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Warming Foods in Chinese Medicine | Detailed Theory

Oct 19,2023 | YILING

We explain what are warming foods in Chinese medicine and how they can affect our health. 



Balancing these energy properties is crucial for health since it assists in sickness and disease prevention. This article explores these issues from the perspective of warm foods in Chinese medicine and associated theories. This article talks about the warming foods in Chinese medicine and their impacts. 


What is Warm Food?

To explain that, we need to first learn how to categorize food in Chinese medicine and how it affects the balance of yin and yang energy in the body. Our energy is engaged not only with its everyday role of keeping us healthy during the cooler (yin) months, but it also requires yang energy to keep us warm. Warming foods in Chinese medicine increase the yang of the body by boosting energy, enhancing circulation, and warding off colds. 'Cooling' foods, on the other hand, boost yin by removing impurities, lowering body heat, and nourishing the blood.


Warming foods are associated with yang, which the Chinese depict as the warm, sunny side of a mountain. They dry and assist in boosting the body's energy by boosting circulation and providing heat to the organs, blood, and cells but too much intake of them can actually harm the body. Some common warming foods are leeks, onions, garlic, chives, scallions, cherries, nectarines, cabbage and more. 


Balancing Warm Foods:

Cooking warms the energetics of food, so focusing on soups, stews, and casseroles is a good place to start. Fruit can also be poached or stewed, while veggies can be cooked to perfection. Small quantities of warm food combined with cold food can also help balance the yin and yang, such as adding a little heated wasabi to assist in digesting the chill of sushi. 


We may substantially aid the body by consuming naturally warming foods to give the best circumstances for repairing imbalances and encouraging normal healthy functioning. And it's not just hot or cooked meals that have a warming impact. Including a variety of herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds can also help to balance your diet and promote digestion, allowing you to get the most out of your food.


Chinese dietary treatment teaches us how to maintain our spleen and stomach by keeping our stomach warm, which means we should eat fewer cold and raw foods and more gently cooked meals. In addition, we should eat slowly and chew thoroughly. It is preferable to avoid chilling cold or frozen drinks, which are frequently served with a Western dinner. According to most acupuncturists and Chinese medicine specialists, the results can be rather dramatic.


The Chinese medicine diet is not set in stone and is frequently modified when circumstances or symptoms change. Chinese doctors pay close attention to every element in life, including how food is prepared and one's mental state while eating. You'll be astonished at how fast your body responds to the middle burner diet, and remember that balance is important. 


As may be expected, consuming too much of one food category might lead to deficits in another. Indeed, too much yin might result in a chilled body. That is why my local practitioner suggests that I include extra warming items in my diet. More yang indicates my body will be less chilly as winter approaches.


Incorporating good supplements in your diet can also bring great results like the Yiling Codonopsis Slices. For millennia, it has been used for its medicinal properties. Codonopsis root is a light qi tonic and apoptogenic plant in TCM that is frequently used in herbal recipes in place of ginseng.



In Chinese dietary therapy and the concepts of warming foods in Chinese medicine, the focus is on nurturing the body through the consumption of naturally warming foods to create an optimal environment for healing imbalances and promoting overall health. This goes beyond simply hot or cooked meals, encompassing a diverse range of herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds that contribute to a balanced diet and facilitate digestion. 


The key principle is to maintain warmth in the spleen and stomach, achieved by reducing the intake of cold and raw foods while favoring gently cooked meals. Additionally, mindful eating practices, such as slow, thorough chewing, are encouraged, and cold or frozen beverages commonly served in Western dining are discouraged.