Food and medicine clashes

In response to the enquiry: “food clashes with medicine.”

Clashes between food and medicine are very specific, depending on the goal and effect of the medication and the nature of the food. In Chinese medicine, decoctions may often contain food based ingredients like pao jiang (roasted ginger) or gan cao (licorice) to counterbalance the extreme acidity or toxicity of the other herbal ingredients.

There are a few principles of Chinese medicine concerning clashes between food and medicine. They are based primarily on counterbalance and counter action.

Foods like ginseng, ginger, onion, red meats, eggs will counter act Western blood thinners, for example.

Foods like ginseng, ginger, onion, hot pepper, red meats, eggs will counter act medicinal relaxants as well as herbal relaxants like jasmine tea, chrysanthemum tea, Five Flowers tea, liang cha, etc.

Foods like garlic will counter act Western purgative pills and Senna leaf which is a very strong and efficient purgative.

Foods like ginseng, ginger, hot pepper, longan, lichii, jack fruit, sugar, will counter act blood pressure lowering medications.

Ginger may be effective in reducing the side effects of some Western medications that cause dizziness.

Many Western medications harm the liver and the kidneys. To reduce the harmful effects of such medications, antioxidants are often effective including the Reishi mushroom, Polygonum multiflorum to protect the liver, and Eucommia to protect the kidneys, pygnogenol, cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) to protect the cells from chemo therapy damage, and Polygomum multiflorum to reduce hair loss from chemo therapy.

Watermelon and carrots are to be avoided when taking medication. Eggplant and an overdose of vitamin A must be avoided if one has poor vision and glaucoma.

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About masterchensays

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