seasons- winter, spring, summer and fall so I must adjust my diet to this climate. If I were to move to a polar or tropical temperate zone then I should change accordingly, but because I am a zone that has 4 seasons, I must not eat as if I were in any other zone. This means that tropical fruits and vegetables, imported fruits and vegetables from europe, asia, africa, ect. are really of no use for me. If I were to live in India then it is good to eat the foods there, including curry and spicy which will make a person sweat to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke, however the Indian diet is not important for my current living zone. The best concentration of food sources are local and regional areas. Another good thing to consider in diet is organic food sources. Today our meats and vegetables are not fully raised properly. Livestock is often raised in factory type settings, farms may be using pesticides, and fields may be depleated from minerals in the soil.

The chinese diet is based on thousands of years of research in many Taoist monasteries. These places have researched the energies of the diet for health and medical benefits. The food energies are based on 5 energy types. Cold food energy is a weak force that makes the person feel generally tired. Cool food energy generally has a cooling effect on the persons system. Warm food energy have a warming and nourshing effect on the human body. Fire food energy is strong and has a heating effect that generally makes the person seem to have alot of energy, but is the most dangerous of them all. Neutral food energies are more used for people who have attained stable health. The cold and fire foods are the ones to avoid because they throw the ‘qi’ off balance by being extremes. A combination of these cold and hot/fire extremes leads to ‘Empty Fire’ leading to serious imbalances.

5 elements differentiation-
Beef: neutral, sweet, Sp & St Qi & Blood Tonic
warm, sweet, Sp, Ki, Qi Tonic, Warms Interior
Ham: warm, salty, Sp Qi Tonic, Produces fluids, subdues Reb. Qi
Pork: neutral, sweet & salty, Sp, St. Ki, Lubricates dryness (Ni: si. cold)
neutral, sweet & salty, Lu, Ki, Facilitates water passage, reduces, swellings
warm, sweet, Sp, St. Qi Tonic, Warms Interior
Chicken egg:
neutral, sweet. Blood tonic, lubricates dryness
Egg white:
cool, sweet. detoxifies, lubricates Lu, coos hot sensations, benefits throat
Egg yolk:
neutral, sweet, Ht & Ki, blood tonic, lubricates dryness
Chinese cabbage:
neutral, sweet, St & LI, promotes digestion & urination, tonifies Ki & Brain.
neutral, sweet, Lu & St. Sp Qi tonic, dries dampness & Phlegm
Corn: neutral, sweet, St & LI, Qi & Blood tonic, regulates Middle Jiao stimulates appetite, diuretic
Black Fungus:
neutral, sweet. St & LI, Qi & Blood tonic, cools Blood, stops bleeding
White Fungus:
neutral, sweet, Lu, Yin tonic, produces fluids, lubricates Lu
neutral, sweet. (Lu & Sp), Qi & Blood tonic, dries Damp, diaphoretic
neutral, sweet. Sp, Sp Qi tonic, heals inflammation
Sweet Potato:
neutral, sweet. Lu, Sp & Ki, Qi, Blood & Yin tonic, benefits Kidneys, astringes Jing
Shiitake Mushroom:
neutral, sweet. St. Qi & Blood tonic, benefits St
neutral, sweet bitter, St & Liv, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat. sedates Yang, dries Damp, calms Liver, expels Wind
Taro: neutral, sweet & pungent. St & LI, Qi, Yang & Blood tonic, circulates Qi & Blood, clears Heat. reduces swellings
neutral, sweet. pungent. bitter, Qi, Yang & Blood tonic, circulates Qi & Blood, clears Heat & Yang, dries Damp, diaphoretic, lowers Reb. Qi, detoxifies Yin tonic, clears Heat & Fire, dries Damp, clears Lu, lubricates Dryness, diaphoretic

checks gastric acid, arrests bleeding
Milk: neutral, sweet, Ht, Lu, St. Lu & St tonic, produces fluids & lubricates the intestines
warm, sweet, Yang, Qi & Blood tonic, circulates blood
warm, sweet, Kidney Yang tonic
Eel: warm, sweet, Liv, Sp, Ki, Qi tonic, treats Bi syndrome, strengthens bone
warm, salty, Liv & Ki Qi tonic, treats simple goiter
neutral, sweet & salty, detoxifies, sharpens vision
neutral, sweet & salty, Sp, Tonifies Qi, Blood, & Yin lubricates dryness, reduces swelling, tonifies S Zang
Carp: neutral, sweet, Sp & St, facilitates water passage, promotes milk secretion, heals swelling
neutral, salty, Liv & Ki, Blood tonic, sharpens vision
neutral, sweet & salty, Blood tonic
Oyster shell:
cool, salty, Liv & Ki, stops sweating, astringes Jing, softens hardness Saltwater clam:
cold, salty, St. promotes water passage, elimir;ates phlegm, softens hardness
Freshwater clam: S
cold, sweet & salty, Liv & Ki, detoxifies, sharpens vision
Crab: cold, salty, Liv & St, activates blood, cools heat sensations facilitates recovery of dislocations
Kelp: cold, salty, St. softens hardness, facilitates water passage

Five element differentiation
Glutinous rice:
warm, sweet, Sp, St. Lu, Sp Qi tonic
Malt: si. warm, sweet, Sp & St. promotes digestion
White rice:
neutral, sweet, Sp & St. Sp Qi tonic
Rice bran:
neutral, sweet & pungent, St, LI, descends energy
Rye: neutral, bitter, dries dampness, diuretic
Whole wheat:
cool, sweet, Ht, Sp, Ki, Ht & Ki tonic
Wheat bran:
cool, sweet, St, cools St Fire,
cool, sweet, LI, St, Sp, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat sedates Yang,
Job’s Tears:
cool, sweet, Sp, Lu Ki, detoxifies, Sp & Lu Qi tonic, diuretic
cool, sweet.& salty, Sp & St. regulates St, expands intestines, promotes urination
cool, sweet & salty, St. Sp, Ki, Qi & Blood tonic, clears heat, lubricates dryness, Tonifies Yin, benefits digestion detoxifies

Soybean Oil:
hot, pungent & sweet, lubricates intestines Sword bean: warm, sweet, Ki, St & LI: warms interior, tonifies Ki, descends Reb Qi.
String bean:
neutral, sweet, Sp & Ki, Qi, Blood & Yin tonic
Yellow soybean:
neutral, sweet, Sp & LI, Qi tonic, lubricates dryness, eliminates edema
Black soybean:
neutral, sweet, Sp & Ki, circulates Blood & fluids treats Bi syndrome, detoxifies
neutral, sweet, LI & St, Qi & Blood tonic, diuretic
Hyacinth bean:
neutral, sweet, Sp & St, Qi tonic, eliminates edema
Broad bean:
neutral, sweet, Sp & St, Qi tonic, eliminates edema
Peas: neutral, sweet, Sp & St, Qi & Blood tonic, descends Reb Qi, diuretic, induces bowel movements Kidney bean:
neutral, sweet & bland, diuretic, heals swellings
AdZUkI bean:
neutral, sweet & sour, Ht & SI, diuretic, heals swellings, detoxifies
Castor bean:
neutral, sweet & pungent, Lu & LI, detoxifies & heals swellings, induces bowel movements
Mung bean:
cool, sweet, Ht & St. detoxifies, clears heat, diuretic
cool, sweet, LI & Sp, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat, lubricates dryness, eliminates edema
Tofu: cool, sweet, Sp, St, LI, Qi tonic, produces fluids, lubricates dryness, detoxifies NUTS
warm, sweet, Ki & Lu, Ki tonic, lubricates intestines, astringes Jing
warm sweet, Sp, St & Ki tonic, circulates Blood & stops bleeding

cool, sweet & bitter, Lu & Ki, Qi, Blood & Yin tonic, clears Heat & Fire, dries Damp, lubricates Dryness, clears Lu, diaphoretic
Lettuce (Iceberg):
cool, bitter & sweet, St & LI, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat & Yang, dries Dampness & diuretic, aids lactation
cool, sweet, Sp. St & LI, clears Heat Yang, & detoxifies, promotes urination & quenches thirst
cool, sweet, Sp, St & LI, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat & Yang, removes Blood Stagnation, relieves pain, heals swelling
Mushroom (button):
cool, sweet, Lu, LI, St & Sp, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat & Yang, calms Shen, stimulates appetite, regulates Qi, transforms Phlegm
cool, sweet, LI & SI, Qi & Blood tonic, clears Heat & Yang, hemostatic, lubricates Dryness
Winter Melon:
cool, sweet, Lu, LI, UB, & SI, detoxifies, diuretic, transforms Phlegm
Swiss Chard:
cool, sweet, Su, LI, Sp & St. Qi Y Blood tonic, clears Heat & Yang, detoxifies, hemostatic, relieves coagulations
cool, sweet & pungent, Lu & St. Qi, Yang & Blood tonic, circulates Qi & Blood, clears Heat & Yang, lubricates Lu, quenches thirst, diuretic
cool, pungent & sweet, Lu & St. Qi, & Blood tonic, clears Heat & detoxifies, transforms Phlegm-Heat, lowers Reb. Qi
Bamboo shoot:
cold, sweet, Tonifies Qi, Blood & Yin, clears Heat, detoxifies (often used to balance warm energy of meat)
Kelp: cold, salty, St & Sp, Yin tonic, clears Heat, lubricates Dryness, softens Hardness, promotes flow of Water
Lotus Root:
cold, sweet, Sp St & Ht, Qi, Blood & Yin tonic, cools Blood (when raw), stimulates appetite, produces muscles, relieves diarrhea (when cooked)

, SWeet, sp & lu,
Peanut Oil:
neutral, sweet, Qi & Blood tonic, lubricates intestines, pushes accumulations downward
neutral, sweet, Lu, Qi & Blood tonic, lubricates Lu, relieves cough, transforms phlegm, lowers Reb Qi
hot, pungent, Sp & Ki, Sp & Ki tonic, arrests bleeding, stops Sp Qi sinking
Sunflower seed:
warm & neutral, sweet & bland, Liv & LI, stops diarrhea, facilitates eruption of measles, subdue Liv
warm, sweet, Lu, LI & Liv, lubricates Lu & LI, stops cough, Qi, Yang & Blood tonic, promotes fluids, moves Stagnant Blood, expels cold & wind
Dill seed:
warm, pungent, Sp & Ki, Qi & Yang tonic, moves Stagnant Blood, regulates Qi, expels cold
Fennel seed:
warm, pungent, St. UB & Ki, Qi & Yang tonic, moves Stagnant Blood, regulates Qi, expels cold, harmonizes St
Bitter apricot seed:
warm, pungent & bitter, toxic, Lu & LI, stops cough, relieves asthma, lubricates intestines
Sweet apricot seed:
warm, pungent & sweet, Lu, LI, Sp, Sp Qi tonic, lubricates intestines, stops cough
Sesame seed:
sI. warm, sweet, Liv & Ki tonic, lubricates intestines, “blackens” gray hair, general tonic
Black sesame seed:
neutral, sweet, Liv & Ki tonic
Cherry seed:
neutral, bitter & pungent, LI, promotes measle eruption, detoxifies
Lotus seed:
neutral, sweet & harsh, Sp, Ht & Ki tonic. Qi & Blood tonic, constricts the intestines

warm, sweet, (St & LI) obstructive & constrictive, stops diarrhea & bleeding Chinese Date (red & black):
warm, sweet, Sp & St, Qi & Blood tonic, produces fluids, detoxifies,
Longan (Long Yan/Dragon’s Eyes):
warm, sweet, Sp & Ht, Yang, Qi & Blood tonic, removes Blood Stag., calms Shen Coconut milk & meat:
warm, sweet, produce fluids, promote urination, kills intestinal worms
warm, sweet & sour, (Lu & LI), activates Blood, Qi, Blood & Yang tonic, produces fluid, lubricates intestines, stops cough, expels cold
warm, sweet & sour, Liv & Ki, Liv & Ki tonic, controls urination, asringes Jing
warm, sweet & sour, Sp & Liv, Yang, Qi & Blood tonic, Regulates Qi & Blood, soothes Liv & calms Shen
warm, sweet & harsh: Qi, Yang, & Blood tonic, activates Qi & Blood, expels Cold, Wind, & Damp
warm, pungent, sweet & sour, (Lu & Sp), circulates Qi, relieves cough, transforms Phlegm
Dried Mandarin orange peel:
warm, pungent & bitter, Sp & Lu, regulates Qi, dries dampness, transforms Phlegm Hawthorn Fruit:
sI. warm, sweet & sour, Sp, St & Liv, harmonizes Middle Jiao, removes Qi, Blood & Food
Stagnation (esp. meat), expels tapewonns
neutral, sweet, (Sp, Si, Lu & LI), promotes digestiofl destroys intestinal worms, lubricates Lu, stops cough
Figs: neutral, sweet, Sp & U, St tonic, detoxifies
neutral, sweet & sour, Lu, Sp & Ki, Qi & Blood tonic, strengthens tendons & bones, promotes urnaton
Crab apple:
neutral, sweet & sour, Ht, Liv & Lu, quenches thirst, stops diarrhea, astringes Jing
neutral, sweet & sour, Lu & St. Qi & Blood tonic, clears Lu, benefits throat, produces fluids, detoxifies
neutral, (sweet & sI. bitter),(LU, St & Liv), lubricates dryness harmonizes St & soothes Liv, descends Reb. Qi, stops cough
neutral, sweet & sour, Lu, lubricates Lu, produces fluids
neutral, sweet & sour, Qi & Blood tonic, promotes urination & digestion, quenches thirst, stops diarrhea, clears Summer Heat
neutral, sweet & sour, Liv & Ki, produces fluids, promotes digestion & urination, soothes the Liv
Sour Plum:
neutral, cx. sour, Liv, produces fluids, destroys worms

Dried Ginger:
hot, pungent, Lu, St & Sp, Yang & Qi tonic, circulates Blood, warms Middle Jiao, opens the meridians
Pepper (black & white):
hot, pungent, St & LI, warms interior, descends Reb. Qi
Pepper (red & green):
hot, pungent, Ht & Sp, warms interior, harmonizes Middle Jiao, stimulates appetite
Cinnamon Bark:
hot, sweet & pungent, Sp, Ki, UB, diaphoretic, strengthens St, warms surface & interior
Fennel Seed:
warm, pungent, Ki, IJB, St, Warms Interior, circulates Qi
Sweet Basil:
warm, pungent, Lu, LI, Sp, St, Qi & Yang tonic, circulates Qi & Blood, harmonizes St
warm, pungent, Sp & Ki, Qi & Yang tonic, circulates Qi & Blood
warm, pungent, Sp, St & Lu, Qi & Yang tonic, circulates Qi & Blood, warms Middle Jiao, destroys worms
warm, pungent, St, Sp & Ki, Yang tonic, warms Interior
Fresh Ginger:
warm, pungent, Lu, St & Sp, diaphoretic, Yang & Qi tonic, circulates Blood, transforms Phlegm, stops vomiting
warm pungent, Lu & Sp, diaphoretic, harmonizes Middle Jiao
warm pungent, Sp & LI, Qi & Yang tonic, warms Interior, circulates Blood, warms Middle Jiao, lowers Reb. Qi
Cinnamon Twig:
warm, pungent & sweet, UB, Ht, Lu, diaphoretic, warms Upper Jiao
Star Anise:
warm, pungent & sweet, Sp, Ki, Liv, Yang tonic, circulates Qi, harmonizes St, stops vomiting
Caraway Seed:
warm, si. pungent, Ki & St, circulates Qi, descends Reb Qi
warm, pungent & sweet, (Lu & Sp), diaphoretic, circulates Qi & Blood
warm, sweet, & si bitter, Sp, Lu (Ht), Qi tonic, produces fluids, calms Shen
warm, pungent, (Lu, St), diaphoretic, activates Blood, strengthens St. calms Shen
neutral, sweet, Ht & Liv, circulates Qi & i3lood, eliminates Blood Stagnation
neutral, sweet, Sp, St & Lu, lubricates lungs, detoxifies, moderates effects of other herbs
coot, pungent, Lu & Liv, diaphoretic, regulates Qi & Blood
cool, pungent, (Lu & Sp), diaphoretic, circulates Qi, drains dampness

White sugar:
neutral, sweet, Lu & Sp, lubricates Lu, produces fluids, Qi tonic
neutral, sweet, Lu, Sp & LI, detoxifies, lubricates dryness, relieves pain
Tea: si cold, bitter, sweet, Ht, Lu & St. quenches thirst, promotes digestion & urination, awakens Shen
Salt: cold, salty, St, Ki, SI & LI, detoxifies, clears Heat, lubricates dryness, Yin tonic
Brown sugar:
warm, sweet, Liv, Sp & StQi tonic, circulates blood
warm, sour & bitter, Liv & St. disperses coagulations, detoxifies, arrest bleeding
Wine: warm, sweet, bitter & pungent, Ht, Liv, Lu & St, promotes blood circulation, expels cold, speeds up effects of herbs
warm, sweet & bitter, Ht, Heart tonic, stimulant, diuretic
warm sweet Lu & Sp Qi tonic lubricates Lu stops cough
., …. , .. .
seasame oil- cool,sweet. detoxifies lubricates dryness promotes bowel movemefl produces muscles
cool, ex. sour, promotes fluids, harmonizes St, relieves thirst
cool, sweet & sour, (St & Lu), Qi & Blood tonic, benefits St. relieves vomiting, quenches thirst.
Mandarin Orange:
cool, sweet & sour, (Lu), diuretic, lubricates Lu, relieves cough, 1ransfOI Phlegm

About Administrator

Coach Matt Stampe has taught hundreds of people Authentic Tai Chi Kung fu for over 20 years. He has taught at Kung fu schools, Parks and Recreation centers, Chinese schools, Martial arts clubs, MMA/Boxing gyms, and Acupuncture universities. He has positively impacted peoples lives whether for health, sport, strength, spirit, and abilities to confidently defend themselves. (without all the woo-woo.)
This entry was posted in Health/Qigong/Healing, TCM, Massage and Dietary therapy. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply