Food as Medicine #2 |Specific foodstuffs and symptoms that these can alliviate

Food as Medicine #2 |Specific foodstuffs and symptoms that these can alliviate


Functions: * circulate qi so cramps and pain are alliviated, * relaxes muscles and tendons, * moisten the lung,  * helps bloodcirculation,  * stimulate milkproduction

Use:  pain and cramp in stomach, gas and swollen stomach, constipation, cough

Use not: Too much ripe papaya can cause diahorrea

Other: * unripe/green papaya contains most papain – use for gas and stomach pain

* Ripe/ orange papaya better for constipation, also urinary problems

* Papain moderates the damaging effects of gluten in gluten allergics



Functions: * Counteracts poisons, * warms stomach, lung and spleen with dispersing effect,* lowers the qi of stomach and lungs, * eliminates phlegm/damp/moist

Use: stiffness in neck area , flues due to wind, cold and damp/moist, headache, travelsickness,

vomiting and nausea, swollen sinuses, asthma, digestive problem

Use not: Pregnant women should not eat much ginger

Other: *Fresh ginger is one of the most used herbs in TCM and in chinese cooking due to its strong effect in protecting the stomach and counteract poisons.  It help break down protein from protein-rich foods and counteract the building up of uric accid from such food. * Strong ginger tea is usefull also in massage when one wish to elliminate cold and dampness, or crush the ginger and use the juice. * When boiling ginger, breathe in the hot steam to elliminate cold. * Fresh ginger has an anti-histamin effect and therefor good for allergics, also many anti-oxidants.

Dry Ginger (considered as a totally different herb in TCM)

Functions: *Elliminates cold, * warms the lungs and also the kidneys, *elliminates dampness/phlegm (especially in lack of Yang)

Use: Chronic running nose, joint pain, cold hand and feets, lack of appetite, swollen stomach,  loose stools, stomach pain, chronic asthma due to cold/damp, chronic bronchitis

Use not: Pregnant women should not eat much ginger.

Other: If we quick fry dried ginger on high temperature for a few minutes until slightly brown we get a third alternative.  This one is effective to stop diarrhoea and bleeding resulting from lack of Yang.  According to TCM the various types of ginger has very specific effects.

Fresh Ginger circulates without stopping due to its pungent and dispersing effect.
Dry Ginger circulates and stays due to its long term effect to strengthen Yang.
Fried Dry Ginger stays without moving due to astringent effect.  Keeps in blood and feces and strengthern deep Yang.



Functions: * Moisten the lungs, * strengthens kidneys/liver to lift Yang (ex.frequent urination), * strengthen sthe stomach, * nuture blood of the heart

Use: Dark urine and burning pain when urinating, fever with thirst and swollen throat, hangover with high blood pressure, pain in throat & hoarse, dry cough , dizzyness, bedwetting, frequent urination, travelsickness

Other: Strawberries are said to strengthen the sexual system and to increase fertility.


Functions: *moisten and support the lungs, * elliminates heat / poison from throat and lungs

Use: Throat irritation, tonsilities, dry throat, chronic cough

Other: * Persian Medicine – stabilizing the stomach and increase appetite

* Blessed in the Koran for its beneficial effects, * said to increase the libido (esp. black olives),

* Olive counteracts heat.  Beneficial for pregnant to eat regularly to prevent the child from future skinproblems like excema. * Use for gallstones and pain in the liver area – good result

* Supports and softens the stomach, * moisturing and supporting the lungs, by regular consumption, asthma can be prevented fairly well according to studies.

* Exteriorly to heal skin, infected wounds, moisten dry skin, ease muscle pain

Obviously, the leaves of papaya, strawberries and olives also have wonderfull healing properties.


Functions: * cools heat; can elliminate heat from the heart through the urine, *cools summerheat, *moistens the intestines, *urindrivande.

Use: Thirst, excess sweating due to heat, concentrated urine, dry feces, blisters on the tongue, diabetes, mouth sores, high blood pressure. nausea in pregnancy (due to excess in the liver).

Use not: Avoid excessive use when there is weakness in stomach and spleen.

Other: During the hot, moist summer in China it’s a must for all families to keep cool and prevent summerheat-infection.  After eating the melon, the rind is put in a jar to soak, and the water is drunk for a more cooling effect.  It is also possible to boil the rind.  Watermelon seeds can also be used.  They moisten the intestines and promotes digestion, moisten and cleanse the lungs.  Some recommend 4g pulverized seeds twice per day in case of too large or too frquent menstruation


Functions: * Eliminates heat/fire, * eliminates moist/poison (heat type), * affects heart and stomach.

Use: Excessive sweating due to hot climate, excema, red rashes, erysipelas (rose fever), edema, constant thirst, mumps, nausea in pregnancy due to excess in liver, poisoning from medicine, lead or coal. (together with chinese licoriceroot in case of poisoning from lead and chemical sprays)

Use not: In general weakness and in cold, especially in stomach and spleen.

Other: Due to the cooling effect, it is frequently used in the Orient during hot seasons.  Mainly as soup or decoction. Or put the beans in a jar of water and drink it after a few days.  The effect of mungbeans can be quite impressive.  Try filling your pillow with mungbeans to elliminate heat-problems from the head. Research has shown that this bean can lower the bloodsugar level.  Mung bean sprouts has generally the same effects as the beans.