Thieme Medical Publishers

Advanced Search

Chinese Nutrition Therapy

Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)


Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9783132423770
Publication Date: June 2021

Written by
Joerg Kastner
Translated by
Sabine Wilms

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food – Hippocrates, ca. 460–ca. 370 BC

For millennia, the Chinese have taught that a balanced and nutritious diet is an integral part of maintaining good health while healing a wide range of disorders. Here, in a new and third edition of the acclaimed Chinese Nutrition Therapy, the author further demystifies Chinese dietetics, one of the pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Joerg Kastner's introduction to the principles of TCM and the "energetics" of foods emphasizes a holistic approach throughout, providing readers with tools for integrating the principles of Chinese dietetics into their daily lives. Included are a comprehensive classification of more than 300 readily available foods such as vegetables, grains, herbs and spices, fruits, meat and poultry, seafoods, dairy products, oils and fats, and nuts and seeds. Many clinical examples and treatment suggestions artfully combine Western medical conditions with Chinese diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.

The explanation of causes of diseases, the different symptoms, and lists of recommended foods and foods to avoid are supplemented by advice on appropriate acupuncture treatments.

The third edition has been expanded with chapters covering allergies, food sensitivities, dietary support in oncologic cases, fasting, "superfoods," and smoothies. Where appropriate, bridges have been constructed between the paradigms of TCM and those of contemporary scientific medicine. The section "Food Classification" has been developed further to include more detail and many more foods.


  • Descriptions of Chinese dietetics in practice and discussions of dietary factors, such as seasonal adaptations and differing requirements for children and seniors
  • Practical tips on how to adapt Chinese nutrition therapy to Western products and cooking methods
  • Clinical examples covering the major organ systems
  • A handy "A to Z" list of common foods and their healing characteristics

User-friendly Chinese Nutrition Therapy is an essential reference for students and practitioners of TCM, likewise to be valued by nutritionists, dieticians, physicians, and anyone interested in living a long and healthy life.

This book includes complimentary access to a digital copy on

Part 1: Theory
1A: Introduction to the Basic Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Dietetics
1 Yin and Yang
2 Therapeutic Principles of TCM
3 The Five Phases (Wu Xing)
4 The Five Basic Substances
5 Causes of Diseases
6 Traditional Chinese Nutrition Theory
7 Function of the Triple Burner (San Jiao)
1B: Methodology of Nutritional Therapy
8 Energetics of Food
9 Energetic Thermal Nature
10 The Five Flavors (Wu Wei)
11 Flavor Association with Organ Networks
12 Influencing the Thermal Nature of Foods
13 Cooking Methods in Detail
14 Green Smoothies in TCM
15 Meal Preparation in Tune with the Five Phases (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water)
16 Fasting
Part 2: Chinese Dietetics in Practice
17 Basic Recommendations of Chinese Dietetics
18 Special Significance of the Earth Phase
19 Nutrition and Daily Rhythms
20 Nutrition and Seasonal Rhythms
21 Nutrition and Pathogenic Factors
22 Nutrition and the Human Life Cycle
Part 3: Practical Application of Chinese Dietetics
3A: General Applications of Chinese Dietetics
23 Practical Guidelines for Giving Nutritional Advice
3B: Application of Chinese Dietetics for Specific Conditions
24 Organ Network
• Spleen/Pancreas–Stomach
• Earth Phase
25 Organ Network
• Lung–Large Intestine
• Metal Phase
26 Organ Network
• Kidney–Bladder
• Water Phase
27 Organ Network
• Liver–Gallbladder
• Wood Phase
28 Organ Network
• Heart–Small Intestine
• Fire Phase
Part 4: Food Classification
29 Vegetables
30 Grains and Soy
31 Spices, Herbs, Sweeteners, Condiments
32 Fruit
33 Meat and Poultry
34 Fish/Seafood
35 Dairy Products, Eggs, Oils, and Fats
36 Nuts and Seeds
37 Alcoholic Beverages, Coffee, and Tea
38 Superfoods and Yangsheng in Chinese Dietetics
Part 5: Clinical Examples

39 Respiratory Tract Disorders
40 Gastrointestinal Disorders
41 Obesity/Losing Weight
42 Physical and/or Emotional Fatigue
43 Cardiovascular Disorders
44 Eye Disorders
45 Skin Disorders
46 Urogenital Disorders
47 Gynecological Disorders
48 Allergies
49 Nutrition in Oncology
Part 6: Chinese Dietetics at a Glance
50 Foods Classified by Phase/Organ Network
50 Foods from A to Z
Part 7: Appendix

Your comment or review