​​​The Office of Dr. John Aguilar, Jr.

Therapeutic Properties of Foods


*** For ease in finding either specific foods, temperatures, or flavors, use your browser's search functions (e.g. "Shift" + "F").


The following is a list of foods and their properties according
to Chinese medical theory.


Explanation of the properties aren't given here as this is posted primarily for reference by current patients seeking to alter their diet according to their Chinese medical diagnosis. 


A word of caution should be given. Food is medicine. It could be understood as
a drug in that you ingest it and it alters your body. Compared to pharmaceuticals, though, food is very 'weak'. However, as you eat several times a day, every day, the cumulative effects of food are huge, hence, the ability to use food effectively as medicine. 


As a medicine, food is very forgiving. That is, you can eat foods with the wrong therapeutic properties and very little harm will be done in the short term. Whereas, with pharmaceuticals, the wrong one could do immediate and serious harm.


If the foods you eat are not appropriate medically speaking for you, you usually will see signs way before harm is done. These 'signs' include all the basics of poor diet, e.g. bloating, indigestion, poor energy, nausea, etc. 


One of the first rules, in my practice, for diet therapy is paying closer to attention to the foods you eat and how they make you feel. Therefore, as you change your diet, pay very close attention to how you feel. This will be all the feedback you need to gauge progress. I would suggest keeping a food journal and tracking what you eat and how you feel immediately before and after meals, physically as well mentally/emotionally. 


I have given the energetic temperatures and flavors, as well, to assist in finding foods that are even better suited for an individual situation (Sweet-Pancreas/Stomach system, Bitter-Heart/Small Intestine system, Sour-Liver/Gallbladder system, Pungent/Spicy-Lung/Large Intestine system, Salty-Kidney/Urinary bladder system).


*** For ease in finding either specific foods, temperatures, or flavors, use your browsers search functions (e.g. "Shift" + "F").



Yin Nourishing Foods


(Careful, as a lot of these are cold, in nature, and can be
hard on the digestive system) 


Abalone (Neutral, Salty, Sweet)
Aduki beans (Neutral, Sour, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Alfalfa sprout (Neutral, Bitter, Salty, also Tonifies Blood)
Apple (Cool, Sour, Sweet)
Artichoke (Cool, Bitter, Salty, Sweet, also Tonifies Blood)
Asparagus (Cold, Bitter, Sweet)
Avocado (Cool, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Banana (Cold, Sweet)
Beef (Neutral to Warm, Sweet, also a Qi and Blood Tonic)
Cheese (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Clam (Cold, Salty, (Freshwater also Sweet))
Coconut milk (Warm, Sweet)
Crab (Cold, Salty)
Cuttlefish (Neutral, Salty, also a Blood Tonic)
Duck (Neutral, Sweet)
Egg (Neutral, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic (Tonic properties are of the yolk)
Honey (Neutral, Sweet)
Kelp (Cool, Salty, also a Blood Tonic)
Kidney Bean (Neutral, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Kidney, pork (Neutral, Salty)
Lemon/Lime (Cold, Sour)
Lima bean (Cool, Sweet)
Mango (Cold, Sour, Sweet)
Marjoram (Cool, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet)
Milk, cow (Neutral to Warm, Sweet)
Nettle (Cool, Salty, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Nori (Cold, Salty, Sweet)
Octopus (Cold, Salty, Sweet, also a Qi and Blood Tonic)
Oyster (Neutral, Salty, Sweet, also a Qi and Blood Tonic)
Pea (Neutral, Sweet)
Pear (Cool, Sour, Sweet)
Pineapple (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Pomegranate (Neutral, Sour Sweet)
Pork (Neutral, Salty, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Rabbit (Cool, Sweet, also a Qi Tonic)
Seaweed (Cold, Salty)
Sesame, black and white (Neutral, Sweet, Black is also a Blood Tonic)
Shark (Neutral, Salty, Sweet)
Spelt (Warm, Sweet)
String Bean (Neutral Sweet)
Tofu (Cold, Sweet, also a Qi Tonic)
Tomato (Cold, Sour, Sweet)
Walnut (Warm, Sweet, also a Qi and Yin Tonic)
Watermelon (Cold, Sweet) Yam (Neutral, Sweet, also a Qi Tonic)
 

 
Yang Strengthening Foods


(Careful, as these can be very warming)

 

Anchovy (Warm, Sweet)
Basil (Warm, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet)
Cassio fruit (Warm, Pungent)
Chestnut (Warm, Sweet)
Cinnamon, bark (Hot, Bitter, Pungent)
Clove (Warm, Pungent)
Dill seed (Warm, Pungent)
Fennel seed (Warm, Pungent, Sweet)
Garlic (Hot, Pungent, Salty, Sweet)
Ginger, dry (Hot, Pungent)
Horseradish (Hot, Pungent)
Kidney, beef (Warm, Sweet)
Lamb (Hot, Sweet)
Lobster (Warm, Salty, Sweet)
Nutmeg (Warm, Pungent)
Pistachio (Neutral, Bitter, Sour, Sweet)
Quinoa (Warm, Sweet, Sour)
Raspberry (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Rosemary (Warm, Pungent, Sweet)
Sage (Warm, Pungent)
Savory (Warm, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet)
Shrimp (Warm, Sweet)
Thyme (Warm, Bitter, Pungent)
Walnut (Warm, Sweet, also a Qi and Yin Tonic)
 


Qi Strengthening Foods


Beef (Neutral to Warm, Sweet, also a Yin and Blood Tonic)
Cherry (Warm, Sweet)
Chicken (Warm, Sweet)
Coconut (Neutral, Sweet)
Date (Warm, Sweet)
Eel (Warm, Sweet)
Fig (Neutral, Sweet)
Grape (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Ham (Warm, Salty)
Lentil (Neutral, Sweet)
Liver, chicken (Warm, Sweet)
Mackerel (Neutral, Sweet)
Molasses (Warm, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Mutton (Warm, Sweet)
Oats (Warm, Sweet, also Blood Tonic and Qi Mover, but may hamper digestion)
Octopus (Cold, Salty, Sweet, also a Yin and Blood Tonic)
Oyster (Neutral, Salty, Sweet, also a Yin and Blood Tonic)
Pheasant (Warm, Sour, Sweet)
Potato (Neutral, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Quail (Neutral, Sweet)
Rabbit (Cool, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Rice (White-Neutral, Brown-Warm, Sweet, also Blood Tonic)
Squash (Warm, Sweet)
Sweet Potato (Warm, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Tofu (Cold, Sweet)
Trout (Hot, Sour)
Walnut (Warm, Sweet, also a Qi and Yin Tonic)
Yam (Neutral, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)

 
Blood Strengthening Foods


Adzuki beans (Neutral, Sour, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Amasake (Warm, Sweet)
Apricot (Neutral, Sour Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Barley (Cool to Neutral, Salty, Sweet, also Tonifies Yin)
Beef (Neutral to Warm, Sweet, also a Qi and Yin Tonic)
Beetroot (Neutral, Sweet)
Corn (Neutral to Warm, Sweet, also Tonifies Qi)
Cuttlefish (Neutral, Salty, also a Yin Tonic)
Dandelion, leaf (Cold, Bitter, Salty, Sweet)
Dark leafy greens
Date (Warm, Sweet)
Egg (Neutral, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic (Tonic properties are of the yolk)
Fig (Neutral, Sweet)
Grape (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Kidney bean (Neutral, Sweet, also a Blood Tonic)
Liver Beef (Neutral, Sweet)
Pork (Warm, Bitter, Sweet)
Molasses (Warm, Sweet, also a Qi Tonic)
Nettle (Cool, Salty, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Octopus (Cold, Salty, Sweet, also a Qi and Yin Tonic)
Oyster (Neutral, Salty, Sweet, also a Qi and Yin Tonic)
Parsley (Warm, Bitter, Pungent, Salty)
Pork (Neutral, Salty, Sweet, also a Yin Tonic)
Sardine (Neutral, Salty, Sweet)
Spinach (Cool, Sweet)
Sweet Rice (Sushi rice, Warm, Sweet, also Tonifies Qi)
Watercress (Warm, Bitter, Pungent)

 
Qi Movers


Basil (Warm, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet, also a Yang Tonic)
Caraway (Warm, Pungent, Sweet)
Cardamom (Warm, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet)
Carrot (Neutral, Sweet)
Cayenne (Hot, Pungent, also a Yang Tonic)
Chive, leaf (Warm, Pungent)
Clove (Warm, Pungent, also a Yang Tonic)
Coriander (Neutral, Pungent, Sour)
Dill seed (Warm, Pungent)
Garlic (Hot, Pungent, Salty, Sweet, also a Yang Tonic)
Orange peel (Warm, Sweet, Sour)
Radish (Cool, Pungent, Sweet)
Turmeric (Warm, Bitter, Pungent)

 
Miscellaneous Foods


Agar (Cold, Sweet)
Almond (Neutral, Sweet)
Aniseed (Warm, Pungent, Sweet)
Blackberry (Warm, Sour, Sweet)
Blackcurrant (Cool, Sour, Sweet)
Blueberry (Cool, Sour)
Broccoli (Cool, Bitter, Pungent)
Brown sugar (Warm, Sweet)
Butter (Warm, Sweet)
Cabbage (Neutral, Pungent, Sweet)
Carob (Warm, Sour, Sweet)
Carp (Neutral, Sweet)
Chickpea (Neutral, Sweet)
Chili (Hot, Pungent)
Coriander seed (Neutral, Pungent, Sour)
Cranberry (Cold, Sour, Sweet)
Cucumber (Cool, Sweet)
Cumin (Warm, Pungent)
Grapefruit (Cold, Sour, Sweet)
Hazel (Neutral, Sweet)
Kale (Warm, Bitter, Sweet)
Lettuce (Cool, Bitter, Sweet)
Melon (Cold, Sweet)
Millet (Cool, Salty, Sweet)
Mint (Cool, Pungent)
Miso (Warm, Salty)
Mushroom, button (Cool, Sweet)
Mustard (Hot, Pungent)
Olive (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Olive oil (Neutral, Sweet)
Onion (Warm, Pungent)
Orange (Cool, Sour, Sweet)
Oregano (Warm, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet)
Papaya (Neutral, Bitter, Sweet)
Peach (Warm, Sour, Sweet)
Peanut (Neutral, Sweet, oil has same properties)
Pepper, back (Hot, Pungent, Sweet)
Plum (Neutral, Sour, Sweet)
Pumpkin (Neutral, Sweet)
Pumpkin seed (Neutral, Bitter, Sweet)
Rhubarb (Cold, Bitter)
Rye (Neutral, Bitter)
Saffron (Neutral, Pungent)
Salmon (Neutral, Sweet)
Salt (Cold, Salty)
Scallion (Warm, Bitter, Pungent)
Sesame oil (Cool, Sweet)
Soy sauce (Cool, Salty)
Sugar, white (Neutral, Sweet)
Strawberry (Cool, Sour, Sweet)
Sunflower seed (Neutral, Sweet)
Turkey (Warm, Sweet)
Vinegar (Warm, Bitter, Sour)
Wheat (Cool to Warm, Sweet)
Yogurt (Cold, Sour, Sweet)