Strengthening Foods from Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine, all treatments ultimately aim at either tonifying Yin (fluids) or Yang (fire) or diminishing excessive Yin or Yang.

Qi and Yang tonics work in pairs…for the spleen and kidneys. Qi tonics nourish the spleen/stomach and digestion. Yang tonics help create heat and digestive fire, which addresses chronic fatigue, sugar cravings, and when feeling cold.  Pair Qi and Yang foods to foster heat for individuals with cold digestion and cold conditions.

Blood and yin tonics work in pairs to promote fluids (particularly appropriate in conditions of excess heat and/or dryness).

Qi and Blood nourish each other.   Qi warms, protects, transforms, while blood nourishes and moistens.


Beef, cherry, chicken, coconut, date, fig, ginseng, goose, grape, lentil, licorice, micro-algae, molasses, oats, potato, rice, royal jelly, sweet potato, shitake mushroom, squash, tofu, tempeh, yam


Basil, chestnut, cinnamon bark, clove, dill seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, garlic, ginger (dried), kidney, lamb, lobster, nutmeg, raspberry, rosemary, sage, savory, shrimp, star anise, thyme, walnut


Aduki bean, apricot, beef, beetroot, bone marrow, chicken egg, dandelion, dark leafy greens, date, dandelion, dang quai, fig, grape, kidney beans, liver, micro-algai, nettle, oyster, parsley, sardine, spinach, sweet rice, watercress.


Apple, asparagus, cheese, chicken egg, clam, crab, duck, honey kidney bean, lemon, malt, mango, milk, oyster, pear, pineapple, pomegranate, pork, rabbit, string bean, tempeh, tomato, watermelon, yam.


Qi Circulation

Basil, caraway, cardamom, carrot, cayenne, chive, clove, coriander, dill seed, garlic, marjoram, orange peel, radis, star anise, turmeric


Blood Circulation Amasake, eggplant, chestnut, chili pepper, chive, crab, hawthorn berry, onion, peach, scallion, vinegar


Disturbed Shen (Qi and Blood deficient, Qi & Yang def; Blood stagnation; phlegm).  Brown rice, cucumber, apples, cabbage, wheat germ, kudzu, wild blue-green algae, apple cider vinegar.