Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concepts can often feel foreign and intimidating, even if you grew up in the culture or speaking the language. Heat, wind, damp…what do these terms mean?
Understanding these basic concepts is essential if you want to learn about TCM Nutrition, just as you need to understand “calorie,” “protein,” and “blood sugar” if you’re reading up on western nutrition.
To help you, we sorted out some most basic and important TCM terms and concepts.
TCM Nutrition Basics
Food Therapy & Nutrition
All the most basic, most essential principles for absolute beginners!
9 Body Constitution
Each of us has a unique body constitution, influenced by both genetics and lifestyle, that makes us more susceptible to certain conditions and illnesses.
Five Elements 五行
Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. The theory of five elements painted a splendid picture in ancient Chinese culture and later became one of the most important components in the system of TCM.
Yin and Yang 阴阳
The quintessential foundation of Chinese Medicine and Chinese culture.
Qi, Blood, & Essence 气血精
Qi, blood and body fluid: the essential substances for life activities, flow constantly inside the body and all originate from the viscera.
What Are Meridians? 经络？
There is a distribution network for the fundamental substances of Qi , Blood and Body Fluids throughout the body. This distribution network called the Meridian System.
What Is Dampness? 湿气
Imagine a very humid greenhouse with molds and steam. That’s what dampness feels like.
Si Miao Collection Interviews
Shiroi is a Japanese TCM nutritionist and herbalist who makes exquisite medicinal desserts.
Ervina is a Singaporean TCM dermatologist, licensed practitioner, and co-founder of one of our favorite beauty brands 5YINA.
Lulu is the founder of Elix, a clinically-backed, women’s health company rooted in the ancient power of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Samantha is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, and founder of Five Flavor Kitchen.
Adrian Chang is a 3rd-gen Asian-American and the creator of My Kitsune Café, a food blog that shares Asian dishes & traditional recipes.
Eat with the Seasons
Sour/sweet flavors are recommended
Yang & uprising foods
Bitter/light/mildly sour flavors, instead of spicy or sweet
Calming and cooling foods
Late Summer 长夏
Spleen and Stomach health
Naturally Sweet flavors
Dampness-reducing, Cooling, Yellow-toned foods
Yin-nourishing, Moistening, White-toned foods
Salty and Sweet flavors
Replenishment and nourishment
Yang, Warming, Black-toned foods