If you have Heat here's how to eat…

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In China, the line between herbs and food is not quite so clear. Herbs are commonly added to soups and dishes for their medicinal qualities, not taste. Simple food cure principles are always used as an adjunct to medical therapy. If you seem to fit the general and gynecological features below (you only need to exhibit a few to be diagnosed with 'Heat') then pay special attention to the ‘avoid’ and ‘emphasize’ sections. Caution should be taken to not create direct correlations between TCM diagnostic terminology and western medical conditions. In many situations clinical experience and clinical evidence shows examples where parallels can be drawn, but these almost never prove themselves to become absolute rules. Below is an attempt to interpret the TCM pattern diagnostic and what in general it may mean to ones health, well-being, and fertility.


General Features: red skin eruptions (rashes, eczema, acne), constipation with dry stool, anxiety, red tongue with yellow coating, rapid pulse rate, restless, easily agitated, angry, allergies, high blood pressure, red face, bleeding (nose, anal), bad breath, canker sores, feel ‘hot’, dislike heat, fever, inflammation, dark yellow urine, easy to anger, thirsty for cold drinks.

Gynecological Features: heat can manifest as early cycles (less than 26 days), thicker blood consistency, bright or dark red colour, and heavy volume. Lack of cervical fluid. Early onset of menses (menarche). Bleeding may also occur outside regular times (i.e. premenstrual spotting).

Interpretations: this may appear clinically as inflammation or an overactive immune response. This person might tend toward high stress and anxiety, be an overachiever or be in a position of higher responsibility, and drink a lot of coffee to help maintain necessary levels of energy. Dehydration may be an issue. Excesses of male hormones may be present, such as with atypical PCOS. This may also show in a woman with hyperthyroidism.

Avoid: alcohol, spicy and greasy foods, dairy, lamb, beef, curries, fats, alcohol, coffee, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, lamb, shellfish, especially in summer..

Emphasize: make your diet contain lots of liquids (broths, juices, herb teas, smoothies) but do not consume them cold, at the very least room temperature or lukewarm. Fruit, sprouts, mung beans, seaweeds, lots of lettuce, cucumber, radish, celery, asparagus, chard, lots of spinach, bok choy, cauliflower, sweet corn, zucchini, apple, lots of asian pears, watermelon, citrus, only light cooking and slightly more raw food than usual.

*Note: proper TCM diagnosis should always be done by a registered Doctor of TCM or Acupuncturist before treatment is administered.

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