Chinese Medicated Diet
The Chinese have a traditional belief in the medicinal value of food, as they believe that food and medicine share the same origin. This view could be considered a forerunner of nutritional science in China.
Chinese medicated diet is not a simple combination of food and Chinese herb, but a special highly finished diet made from Chinese herbs, food and condiments under the theoretical guidance of diet preparation based on differentiation of symptoms and signs of traditional Chinese medicine.
Chinese medicated diet has a long history. The ancient legend "Shennong Tastes a Hundred Grasses "shows that early in remote antiquity the Chinese nation began to explore the function of food and medicaments, hence the saying "Traditional Chinese medicine and diet both originate from the practice and experience in daily life."
In Shennong's Herbal Classic, which was published approximately in about the Qin and Han Periods and is the extant earliest monograph on materia medica, many sorts of medicaments which are both drugs and food were recorded, such as Chinese-date (Fructus Ziziphi Jujubae),sesame seed (Semen Sesami), Chinese yam (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), grape (Vitis), walnut kernel (Semen Fuglandis), lily bulb (Bulbus Lilii) , fresh ginger (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens), Job's-tears seed (Semen Coicis), etc. in the East Han dynasty, some noted medicated diet recipes were recorded, such as Soup of Chinese Angelica root, Fresh ginger and Mutton (Danggui Shengjiang Yangrou Tang ), Decoction of Pig-skin (Zhufu Tang), etc., all of which now still have important values. Sun simiao, a well-known doctor in the Tang Dynasty, listed and discussed such questions as dietetic treatment, dietetic treatment for senile health care and health preservation.
According to history books, up to the period of the Sui and Tang Dynasties about more than sixty kinds of books on dietetic treatment had been published. But unfortunately most of them are lost. Of all the prescriptions recorded in it, 70% are about medicated diet. It is emphasized in this book that "dietetic therapy should go first for any senile diseases, and then followed by medicine if they are not cured." Hu Sihui, a royal doctor in the Yuan Dynasty, oceans of medicated diet prescriptions and dietetic drugs were recorded; in addition, some questions, such as diet contraindication in pregnancy, diet contraindication for wet nurse, contraindication for drinking, etc. were also discussed in this book. In the Ming Dynasty, Li Shizhen collected and recorded many medicated diet prescriptions, dozens of which were about medicated gruel alone, another dozens touched on nothing other than medicated wine. Monographs on medicated diet treatment in the Qing Dynasty varied in characteristics. Over 300 species belonging to 7 phyla of medicated food and drink were introduced.
Medicated diet can be used either to treat diseases or for healthy people to build up their health and prevent diseases. This is one of the characteristics in which medicated diet is different from treatment by medicine. Although medicated diet is something mild, it has a notable effect on the prevention and cure of diseases, health building -up and health preserving. Here are some of the achievements in scientific research of Shandong Traditional Chinese Medicine College:
Eight-Ingredient Food: It is prepared according to the experience in ancient dietetic treatment and health care of imperial court in the Qing Dynasty from eight dietetic Chinese drugs including Chinese yam (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), lotus seed (semen Nelumbinis), and hawthorn fruit (Fructus Crataegi). 97% of the children who took it for 30 days have whetted their appetite, and their growth has improved too.
Nourishing Extract of laiyang Pear and mushroom: It is made from the juice of Laiyang Pear (Malum Piri) and extract of mushrooms ( Lentinus Edodes) and tremella (Tremella). If the middle-aged and senile patients suffering from chronic diseases take it, not only can the symptoms of their illness be alleviated, but their blood-fat can be brought down too when they are suffering from hyperlipemia, and their immunology function can be improved.
It has not only the efficiency of medicine but also the delicacy of food, and can be used to prevent and cure diseases, build up one's health and prolong one's life.