Foods and Their Healing Messages

Since ancient times, food has been used as a powerful medicine. So how do we connect with its powerful healing messages?

Imagine the journey of a fruit or vegetable. Take a fig for instance.  Without A clump of hundreds of flowers form inside each fig. When pollinated, these flowers transform into individual fruits with their own seeds. Of the species of fig that require pollination, tiny fig wasps—a different species of wasp for each species of fig–use the eye of the fig to reach the flowers inside. In addition, fig trees require 100-200 hours of winter “chill time” in order to produce fruit. Without this period of dormancy, the tree will become weaker and weaker each year.

Here, you can see the cooperation that needs to take place in Nature for figs to meet their growing requirement. Without pollination and a winter rest period, fig trees would not continue to produce edible fruit year after year.

When TCM practitioners prescribe a food for healing, they consider the essence, Qi, and healing messages contained in that food as well as how the food’s essence communicates with the body’s meridian network. Each food is an individual expression of Qi. Just like human beings, each food has a unique essence—an indelible aspect that can never be duplicated. A ripe fig that has gone through its entire growing process represents complete balance. When you eat the fig, you are acquiring its healing essence.

However, the very first step on a healing journey is the digestive system. If the body cannot absorb what it receives, the chances of success are greatly reduced. After healing the digestive system, a skilled practitioner will prescribe foods based upon the needs of the individual.

Here are some foods that energetically support each organ system:

1. Liver/Gallbladder:

Bamboo shoots, bee pollen, broccoli rabe, dandelion greens, eggplant, fennel, green apple, lemon, pickled ginger, plums, scallions, sour pickles, vinegar, mung beans

Mung beans have a unique ability to help the body separate good and bad elements. They can also help improve chronic skin conditions. Mung beans act like a screen that separates and filters out unwanted toxic material.

2. Kidney/Bladder:

Shellfish, bone soup, walnuts, pine nuts, cauliflower, seaweed, black sesame seeds, black beams, sunflower seeds, bean curd (organic tofu), walnut oil, sesame oil, cinnamon, cloves.

Walnuts are a warming food that support Kidney Qi. Have you noticed that walnuts look like little brains? The Kidney supports the brain and the bones and provides energetic support to the entire body.

3. Spleen/Stomach:

Chinese barley, lotus seed, Chinese red dates, red grapefruit, radish, red grapes, red apples, sweet potato, mango, papaya, peanuts, pumpkin, ginger root, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel seeds, garlic, black and white pepper

The Stomach loves warmth! Ginger root has the unique ability to rebalance Stomach functionore! Chinese barley is prescribed to relieve excess water or Dampness in the body, and is also used in cancer prevention and treatment.

4. Lung/Large Intestine:

Chili, almonds, bitter almonds, pears, persimmon, honey, white fungus, horseradish, mushrooms, scallions, chestnuts, Daikon radish, white sesame seeds, lily bulb, mint

The Lung and Large Intestine love spicy foods; however, honey helps add moisture to the colon. Honey supports both the Stomach and Lung, and acts as a natural antibiotic.

5. Heart/Small Intestine:

Broccoli rabe, bitter melon, watermelon, plum tomatoes, endive, dandelion greens, kale, radicchio, arugula, apricots, escarole, berries

Watermelon has a remarkable ability to naturally cool the body, heal inflammation, and support the Heart.

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