Joseph E. Samuels, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Oriental medical nutrition is one of the modalities that make up the field of Oriental Medicine.  It is called medical nutrition because from an Eastern perspective, food is considered to be a form of medicine.

A few thousand years ago, Doctors of Oriental Medicine discovered that different foods have different properties to them and each food will affect our internal organ or internal organ system in a very specific way.  The physicians of that time compiled vast amounts of medical literature on the subject and separated foods into many different categories.

Listed below are a few basic descriptions.

  1. The properties of food
    1. Some foods have a warming effect on the body such as:
      1. Cherries
      2. Guava
      3. Jujube
    2. Some foods have a cooling effect on the body such as:
      1. Watermelon
      2. Apples
      3. Grapefruit
    3. Some foods have a neutral effect on the body such as:
      1. Grapes
      2. Figs
      3. Papaya
  2. The preparation of food – listed are a few important points
    1. At what stage of development is the food harvested
    2. Proper cleaning and storing of food
    3. How is the food prepared – steamed, fried, boiled, etc.
    4. Deep frying food is considered to be (poison) from and Eastern perspective of medicine
  3. Food combinations

Some food combinations are very beneficial to our health while other food combinations can be upsetting to our system.  Also, whenever possible, avoid eating foods that contain hormones or preservatives as well as chemically processed foods.

  1. Volume of food

Never eat large amounts of food.  This behavior taxes our digestive system and can lead to a variety of medical conditions, including an overall deterioration of our general health.  A good rule of thumb is to eat until you are 2/3 full.

  1. The order that food is eaten

One of the main points here is not to drink too much liquid before, during or  after a meal.  This will affect the digestive system in a negative way.  Also drinking a little soup broth after a meal can help keep the esophagus clean and healthy.

  1. The time we eat

The time of day we eat and what we eat has a great impact on our health.  This point is extremely important from an Oriental Medicine perspective.  Also, the types of food we eat at a certain time (seasons) of the year will affect our overall health.

  1. Food according to illness

After being properly diagnosed by a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and a full medical evaluation of the patient is completed, a diet can be created and tailored specifically for that individual.  This diet will aid in the healing process of internal organ conditions, disease, injuries, etc.

Incorporating Oriental medical nutrition into our health care plan is a wonderful addition that brings great benefit to our overall physical, mental and emotional health and well being.