What to Eat during Seasons According To Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine – Eating With the Season 

eating the season

Eating according to the prevailing season is a system which came into existence thousands of years ago, and is still used throughout the world. Chinese medicine is more comprehensive than a simple list of medicines and their recipes use herbs and naturally found elements. Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on prevention more than cure. This is why tips for food intake are a prominent part of the system. Finding the correct foods which correlate with the season is important.

Which seasons does Traditional Chinese Medicine have?

Like contemporary times, the primary focus of Traditional Chinese Medicine is on the four common seasons namely summer, autumn, winter and fall. Different elements are associated with each of the seasons in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Additionally, tips for reaping the most benefits of each season can also be derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine.


The ancient system of medicine proposed by the Chinese is constantly changing to better suit the modern times. For this reason, it is seen that food from endangered species is often substituted with other naturally found substances which can provide the same results. Traditional Chinese Medicine even describes which emotions are associated with every season and which foods should be eaten in each season.


Plants are a major part of the proposed summer season diet according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is believed that excessive sweating can decrease heart-qi, which results in irritability and even insomnia. This is why naturally sour and salty flavours are suggested in the summer. Foods to keep the body cool and balanced are recommended including tomatoes, water melons, wax gourd, lotus roots and even strawberries.


Spring is the season of rejuvenation in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Health problems, however, are a valid concern in spring. Traditional Chinese Medicine, there, recommends the intake of foods which can replenish qi including wheat, dates, spinach, bamboo shoots and Chinese yam.


Since winter is associated with energy conservation and hibernation, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends the intake of foods which are high in fat and protein in the winter season. This includes meats like mutton, beef and duck meat. Mushrooms, leeks, yams and dates are also recommended because these are all foods rich in energy.


Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises that the body needs to prepare to adjust to the changing season. Since autumn is generally associated with dry weather, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends the intake of foods which can help produce lubricating effects. These include pears, lily bulbs, pineapples and lemon.

It is also suggested that the intake of pungent flavours like ginger and onion is minimised as they can have adverse effects in autumn.

To learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sydney, contact Rodd Sanchez Acupuncture Sydney



The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

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Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine