While we all enjoy dim sum or prawn crackers, traditional Chinese medicinal cuisine is something very different. The dishes are prepared according to what the body needs and are based on ancient recipes. The principal is that the right food can help cure your body of disease and restore it to health.
These are some of the more general principles of the tradition.
Balance is Everything
Balance is the core principle of Chinese cuisine and medicine. It is believed that a healthy body is one that has a proper balance of things. In winter, too much yin is in the body and more yang is needed. In summer, the opposite is true. These means that nutritional needs change with the seasons.
The Chinese often add certain herbs or animal parts to help heal disease and aid strength. Ginger, for example, is thought to help nausea and cramping and has been used to treat such symptoms for thousands of years.
How You Eat Matters Too
When it comes to traditional Chinese medicine eating practices, how you eat is as important as what you eat. One is encouraged to sit down and eat in a quiet place, not engaging with TV or a noisy environment. Food must be chewed thoroughly and eaten slowly. Attention must be paid to the meal and not to surrounding distractions.