In Oriental medicine (OM), different foods are often prescribed for different conditions. Did you know it’s actually possible to tell a lot about a food’s effects just by its taste? According to the cookbook: “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen,” by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, and Miko Ono, each taste is linked to a different therapeutic effect. Enjoy some of these common foods and learn what they can do for you!
Tastes and Popular Foods:
- Sour - A sour taste is associated with the liver channel in OM and is used to counteract symptoms such as diarrhea and excessive sweating. Foods with a sour taste, such as lemons, grapes, zucchini, and cashews are good examples.
- Bitter - A bitter taste is associated with the heart channel in OM and can improve appetite, treat fever, constipation, some types of cough, and arthritis. Examples of bitter foods include: corn, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and cherries.
- Sweet - Most people love sweets, and too many can lead to fatigue and overweight problems, but some sweets can help harmonize many systems of the body. Sweet taste is associated with the spleen channel and can address conditions such as weakness, dry cough, and thirst. Healthy sweet food examples include: strawberries, pineapples, carrots, and pine nuts.
- Spicy/Pungent - These tastes are associated with the lung channel and help with blood circulation and treating the common cold. However,too many of these foods can cause skin problems, restlessness, and sleep disorders. Some foods to try are: onions, almonds, rice, and pears.
- Salty - Salty foods, in moderation, can address cysts, inflammatory masses, and connective tissue accumulation. The salty taste is associated with the kidney channel and tends to soften firm masses. Try all sorts of beans: black, pinto, kidney, and also raspberries and walnuts.