To Keep in Good Health – A Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective (I)


Author: Myron Yau, Nutritionist at HKBioTek


Health care

Taste including sour, bitter, sweet, acrid, pungent and salty may be varied among different people. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, people have to eat different food to maintain healthy.



It tastes a bit pungent whilst also tastes a bit sweet. Having food with the taste of acrid can help hematopoiesis, energy replenishment, relief tiredness, stomach circulating and detoxification. For those who have diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease and etc are recommended to eat less food that contains acrid.



Food that contains sour can strengthen the digesting system and protect the liver. Hence, by consuming more food that contains sour can help digestion, kill the bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract, prevent us from getting cold, lowering the blood pressure and increase the elasticity of the blood vessels. Tomato, hawthorn and orange are examples of containing sour. All of them involve rich Vitamin C that can prevent cancers, anti-aging and arteriosclerosis.



Bitter pills may have blessed effects. Bitter can help assist dehumidification and diuretic effect. For example: bitter gourd, it can help to relief the Edema Disease.



People who always use spring onion, ginger, chilli and pepper as seasoning, are mostly like having spicy food. These food involve spicy ingredients that can help protecting the blood vessels, regulating the blood circulation and dredging the meridian.


The food pertains to ‘yang’ contains high calories, it’s also called ‘hot’ food; while the food pertains to ‘yin’ contains low calories and is called ‘cool’ food. Thus food that contains pungent is treated as ‘yang’ and ‘hot’ food. It can help to confront against cold weather and preventing us from getting cold. However, people with the symptoms of hemorrhoids, constipation and neurasthenia are recommended to consume less food with this seasoning.



Salt can help to regulating human cell and maintain normal metabolism. It is recommended to drink water with some salt after vomiting, diarrhea and sweating to regulate the blood circulation and maintain normal metabolism.


There should be rules to choose suitable medicine to the illness. Under the concept of Traditional Chinese medicine, the excessive odour of herbal, wood, gold and stones are used for medical application.


Golden mean is the philosophy in Traditional Chinese medicine. Having a balance diet and consume wide range of food will lead to a healthy life.


Traditional Chinese medicine claims that having bitter food can alleviate a person’s impulsive while having too much food in acrid flavour can lead to loss of appetite. Having food in pungent flavour will harm the liver. Therefore, for those who love having food in this flavour may look pale. For those who get cough or have pompholyx are suggested not to have food with pungent flavour. Consuming large portion of food in sour flavour will harm to muscles and having too much salty food will harm to the stomach and stomach is a vital organ for circulating the blood pressure.


People have high concern on having good food in Hong Kong. Therefore, more people who have excess nutrition are far more than those who are under-nutrition. Hence, it is highly recommended to have a habit of breatharianism one week per season.