Issue 67, February 2017, London

The food element

I often talk about the "nature" of a food in Chinese medicine ie when to avoid hot or heaty food, and when too much of a "damp" food can damage the Spleen function etc. But sometimes what is obvious to me may be baffling to someone else and I often forget this fact.

Such was the case when I was discussing heaty foods to avoid and a patient suggested I write a list so that she could look up a particular fruit or vegetable. I have no idea why I didn't think of this myself! It is by no means an extensive list, and I plan on adding to it, but do have a look and let me know what you think.
This list pertains to the "nature" or property of a food type as understood in Chinese medicine. It does not refer to the temperature of something, hence a cooked bitter melon is considered "cold" and a mango is "hot". However sometimes the property of a food can be changed due to the method of cooking and you should clarify this with your practitioner.
For instance, pork is cooling but all barbecued meats is considered hot. Coffee is interesting - it is "bitter" in property, so is classified as cooling in effect, but due to the roasting of the beans, the long term effect is actually heaty. Cold brews would presumably maintain the cooling effect.

The important thing to remember is that everything is best in moderation. Just because it's on the list of foods appropriate for you doesn't mean you should have massive amounts of it. 

Warming foods:       
  • Black pepper (warning to hot)
  • Caraway seed
  • Cinnamon twig
  • Fennel
  • Garlic (warming to hot)
  • Ginger (warming to hot)
  • Goat meat
  • Goat's milk / cheese
  • Linseed
  • Leek
  • Mustard
  • Oats
  • Onion
  • Pumpkin
  • Red wine
  • Turmeric
Hot foods
  • Alcohol
  • Beef
  • Chillies
  • Chocolate
  • Durian
  • Lamb
  • Mango
  • Peanuts
  • Pineapple

  • Almond
  • Beans
  • Black tea
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Chamomile
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Cider vinegar
  • Fish
  • Grape
  • Kale
  • Lentils
  • Rice
  • Rocket (neutral to cooling)
Cooling foods:
  • Apple
  • Asparagus
  • Blueberry
  • Celery
  • Coffee*
  • Coriander
  • Courgette
  • Cream cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion (cooling to cold)
  • Grapefruit
  • Green tea
  • Lettuce (cooling to cold)
  • Passion fruit
  • Pear
  • Pork
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • White wine
  • Yogurt
Cold foods:
  • Banana
  • Bitter melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Rhubarb
  • Watermelon


Three ways to boost nutrition and digestion for more productivity

I was not expecting a perfect description of Spleen dysfunction when I read this article, but what it describes as poor gut health and nutrition is the epitome of poor Spleen function in Chinese medicine.



How to boost your Spleen function

Speaking of the Spleen, here are five ways to boost your Spleen function so you can regulate that digestive fire.




If you have been kind enough to refer someone to me – I want to say a big THANK YOU. That is the highest compliment and it’s warmly appreciated every time.


Other news: 

To book your appointment, contact me directly or call:

Tuesday: KING’S ROAD, 020 7225 2050
Wednesday: COVENT GARDEN, 020 7379 7662

And finally...

Last weekend was Chinese New Year and 2017 is the year of the Rooster but do you know why the twelve Chinese zodiac animals are in the order they are?

Ka Hang Leoungk
Managing Editor, Pointspace

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