"The middle jiao and food has always been of central importance in the Chinese quest for health. Hopefully all practitioners realise the potential of this area and view the legacy of traditional information available from China with respect and awe; this app is a good avenue to access some of this information."
Journal of Chinese Medicine
"People who practice medicine must first thoroughly understand the source of the disorder and know what has been violated. Then, use food to treat it, and if food will not cure it, afterwards apply herbal medicine."
Sun Simiao (Tang Dynasty)
The Chinese Nutritional Strategies (CNS) app is a tool designed to allow practitioners of Chinese medicine convenient and complete access to centuries of nutritional insights.
The heart of the CNS app is the database of more than 300 common foods, along with their temperature, flavor, actions, indications, notes, seasonal recommendations, and differential diagnosis categories. The database is searchable by any of these criteria and sorting through it allows the practitioner to compile a list of recommended foods, and then share those recommendations via email or as a hard copy with the patient.
In addition, all aspects of the database may be altered by the practitioner. For example, this is the data set for watermelon:
Actions: Enters the heart, stomach and urinary bladder channels, clears heat from heart, stomach and urinary bladder, relieves summer heat, augments yin fluids, drains damp, moistens the intestines
Indications: Thirst, mouth sores, palpitations, overheated during the summer with inability to urinate, edema
Notes: "Nature's Bai Hu Tang" - Chinese medical saying
Wood (Spring): Avoid
Fire (Summer): Moderation
Earth (Late Summer): Seek out
Metal (Fall): Seek out
Water (Winter): Avoid
Lu Qi Deficiency: Contraindicated
Kid Yang Deficiency: Contraindicated
Urinary Bladder Damp Cold: Contraindicated
Urinary Bladder Damp Heat: Indicated
Heart Yang Deficiency: Contraindicated
Heart Fire: Indicated
Spleen Qi Deficiency: Contraindicated
Spleen Yang Deficiency: Contraindicated
Stomach Fire: Indicated
Stomach Qi Deficiency with Cold: Contraindicated
Stomach Food Stagnation: Contraindicated
Any of the above characteristics may be altered and saved to the database. For example, the Chinese dietary tradition that you follow may consider watermelon to have a neutral temperature and be indicated for cough. Simply change these characteristics in the database and any future searches for neutral temperature foods or cough will include watermelon in the results.
An especially unique feature for the CNS app is the seasonal recommendations feature which addresses the "When" of prescribing Chinese nutrition. Again using the watermelon example, if the practitioner diagnoses urinary bladder damp heat and has the seasonal recommendation feature switched on in the winter then watermelon will be moved from the seek out to the avoid category. This seasonal recommendation feature allows the practitioner to emphasize the local climate and growing seasons when dispensing dietary advice.
Compiled, edited, and translated by Toby Daly, PhD, LAc. Toby Daly received his undergraduate degree in Food Science from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. He began studying Chinese medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam a Korean monk trained in the Saam tradition. He earned his master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2001 upon completion of Chinese medical training in San Francisco as well as China. During his four years of training in San Francisco, he interned with the prominent San Francisco acupuncturist Dr. Angela Wu famous for her treatment of infertility with Chinese medicine. He has recently completed his PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine under the guidance of 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffery Yuen.