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Chinese medicated diet Origin and Development

Updated: Monday, Apr 26,2010, 5:11:12 PM
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Chinese medicated diet is not a simple combination of food and Chinese drugs, but a special highly finished diet made from Chinese drugs, food and condiments

under the theoretical guidance of diet preparation based on differentiation of symptoms  and signs of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has not only the

efficiency of medicine but also the delicacy of food, and can be used to prevent and cure diseases, build up one's health and prolong one's life.
Chinese medicated diet has a long history. The ancient legend "Shennong Tastes a Hundred Grasses" shows that early in remote antiquity the Chinese nation

began to explore the function of food and medicaments, hence the saying "Traditional Chinese medicine and diet both originate from the practice and experience

in daily life." In the Zhou Dynasty, one thousand or more years B.C., royal doctors were divided into four kinds. One of them was dietetic doctors who were in

charge of the
emperor's health care and health preservation, preparing diets for him. In The Yellow Emperor's lnternal Classic, a medical classic in TCM which appeared

approximately in the Warring States Period, several medicated diet prescriptions
were recorded. In Shennong's Herbal Classic, which was published approximately in about the Oin and Han Periods and is the extant earliest monograph on

materia medica, many sorts of medicaments which are both drugs and food were recorded, such as Chinese-date (Fructus Ziziphi Fujubae), sesame seed (Semen

Sesami), Chinese yam (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), grape (Vitis), walnut kernel (Semen Fuglandis), lily bulb (Bulbus Lilii), fresh ginger (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens), Job's-

tears seed (Semen Coids), etc. In the book Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases written by Zhang Zhongjing, a noted medical man, in the East Han

Dynasty, some noted medicated diet recipes were recorded, such as Soup of Chinese Angelica Root, Fresh Ginger and Mutton (Danggui Shengjiang rangrou Tang),

Soup of Lily Bulb and Yolk (Baihe Fizihuang Tang), Decoction of Pigskin (Zhufu Tang), etc., all of which now still have important values. Sun Simiao, a well-known

doctor in the Tang Dynasty,
listed and discussed such questions as dietetic treatment, dietetic treatment for senile health care and health preservation, etc. in his books Prescriptions Worth a

Thousand Gold for Emergencies and A Supplement to Essential Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold for Emergencies. These two books were substantial in

medicated diet prescriptions. According to history books, up to the period of the Sui and Tang Dynasties about more than sixty kinds of books on dietetic

treatment had been published. But unfortunately most of them are lost. The book Dietotherapy of Materia Medica by Meng Xian in the Tang Dynasty has a great

influence on later generations. It is the extant and earliest monograph on dietetic treatment.
In the Song Dynasty, Wang Huaiyin and some others wrote Peaceful Holy Benevolent Prescriptions, in which they discussed medicated diet treatment for many

diseases. A Book on How to Help the Old to Preserve Health and Your Kith and Kin to Prolong their Lires by Chen Zhi is an extant early monograph on gerontology

in China. Of all the prescriptions recorded in it, 70% are about medicated diet. It is emphasized in this book that "dietetic therapy should go first for any senile

diseases, and
then followed by medicine if they are not cured." In the book Principles of CorrectDiet, a monograph on medicated diet, by Hu Sihui, a royal doctor in the Yuan

Dynasty, oceans of medicated diet prescriptions and dietetic drugs were recorded; in addition, some questions, such as diet contraindication in pregnancy, diet

contraindication for wet nurse, contraindication for drinking, etc. were also discussed in this book. In the Ming Dynasty, Li Shizhen collected and recorded in his

Compendium of Materia Medica many medicated diet prescriptions, dozens of which were about medicated gruel alone, another dozens touched on nothing

other than medicated wine. In Eight Essays on Life Preservation, a monograph on health preserving in the Ming Dynasty, many medicated diets on health

preserving and health care were recorded too. Monographs on medicated diet treatment in the Qing Dynasty varied in characteristics: in Recipe of Suixiju by Wang

Shixiong, over 300 species belonging to 7 phyla of medicated food and drink were introduced; in Analysis of Food and Drink for Treatment of Diseases by Zhang

Mu, more medicated foods were touched upon; in Cookbook of Suiyuan cooking principles and methods were dealt with; while in Common Saying for Senile

Health Preservation, also known as Jottings on Health Preservation, by Cao Tingdong, about 100 medicated gruel prescriptions for gerocomy were listed.
Now because of the development of economy and the continous rising of the people's living standard, medicated diet is more and more valued by the people, and

a number of works about medicated diet with distinctive traditional features have
been collated and published one after another. For example, in 1984, the collated Dietotherapy of MateriaMediea appeared, the original of which, published in the

Tang Dybasty, was lost long ago. It was compiled by our contemporaries Xie Haizhou, Ma Jixing and some others on the basis of what was recorded and preserved

in some medical works. Some other books have been republished in recent years, among which are Principles of Correct Diet by Hu Sihui in the Yuan Dynasty,

Recipe of Suixiju by Wang Shixiong in the Oing Dynasty, Analysis of Food and Drink for Treatment of Diseases by Zhang Muin the Qing Dynasty, and so on. The

publishing of these books will play an important role in carrying on the experiences in ancient medicated diet.
In the past ten years or more, many monographs and popular scientific works on medicated diet have come out. Chinese Medicinal Food and Simple Recipes by

YeJuquan, a notable old doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, was published in 1973, in which 183 kinds of Chinese medicinal food and 901 simple prescriptions

are recorded. Later on, there have come out such books as Science of Chinese Medicated Diet by Peng Mingquan, Science of Chinese Dietetic TreatmEnt by Q ian

Bowen, Popular Medicated Diets by Peng Mingquan and Yang Fan, Menu of Medicated Diet for Nourishment and Health Care by Yu Chang fang, A Practical

Nutriology of Traditional Chinese Medicine byJiang Chao, series of Chinese Dietetic Treatment Science by Xie Yongxin and Lei Zaiquan and many other

monographs on medicated gruel, and medicated wine. Those books have pushed forward on a large scale the popularization and development of medicated diet

At present, medicated diet has begun to be valued in trades of both medicine and food and drink. Some Chinese medical units have developed scientific research

on medicated diet; some hospitals have established departments of dietetic therapy or outpatient service of dietetic therapy; and medicated diet dining-halls have

been set up in some cities. Tongrentang Hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, for example, set up one in 1980 with 96 kinds of medicated diet recipes. Qilu

Medicated Diet Restaurant started business in Jinan, Shandong in 1986.
Medicated diet has been developing greatly in assortment on the basis of traditional process, for example, medicated can, medicated sweets and so on.   Salutary

food and drinks produced on the basis of achievements in scientific research and having the effect of curing diseases have a variety of sorts and vary in

characteristics. There is medicated food suitable for patients suffering from diabetes, obesity and angiocardiopathy; there are health-care food and drinks suitable

for athletes, actors, actresses and miners; there are also health-care food or medicated diets suitable for the promotion of children's health and growth, or for

prolonging life of the aged.
Chinese medicated diet has begun to go abroad. Medicated cans, health-care drinks and medicated wine made from traditional Chinese medicine have been sold

at the internationd market. Medicated diet dining-halls have been set up in some countries. Personnel of academic, industrial and commercial circles abroad have

paid close attention to Chinese medited diet--a special food, hoping to develop academic exchanges and technical and economic cooperation in this respect.

Chinese medicated diet will make contributions to the health of the people'all over the world.

Tags: Chinese Medicated

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