Traditional Chinese Medicine, steeped in 5,000-plus years of wisdom, is brimming with herbal remedies, food cures, acupuncture, and meditative exercises such as tai chi. In keeping with its strong reliance on food, Chinese medicine uses many fasts to enhance health, lift moods, cleanse the body, build strength, eliminate acid and mucus, and take the burden off of certain organs. Here are the first two of five fasts we’ll present, used in Asia for specific purposes.
It may take a visit to a Chinese medicine practitioner to fully understand your particular symptoms. Everyone would do well to get themselves checked out according to this style of medicine.
1. Raw Produce & Liquids
Nobody with symptoms of coldness or deficiency should attempt this diet. Symptoms of these include chills, white complexion, thin/watery mucus, hardened joints, difficulty bending and moving, weakness, shallow breathing, and overall frailty. This is a good transition diet for people who want to focus more on whole plant foods rather than animal products, and for those with symptoms of excess.
For food, only raw vegetables and fruit can be eaten, with a salad obviously being the main component. When thirsty, drink water, juice, or herbal tea.
A cleansing all-juice diet is made up of fruit, vegetable, and/or barley or wheat grass drinks. Carrots, celery, cabbage, salad greens, and beets make excellent juices. Many fruits are good as well, with apple being the all- purpose choice.
Some use all-tea diets, if you can believe it. Those with psoriasis or arthritis or obesity might dry a tea made with two parts burdock, and one part red clover blossoms. Try one part fennel seed, one part flaxseed, one part fenugreek seed, and half part licorice root for liver disorders, digestive problems, and weak lungs.
Some diet with just water, sometimes infused with lemon. Ideally you should aim, for any liquid fast, for six to eight glasses a day.
2. The Algae Fast
Though it doesn’t sound thrilling, a fast that focuses on ingesting microalgae can be incomparably healthy. Sea vegetables, which is what algae are, are amongst the healthiest foods in the world, as they are dense with minerals and vitamins. This fast is best for diabetics, anyone with sugar cravings (and thus possibly overweight), and anyone who finds fasting hard. Anyone who is weak or thin should combine microalgae with the next two fasts in this article. The great thing about this fast is that it kills hunger.
Mix algae into juice, herbal tea, or water three times a day. What are microalgae? Spirulina is a big one; aim for five grams in each sitting. Chlorella is another, more powerful option, so aim at about 1.5 g. Another is wild blue-green algae, stronger still, at about 3/4 gram. If you have any questions, consult the person working at the herbal store or check with a nutrionist.
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