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Medicinal food is food with the function of dietetic therapy, which is made by taking medicine and food as materials and processing them through cooking. It is the product of the combination of Chinese traditional medical knowledge and cooking experience. It "has medicine amid food". It not only takes drugs as food, but also endows food with medical use. Medicine borrows the power of food while food supports the power of medicine and turns "good medicine with bitter taste" into "good medicine with nice taste". It has not only nutritional value, but also can prevent and cure diseases, protect health, build up a good physique and prolong life.

Features of Medicinal Food

Based on the theory of Chinese tradiotional medicine, medicinal food places an emphasis on differentiation of symptoms and signs when using medicinal materials. Use medicinal food for reinforcing Qi in case of deficiency of vital energy and that for replenishing blood in case of deficiency of blood. It helps medicine and medicinal food supplement and complement each other as auxiliary treament, which is different from medicine in approach but equally satisfactory in result. 

The choice of food gives prominence to the theory of meteria medica. Choose food according to the characteristics of diseases. In case of febrile diseases, choose food with cold nature. For example, use wax gourd, balsam pear and mung bean to prevent and cure heatstroke. In case of cold diseases, select food with warm and hot nature, for example, use cassia bark and fennel when there is cold and pain in abdomen.

Medicinal food guarantees that the elements of food be undestroyed as much as possible and brings into full play the function of food and medicine in medical and health care through the devices of traditional cooking art and the method of steaming, boiling, stewing and immersing. 

Medicinal food is aimed to assist in curing diseases, protect health and building up the body. Different from taking medicine to cure diseases, medicinal food is to recuperate, build up health and help medicine give free rein to curative effects through proper diet during the period of curing diseases. It also has the function of preventing diseases and building up the body for people who are not ill.

Famous Medicinal Dishes

Longan, Tiandong, Maidong and Abolone Soup

Rinse Tiandong, Maidong and longan meat. Soak the abolone in boiling water for three hours, rinse and slice it. Then put all the ingredients in the stewing pot, add an appropriate amount of boilding water and get the lid on. Stew it over a slow fire for three hours and flavor it. Drink the soup and eat the abolone meat. It has the effects of replenishing the kidney, moistening the lung, nourishing yin and clearing heat. It is used for curing syndromes such as cough due to heat, thirst and insomnia caused by upset.  

Lean Meat Soup with Dried Turnip

Rinse lean meat and cut it into pieces; rinse dried turnip, coix lacryma-jobi, hawthorn meat; put all the ingredients into the casserole and add an appropriate amount of water; stew and flavor it before taking it. One feed each day. Keep taking it for five days as one period of treament.

It has the effects of degreasing and whitening. It is applied to oily skin and makes skin white, tender and smooth.

Turtle Meat, Lotus Seed, Gorgon Fruit, Medlar and Lily Soup

Rinse lotus seed, gorgon fruit, medlar and lili; kill the turtle, get rid of intestines, rinse it, take the flesh and cut them into pieces; put all the ingredients into the pot and add an appropriate amount of clear water; after boiling it over a quick fire, add rice wine and refined salt; stew it over a slow fire for three more hours till the turtle meat is cooked to mush, and add monosodium glutamate and coriander; drink the soup and eat all the ingredients.

It has the effects of replenishing the spleens, benefiting the kidney, nourishing yin and removing dampness. It is used for curing syndromes such as deficiency of the spleens, diarrhea, prolapse of anus due to dysentery for long, seminal emssions and spermatorrheaetc.

Longevity Soup of Pig's Liver

Rinse Baji, dried mushroom, medlar; rinse pig's liver and slice it; put all the ingredients in the casserole, add an appropriate amount of clear water, stew it over a slow fire till the pig's liver is quite ripe, add a small amount of monosodium glutamate and soy sauce to flavor the soup. Drink the soup and eat pig's liver and dried mushrooms. One feed each day.

It has the effects of replenishing the liver, benefiting the kidney, building up the body and prolonging life. It is used for curing the syndromes such as body weakness due to prolonged illness, deficiency of liver and kidney and body weakness due to old age.  

Ginseng, Antler and Chicken Soup

Slice ginseng. Rinse chicken, strip its skin and cut it into dices. Put ginseng, chicken and antler slices into the stewing pot, add an appropriate amount of boilding water, get the lid on, stew it for three hours over a slow fire and flavor it.

It has the effects of replenishing vigor, warming kidney and strengthening yang. It is used to cure syndromes such as extreme deficiency of vitality, deficiency and decay of kidney and yang, fear of cold, cold in limbs, impotence, premature ejaculation, sterility due to cold in uterus, frequency of urine and pain in low back and knees. 

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