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Temelji prehrane in zeliščarstva TKM (2/4) - Pet okusov

Pet okusov je slano, kislo, grenko, sladko in pekoče. Ti okusi ne ustrezajo vedno povsem okusu živila, temveč odražajo energijske lastnosti živila. Uživanje ali izogibanje živilom iz različnih kategorij okusov je eden od načinov, kako lahko spodbujamo harmonijo (ali povzročamo neskladje) med našimi telesnimi energijami.

"Kar zadeva okuse, pekoči in sladki okusi povzročajo razkropitev, ki ustreza jangu, medtem ko kisli in grenki okusi povzročajo bruhanje in odvajanje, kar ustreza jinu. " Huang Di Nei Jing

Pet okusov in njim pripadajočih pet narav je bilo dobro prikazanih v Klasiki medicine Rumenega cesarja (Huang Di Nei Jing). V tem besedilu je bil predstavljen prefinjen sistem za uravnovešanje telesa, ki je temelj TKM od starodavne do sodobne prakse. Njegova načela poudarjajo, da ko je pet faz v ravnovesju, prevladujeta zdravje in dobro počutje. Nasprotno pa se lahko ob neravnovesju posamezne faze pojavijo bolezni v telesnih sistemih in kanalih.

Značilnosti petih okusov so:

  • Grenko

Grenak okus na splošno izsušuje, čisti in krepi. Odpravlja prekomerno vročino in vlago. Grenkoba je večinoma povezana s srčnim sistemom. Če jo uporabljamo v majhnih količinah, pomaga pri prebavi. Nekatera grenka živila z vidika TKM so: grenka melona, lupina citrusov, regratovi listi, čaj.

  • Sladko

Sladek okus krepi, harmonizira in upočasnjuje. Sladkost je povezana predvsem s sistemom vranice. Sladek okus je dober za krepitev energij, vendar se lahko ta energija v presežku spremeni v flegmo in vročinske toksine.

Ne pozabite, da sladek okus ni le okus. Kar mnogi zahodnjaki smatrajo za sladko, ni isto, kar bi TKM opredelila kot sladko. Z vidika TKM so žita in meso sladki, ker so blagi in hranljivi. Nekatera druga sladka živila so: goji jagode, dateljni jujube, med, korenje, buče, sladki koren, soja.

  • Kislo

Kisel okus je kontrakcijski in zapirajoč. Kislost je večinoma povezana z jetrnim sistemom. Odlična je za pomoč telesu pri absorpciji morebitnih puščajočih stanj, kot so prekomerno potenje, kronični kašelj, kronična driska. Ko okus deluje na jetrni sistem, aktivira tudi krvni obtok in sprosti zastoj qija. Ker je jetrni sistem odgovoren za naša čustva, lahko zmerna kislost blaži in pomirja naš um. Preveč kislosti pa lahko vpliva na naše sklepe in mehka tkiva. Nekatera kisla živila z vidika TKM so: kis, limona, kislo zelje, kitajski glog. [Preberi več: Pomanjkanje Qi energije: kaj to je in kako jo obvladati?] [Preberi več: jetrni sistem in kislost sta povezana s spomladanskim časom]

  • Pekoče

Pekoč okus, natančneje aromatičen vonj, razpršuje in premika. Deluje razpršujoče in spodbuja kroženje qija in krvi. Pekoč vonj je večinoma povezan s pljučnim sistemom. Uporaben je za odpravljanje zunanjih patogenih dejavnikov, kot sta prehlad ali gripa, pa tudi pri sindromih zastoja qija in krvi. Vendar je pomembno, da ne uživate preveč pekoče hrane, saj lahko to dejansko preveč stimulira vaše telo in izčrpa energijo qi. [Preberi več: Za boljši imunski sistem - okrepite svoj Wei Qi]

  • Slano

Slan okus vlaži, mehča in pomika navzdol. Slan okus ima na telo hranilni, hladilni in vlažilni učinek jin. Podpira vitalnost ledvičnega sistema ter pospešuje uriniranje in gibanje črevesja. Ta okus tudi raztaplja zastoje in mehča trde nodule ali sluz.

"Če so ljudje pozorni na pet okusov in jih dobro združijo, bosta Qi in Xue (kri) prosto krožila, dih in kosti pa bodo napolnjene z esenco življenja." Huang Di Nei Jing

Kako je videti zdrava prehrana TKM

Prehrana TKM lahko vključuje zelenjavo, sadje, žita, semena, oreščke in stročnice, meso, začimbe, zelišča in napitke. Vsa živila rastlinskega in živalskega izvora imajo okus in temperaturo. Na primer, redkev je hladna in sladka. Hladnost pomirja srce zaradi vzdraženosti, ki jo povzroča vročina v prsnem košu. Sladek okus je hranljiv in gradi ter proizvaja tekočine. [Preberi več: Temelji prehrane in zeliščarstva TKM (1/4)- Štiri narave] [Preberi več: TKM prehranski nasveti]

Še en primer je piščanec, ki je po razumevanju TKM topel in sladek. Topli in sladki vidiki piščanca hranijo kri in qi ter krepijo jetra. Piščanec je močan graditelj in obnavlja telo. Kuhanje celotnega piščanca ter uporaba tako mesa kot kosti je bistvenega pomena za doseganje njegove največje hranilne sposobnosti. Ko končate z mesom, iz kosti pripravite kostno juho ali jih shranite v zamrzovalnik za pozneje. Vendar pa piščanec ni primeren za tiste, ki imajo simptome prekomerne vročine, kot so kožne bolezni, nespečnost, menopavza, hiperaktivnost itd.

Nekaj primerov živil, povezanih s petimi okusi:

  • kislo: granatno jabolko, kis, limeta, limona in fermentirana živila.

  • Grenko: peteršilj, kitajska gorčica, ohrovt, regratovi listi, listnato zelje, grenka melona in kava.

  • Sladko: riž, piščanec, polnozrnata žita, sladki krompir, zelje, korenje, buče, koruza, številno sadje, goji jagode in med.

  • Pekoče: šalotka, redkev daikon, poper, cimet in ingver.

  • Slano: Morske alge, miso, morska sol, tamari, kisle kumarice, morske ribe in školjke.

V povezavi s štirimi naravami kitajskih zelišč, razumevanje petih okusov kitajskih zelišč omogoča zdravnikom razumevanje njihovih zdravilnih učinkov. Pomembno je razumeti, da imajo lahko zdravilna zelišča podobnega okusa različne učinke, na primer svež ingver in sveža meta sta ostrega (aromatičnega) okusa in delujeta razpršujoče. Vendar je ingver topel in lahko odpravlja mraz, medtem ko je meta hladna in lahko odpravlja vročino.

Kot lahko vidite, imajo živila zdravilne lastnosti in lahko pomagajo telesu pri zdravljenju ali obratno. Ta članek zajema le začetek petih okusov in teh pet okusov je le en majhen del terapije s hrano na osnovi kitajske medicine. Ostanite z nami in spremljajte prihajajočo serijo!

 

Foundation of TCM dietary and herbology (2/4)- Five flavours

The five flavours are salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and pungent. These flavours do not always exactly correspond to what the food tastes like, instead, they reflect the energetic properties of the food. Consuming or avoiding foods from different flavour categories is one way we can promote harmony (or cause dissonance) among our bodily energies.

“In terms of flavours, the pungent and sweet flavours induce dispersion that corresponds to Yang, while the sour and bitter flavours induce vomitting and discharge that correspond to Yin. “

Huang Di Nei Jing

The five flavours and their correlating five natures were well illustrated in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing). This text provided a sophisticated system for balancing the body that works as a foundation of TCM from ancient to modern practice. Its principles emphasize that when the five phases are in equilibrium, health and wellness prevail. On the contrary, when a phase becomes imbalanced, illness may occur in the systems and channels of the body.

The characteristics of the five flavours are

  • Bitter

Bitter flavour is generally drying, cleansing and firming. It clears excessive heat and dampness. Bitterness is mostly associated with the heart system. When used in small amount, it helps with digestion. Some bitter foods according to TCM are: Bitter melon, citrus peel, dandelion leaves, tea.

  • Sweet

Sweet flavour is strengthening, harmonizing and slowing. Sweetness is mostly associated with the spleen system. Sweet flavour is good for building up energies but the same energy in excess could turn into phlegm and heat toxins.

Do mind that Sweet flavour is not just a taste. What many westerners consider sweet is not the same thing that TCM would classify as sweet. According to TCM, grains and meats are sweet because they are mild and nourishing. Some other sweet foods are: goji berry, jujube date, honey, carrot, pumpkin, licorice, soy.

  • Sour

Sour flavour is contractive and closing. Sourness is mostly associated with the liver system. It is great for helping your body absorb any leaking conditions like excessive sweating, chronic cough, chronic diarrhea. When the flavour works on the liver system, it also activates the blood circulation and relieve Qi stagnation. Since liver system is in charge of our emotion, moderate sourness could be smoothing and calming for our mind. Too much sourness might affect our joints and soft tissues. Some sour foods according to TCM are: vinegar, lemon, sauerkraut, chinese hawthorn. [Read more: Qi deficiency: What is it and how do you manage it?] [Read more: the liver system and sourness are related to the spring]

  • Pungent

Pungent flavour, or more precisely a aromatic fragrance, is dispersing and moving. It has the action of dispersing and promoting the circulation of Qi and Blood. Pungent fragrance is mostly associated with the lung system. They are useful for expelling exogenous pathogenic factors, like a cold or flu, and also for syndromes of Qi and Blood stagnation. But it’s important not to eat too much spicy food, as that can actually overstimulate your body and drain your Qi energy. [Read more: Strengthen your Wei Qi for better immunity]

  • Salty

Salty flavour is moistening, softening, and downward moving. The salty flavor has a yin nourishing, cooling, and moistening effect on the body. It supports the vitality of the kidney system, promoting urination and bowel movements. This flavor also dissolves congestion and softens hard nodules or phlegm.

"If people pay attention to the five flavours and blend them well, Qi and Xue (Blood) will circulate freely, and breath and bones will be filled with the essence of life."

Huang Di Nei Jing

What a Healthy TCM Diet Looks Like

A TCM diet can include vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts & legumes, meat, spices, herbs, and beverages. All plant and animal-based foods are assigned both a flavor and a temperature nature. For example, radish are cool and sweet. The coolness calms the heart from the agitation caused by heat in the chest. The sweet flavor is nourishing and building and generates fluids. [Read more: Foundation of TCM dietary and herbology (1/4)- Four natures] [Read more: TCM Dietary advice]

Another example is chicken, warm and sweet in the TCM understanding. The warm and sweet aspects of the chicken nourish the blood and Qi and strengthen the Liver. Chicken is a strong builder and replenishes the body. Cooking the entire chicken and using both the meat and bones is essential in maximizing its nourishing ability. Once you’re finished with the meat, make bone broth from the bones or put them in the freezer for later. However, chicken is not suitable for those who has excessive heat symptoms like skin conditions, insomnia, menopause, hyperactivity, etc.

A few examples of foods related to the five flavors:

  • Sour: pomegranate, vinegar, lime, lemon, and fermented foods.

  • Bitter: Parsley, mustard greens, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, bittermelon, and coffee.

  • Sweet: Rice, chicken, whole grains, sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, squash, corn, many fruits, goji berries, and honey.

  • Pungent: Scallions, daikon radish, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.

  • Salty: Seaweeds, miso, sea salt, tamari, pickles, ocean fish, and shellfish.

In conjunction with the four natures of Chinese herbs, an understanding of the five flavours of Chinese herbs provides practitioners with a understanding of their medicinal effects. It is important to understand that medicinal herbs with similar flavours can have different actions, for example fresh ginger and fresh mint are both Pungent (Aromatic) in flavour and posses a dispersing action. However, ginger is warm and can eliminate cold, while mint is cool in nature and thus can clear away heat.

As you can see, foods have medicinal qualities and can help the body heal or vice versa. This article covers just the beginning of the five flavours, and these five flavours are just one small component of Chinese Medicine Food Therapy. Stay tuned for the up coming series!


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