Is medicinal diet a form of medicine or food?

Medicinal diet (yaoshan ) uses vegetables, meat, egg, milk, aquatic and bean products as main ingredients to match with various Chinese medicinal materials, making different dishes and soup for therapeutic purposes such as preventing and curing illnesses, and maintaining good health. Thus,yaoshan is both medicine and food. It is a diet with therapeutic properties.

It comes in many forms, including vegetables, broth, soup, rice, porridge, wine, tea, sweets, snacks, etc.

With intimate knowledge of the commonly-used herbs, you can make some adjustments to the recipes for medicinal diets, based on your needs and symptoms. For instance, if you need to invigorateqi, you may increase the amount of ginseng and astragalus root used; to enrich the blood, you may add brown sugar, longan pulp, dried red date, etc. But when making adjustments, you must take note of the following guidelines:

1.Understand the nature of the herbs and food.

2.Know the characteristics of your own physique and health condition.

3.When adapting the medicinal diet recipe, abide strictly by the principle ofpeiwu  and take note of the taboo foods.

4.If you are new to medicinal diet and take it mainly to maintain good health, you should choose non-toxic, commonly-used herbs that are warm or cool in nature. Herbs that are very cold or hot in nature are unsuitable for people with no illness. If chosen, they should be used with discretion in small quantities.

5.Exercise patience when preparing the medicinal diet. Avoid using a very strong fire so as not to destroy the food’s quality and nature, causing it to lose its efficacy.