Foods that clash and antidotes

There is a sub-branch of Chinese medicine that studies the effects of food combinations and foods that have antidotal effects.  The Chinese almanac often contains a chart showing foods that “clash,” the effects of such a “clash”, and the antidotes.  Here are some common ones. 

Raw oysters and brown sugar consumed together, molasses and bamboo sprout cooked together, raw fish and milk taken together produce toxicity.  The antidote is green beans.  Clam and snail cooked together produce toxicity.  The antidote is coriander yansui.  Catfish and beef cooked together, and bamboo sprouts with goat’s liver produce toxicity.  The antidote is human milk and black bean sauce.  Fungus auricularia (Auricula-judae) and snail cooked together produce toxicity.  The antidote is the lotus seed pod.  Mackerel and plum taken together produce toxicity.  The antidote is the juice of the white gourd.  Crab and ice water together produce toxicity.  This may be doubtful since the consumption of all you can eat king crab legs and ice water does not seem to produce any toxic reaction after the meal.  But in any case, the antidote is the joints of the lotus root, according to the Chinese almanac. 

One of the better known clashes is liquor and persimmon.  Together they produce toxicity.  The antidote is green beans.  Carp and honey taken together produce toxicity.  The antidotes are black beans and licorice.  The vegetable Portulaca oleracea and soft shell turtle meat together produce toxicity.  The antidote is olive juice.  Shrimp and yellow squash (golden squash) cooked together produce diarrhea.  The antidotes are black beans and licorice or green beans.  Beef and Chinese chives cooked together produce toxicity.  The antidotes are human milk and black bean sauce.  Oceanic bonito or skipjack tuna cooked with golden squash produces toxicity.  The antidotes are black beans and licorice. 

Soft tofu in honey and honey with Chinese onion produce toxicity.  The antidote for both is green beans.  Orange and crab together produce temporary muscle weakness.  The antidote is garlic juice.  Green beans are also the antidote for toxicity produced by a combination of clams and orange, and for diarrhea produced by a combination of spinach and milk. 

It is also strongly adviced by Chinese doctors not to eat oranges and drink milk together, and not to eat oranges and carrots together. I would not take oranges and milk together since the acid of the orange will break down milk. This effect is seen by pouring some vinegar into a glass of milk. The American breakfast of a glass of milk and a glass of orange juice every morning produces acid reflex.

Garlic and dog meat produce “bad blood” according to the Chinese almanac.  The antidotes are human milk and black bean sauce.  Snail and pork eaten together may cause shedding of eyebrow hair, according to the Chinese almanac.  The antidote is green beans.  And according to the Chinese almanac, eel in vinegar produces toxicity.  However, a famous Japanese dish is the roast eel with vinegar sauce.  This combination does not seem to produce toxicity afterwards.  But if it does, according to the Chinese almanac, the antidotes are black beans and licorice.  I would avoid drinking hard liquor while eating a persimmon or eat clams with an orange.  It is better to be on the side of caution than risk discomfort.

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About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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