My Citizens, your archetypal pinnacle of gastronomic genius – the unmatched TFD! – is a long-time student of Chinese herbal medicine. Food and medicine are seen as one and the same and this old recipe originally created for an Emperor hits all the right notes to keep you healthy and strong!
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy.
It is primarily used as a complementary alternative medicine approach. TCM is widely used in China and it is also used in the West. Its philosophy is based on Yinyangism (i.e., the combination of Five Phases theory with Yin-yang theory), which was later absorbed by Daoism.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, good health is believed to be achieved by a balance between yin and yang.
Yin and yang are ancient Chinese concepts which can be traced back to the Shang dynasty (1600–1100 BC). They represent two abstract and complementary aspects that every phenomenon in the universe can be divided into. Primordial analogies for these aspects are the sun-facing (yang) and the shady (yin) side of a hill.
Two other commonly used representational allegories of yin and yang are water and fire. In the yin-yang theory, detailed attributions are made regarding the yin or yang character of things:
Phenomenon Yin Yang
Celestial bodies moon sun
Gender female male
Location inside outside
Temperature cold hot
Direction downward upward
Degree of humidity damp/moist dry
The concept of yin and yang is also applicable to the human body; for example, the upper part of the body and the back are assigned to yang, while the lower part of the body are believed to have the yin character.
Yin and yang characterization also extends to the various body functions, and – more importantly – to disease symptoms (e.g., cold and heat sensations are assumed to be yin and yang symptoms, respectively). Thus, yin and yang of the body are seen as phenomena whose lack (or over-abundance) comes with characteristic symptom combinations:
Yin vacuity (also termed “vacuity-heat”): heat sensations, possible sweating at night, insomnia, dry pharynx, dry mouth, dark urine, and a “fine” and rapid pulse.
Yang vacuity (“vacuity-cold”): aversion to cold, cold limbs, bright white complexion, long voidings of clear urine, diarrhea, pale and enlarged tongue, and a slightly weak, slow and fine pulse.
TCM also identifies drugs believed to treat these specific symptom combinations, i.e., to reinforce yin and yang.
Citizens, this recipe will set you all aright – find a good Chinese herbalist near you to get the right herbs (pinyin is provided in case the shop proprietor doesn’t speak English). I have every confidence you will find my recipe to be superior, delicious and healing!
Please do note that the herbs are NOT to be eaten!
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