The eastern medicine
My long journey to achieve clear skin packed into a short text
The crucial issue is to cut down certain things
Which flavors and natures are relevant for getting a healthy skin?
How should you put your new eating habits into practice?
How to make food more wholesome and alternatives to conventional products?
Some important words at the end
Recipes: Salads as a main dish
Recipes: Main dishes
Recipes: Snacks and healthy sweets
By writing this book I took up a challenge because I am not a professional writer and moreover my mother tongue is not English but German. Thanks to a friend of mine, her native language is English it was possible to transform awkward sentences to easy understandable phrases. I have chosen English to write my book, because I wanted to reach as large a target group as possible.
Finally, I have been successful in creating a compact and very helpful handbook which includes many recipes that are essential for achieving healthy skin.
At the beginning you might be overwhelmed by the large amount of information and advice which I give but nobody, especially you should expect that you change your diet and lifestyle over night. Do it bit by bit, at your own pace.
TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest healing systems on the planet but it is still effectively applied to prevent illness and to combat various diseases.
My Chinese Medicine doctor taught me that every illness or symptom comes from an incorrect way of living. By eating constantly the wrong food, not listening to your body, sitting all day in front of your PC and living in a polluted environment we are getting out of balance.
Acupuncture, qi gong, living in harmony with nature and your body, tuina massage and nutrition are therapeutic methods of the Chinese medicine which brings the energy back to flow.
Food used as medicine as it is seen in TCM, is a very powerful way to treat various disorders.
TCM nutrition is not a trend or an extreme diet, it is a lifelong therapy to regain and maintain your health.
From the age of 14 I have been trying to combat my acne. I had really tried a lot of therapies: peelings, masks, diet, homeopathic globules, acne treatments (suggested by my dermatologists), etc. The best solution at the time was the birth control pill which I had been taking for over ten years. Then I had to stop because I wanted to start a family. After my second pregnancy my acne started again. I had been at a loss, what should I do from now on? The last thing I wanted to do was to retake the birth control pills. This time I wanted to find a safe treatment. So I decided to visit a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctor.
The doctor diagnosed that I have damp heat in my body and a spleen qi deficiency, which means my digestive system is working poorly. Heat can be paralleled with inflammation. What is damp? Dampness can be paralleled with waste. It is the result of a weak and overwhelmed digestive system which is not able anymore to send the waste out of the body. The damp heat finds its way out of the skin. In my case acne. Other cases can be shingles, neurodermatitis or eczema.
The consequences were that I had to cool my body and to dry the damp. Of course, I did not want to exaggerate this because it would also be harmful for my health. Essentially, I had to support and rebuild my digestive system. As the TCM say “with a strong gut illness has almost no chance.”
With the following advice my skin took over 6 months to recover. Who knows, if I had undergone the complete therapy (acupuncture and Chinese herbs) as my doctor had advised my acne would have disappeared sooner. This may be true, however I was living in a small village where I couldn’t get in contact regularly with a TCM doctor and it would have cost a lot of money. Another reason why my skin took such a long time to recover was that I had to find out which food was good for my body. Needless to say, my doctor had given me a diet plan and some very informative leaflets but as every person is different not all the proposed food was suitable for me. Step by step I have learnt how my skin reacts to certain nutrition. It has been a long journey, however I know this is right for me because as long as I am paying attention to my eating habits I will have clear skin. This way was not only long it was also very hard because during this time I had to avoid many foods and almost nothing changed with my face. In addition to that I saw many people without any skin problems and they were eating whatever they liked. I felt this was not fair and I was very close to giving up. What helped me to keep going with my diet was to remind myself that there also exists many people around the world who also have a special diet. Not because of acne but maybe because of other circumstances like reducing their weight, serious illness or because of any kind of food intolerance. So I continued with my diet and suddenly one day the appearance of my skin changed enormously. Day by day I was watching with fear in the mirror and was waiting for a new inflamed pimple but it took weeks until one appeared.
My journey continued, some months later I had to visit a holistic practitioner because of another health problem that accrued. With his help, I could not only solve this issue but I also could improve my skin health even more. On the next pages I will share the suggestions of my holistic doctor with you, too.
Admittedly, I still don’t have perfect skin but I have achieved a 90 percent improvement and this means a lot to me.
As clear skin is so important to me it has made it easy for me to stick to my healthy life style and to the TCM diet. Meanwhile, my taste has been getting used to the healthy food that I am cooking and I don’t like any fast food or processed food anymore.
When I cook food I put my focus on the different TCM food flavors and TCM natures.
The five flavors (a meal should contain all 5 flavors): sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty; and the five natures: cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot. Each flavor and each nature of food has a special effect on our body. Bitter, salty, cool, neutral and slightly warm foods are the most recommended to eliminate heat and cleaning the body.
In the next chapter I sorted the foods in different chapters to make it easier to understand and to implement.
(Sw= sweet, b=bitter, s=sour, p=pungent, sa=salty)
Avoid an excess of these foods, cooking methods, drinks and habits that form dampness:
Sugar(sw), natural sweeteners(sw) like honey, date syrup, molasses, coconut sugar and sweet fruits, artificial sweeteners, yeast products(s), processed foods like bread and pasta, saturated fats, nuts and seeds(sw), dairy products(sw, s), meat(sw, b, s, p, sa), ham(sa), salami(sa), juices(sw, s), raw food, cold foods, fatty food, alcohol(b, sw, s, p) drugs, stress, smoking (try to quit smoking), fast food, overeating
Cinnamon(sw), anise(p), black pepper(p), all spice(p), cayenne pepper(p), chili(p), curry(p), dried ginger(p), garlic(p), horseradish(p), mould cheese(p), grilled food, fried food, yogi tea(p), alcohol(b, sw, s, p), drugs, stress and smoking
Cooling and cold (ying) foods which reduce heat signs:
Apple(s, sw), pear(sw), persimmon(sw), orange(s), grapefruit(b, sw), banana(sw), tangerine(s), strawberry(s), blueberry(s), currant(s), sour cherry(s), cranberry(s), gooseberry(s), cantaloupe(sw), pineapple(s), kiwi(s), watermelon(sw), sea buckthorn(s), lemon(s), tomato(s), lettuce(b), radish(p), cucumber(sw), celery(sw), artichoke(b), mushrooms(sw), asparagus(p, sa), swiss chard(sw, p), eggplant(sw), spinach(sw), summer squash(sw, p, sa), Chinese cabbage(sw, p, sa), bok choy(p, sw), broccoli(sw, s, p), zucchini(sw), tarragon(sw), chervil(b), sprouts(s), alfalfa sprouts(s), cress(p), mung beans(sa), sweet lupine seeds(sw), kudzu(sw), seaweed(sa, sw, p, s), chlorella(s), spirulina(s, sa), aloe vera(s, sa, p), fermented soy products like natto(sw, p), miso(sw, s, sa), tamari(sw, b, s, sa) and tempeh(sw), job’s tears(p, sa, sw), millet(sw, sa), barley(sw, sa), wheat(s), amaranth(b), yogurt(s), kefir(s), rabbit(p), duck(s), calamari(sa), clam(sa), dandelion tea(b), stinging nettle tea(b), mint tea(p), chamomile tea(s, p, b, sw), melissa tea(s), sage tea(p), green tea(b), chrysanthemum tea(p, sw, b), echinacea tea(p, sa, sw), orange blossom tea(sw), lime blossom tea(sw), elderflower tea(sw)
Foods that eliminate damp and phlegm:
Apple, apricot(sw), papaya(sw), lettuce, celery, wheatgrass(sw, sa), turnip(b