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Home > Diet & Nutrition > Five Phases

How Five Phases Practitioners Use Diet Therapy

By Misha Ruth Cohen

From The Chinese Way to Healing: Many Paths to Wholeness

Chinese Medicine & DietFive Phases practitioners put an emphasis on the flavors associated with the phases. When the diet becomes unbalanced, the flavors may become excess or deficient. That can trigger disharmony in associated Organ Systems. To remedy the imbalance, Five Phases diet therapy advocates the addition of counterbalancing flavors, and each has special powers to restore balance.

1. Wood is associated with sour. Sour is astringent and gathering. A diet that has an excess of sour is associated with weakening of the Spleen, overproduction or saliva by the Liver and injury to the muscles. It can be counteracted by the addition of metal-pungent foods.

2. Fire is associated with bitter. Bitter is drying and strengthening. A diet that has an excess of bitter is associated with Spleen energy dryness, congestion of Stomach energy and a withering of the skin. It can be counteracted by the addition of salty foods.

3. Earth is associated with sweet. Sweet is harmonizing and retarding. A diet that has an excess of sweet is associated with achy bones, unbalanced Kidneys, full Heart energy and hair loss. It can be counteracted by the addition of sour foods.

4. Metal is associated with hot, pungent, aromatic. Metal is dispersing. A diet that has an excess of pungent is associated with muscle knots, slack pulse, a damaged Shen, and unhealthy fingernails and toenails. It can be counteracted by the addition of bitter foods.

5. Water is associated with salty. Salty is softening. A diet that has an excess of salty is associated with deficient muscles and flesh, lack of strength in the large bones and depression. It can be counteracted by the addition of sweet foods.

 
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