Acupuncture.Com - Gateway to Chinese Medicine, Health and Wellness        Store                    Google
PATIENTS

bulletConditions A-Z
bulletAcupuncture Clinic
bulletFind an Acupuncturist
bulletHerbal Remedies
bulletDiet & Nutrition
bulletChi Gong &Tai Chi
bulletChinese Medicine Basics
bulletPatient Testimonials
bulletAnimal Acupuncture
bulletStore

PRACTITIONERS/STUDENTS

bulletSyndromes A-Z
bulletAcuPoint Locator
bulletHerbology
bulletPractice Building
bulletCEUs/Events
bulletEmployment
bulletStudy Acupuncture
bulletAcupuncture Schools
bulletResearch
bulletTCM Library
bulletLaws & Regulations
bulletPractitioner Links
bulletPractitioner Store

MORE

bulletPoints Newsletter
bulletCatalog Requests
bulletContact Us
bulletAbout Acupuncture.Com
bulletPrivacy Policy

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Acupuncture.Com accepts article contributions. Email submissions to contact@acupuncture.com

Subscribe

Keep informed on current news in the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Home > Newsletters > May 2008 > 5 Senses = 5 Tastes = 5 Elements

5 Senses = 5 Tastes = 5 Elements

By James Evans. L.Ac.

Cravings are natural? Why do they occur? How can I reduce them? What benefits do I get from the foods I crave? Is sugar an addictive substance? How do cravings relate to addiction?

There are five tastes as recorded in The Yellow Emperor, a famous Taoist and medical text written over 5,000 years ago. The five tastes are sweet, pungent, salty, sour, and bitter. Each taste corresponds to a different organ system, pathology and element.

Sweet = stomach and digestive system = Earth
Bitter = heart and cardiovascular system = Fire
Sour = liver and nervous system = Wood
Salty = kidney and endocrine = Water
Pungent = lungs, lymph and immune system = Metal

For those of you who have a sweet tooth you may be wondering why it corresponds to the digestive system and the earth element. The digestive system is responsible for absorption and distribution of nutrients from food and is the source of much of our body's energy. When we lack energy, it is natural to crave sweet foods, but the foods our body is really craving are foods like sweet potato, pumpkin, apples and corn, not chocolate. We have created super sweet foods that appeal to one's desire for energy and instant satisfaction, but these food types do not meet the body's needs. Consuming very sweet foods delivers only temporary satisfaction because when sugar enters the blood stream rapidly, it is removed just as rapidly by a hormone called insulin. This sugar is then put into storage in two ways, one as glycogen in the liver and the other as fat (and we all know where that likes to sit!). This is the nature of sugar and the addictive behavior it encourages. The storage that takes place not only leads to weight gain, but to many other problems relating to sluggish digestion and what we call in Chinese medicine damp accumulation.

In Chinese Medical and Nutritional therapy, sweet foods in the form of complex carbohydrates are central food for most traditional diets. Complex carbohydrates energize the body while nourishing and relaxing the brain and nervous function. Sweet is a harmonizing flavor as it reduces the harshness of stronger flavors such as bitter. Sweet also generates fluids or Yin and strengthen weakness or deficiency. However, sweet foods consumed in excess without the balancing characteristics of bitter foods such as dark leafy green vegetables can cause a build up of fluids and what we refer to in Chinese Medicine as Dampness.

The accumulation of dampness in your body is detrimental to your health as it promotes the build up of fluids and mucus and promotes the growth of pathogenic bacteria and candida (yeasts) in your digestive tract. Excess sweets act as inhibitors of calcium, an important mineral for muscle strength and bone density. Calcium absorption is particularly important for women in the pre and postmenopausal ages so here is another reason to reduce dependence on sweet foods. It is important to note that refined carbohydrates including predominantly wheat in the form of white breads, pastries and pasta act like sweets in the accumulation of dampness. Excess consumption of sweets and refined carbohydrates has been directly linked to many disorders including hypoglycemia, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

So remember, when you get the craving for something sweet, what your body is really asking for is not sugar or refined wheat products but sweet vegetables and whole grains. So prepare ahead and give yourself a sweet potato.

This Month's Articles

May 2008
Volume 6, Number 5

Allergy Alert: Breathe Easy, Naturally

5 Senses = 5 Tastes = 5 Elements

Autism Treatment by Scalp Acupuncture

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

Featured Products

Perpetual Shield Immune Booster

Strengthen the Body with Immune-Enhancing Chinese Herbs


Enduring Youth  Capsules

A Special Formula that Nourishes and Balances the Body


Abundant Energy Digestion Formula

Promotes a Strong and Healthy Digestion System


Internal Cleanse Capsules

Promotes Gentle Detoxification
 


B-Slim

Lose Weight Naturally with Chinese Herbs


Tao of Nutrition - Compare PricesThe Tao of Nutrition
By Maoshing Ni

The Path to Good Nutrition and Health


Cold and Flu Capsules

A Natural and Speedy Remedy for Cold / Flu

More Featured Products



   
All Contents Copyright 1996-2012 Cyber Legend Ltd. All rights reserved.
Acupuncturist directory and Acupuncture school referral services provided by Acufinder.com.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms and Conditions. All logos, service marks and trademarks belong to their respective owners.