The Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet

Hey guys, Dr. Axe here, doctor of natural
medicine and founder of In this video I’m going to talk to you about TCM Diet,
also known as the Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet, and ways that Chinese medicine can help
you transform your health. Within Chinese medicine there’s something
called The Five Elements. The Five Elements, this also stems from something called Five
Elements Acupuncture, but I’ll tell you, by learning these principles it’s going to help
you really know your own body. I think this is what everybody wants. Everybody wants to
know a custom and personalized plan for them, and so I’m going to teach you in this video
what type you might be so you know the exact steps you need to take to heal your body completely
using TCM, that’s Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used
over 4000 years and I believe today it’s the most accurate way of diagnosing and treating
illness, much more accurate than our conventional medical Western system today. There are Five Elements of Chinese Medicine
that relate to the earth, and the way our organ system works, our five organ systems.
Let’s talk about the first element. That’s the Wood Element in Chinese Medicine. That
has to do with springtime, also that’s related to green foods. If you are struggling with
a liver issue or a gallbladder issue to where you don’t digest fats properly, or you have
any type of liver condition, elevated liver enzymes, or you’ve ever been exposed to toxins,
then that means you want to follow the Wood Element Diet. Now, also people can be Wood Elements, and
that’s me, for instance. Wood Element people are typically very wiry, they’re typically
. . . you can see their veins, they typically would look like sometimes rock climbers-ish,
but again they’re a little bit more lean and wiry. When you hear the Wood Element, think
tree roots. So think roots and how they’re built. That’s a Wood Element and those people
tend to be more susceptible to liver and gallbladder issues and not digesting fats properly. And
the emotion that they experience is frustration and sometimes anger. So think angry drunk.
If you have an angry drunk what does that affect? It affects their liver and vice versa.
Somebody has liver problems they can burst out in anger. So again, that’s the Wood Element
in Chinese Medicine. If you are having liver issues or gallbladder
issues at all, gallstones, gallbladder removed, any sort of anger frustration issues, you
want to start nourishing those organs. And this is the big difference in Chinese Medicine.
In Western Medicine today we try and treat a disease, treat an illness; in Chinese Medicine
they look to nourish an organ to help the body heal. And the foods that are most nourishing
and healing to the liver and gallbladder are going to be foods that are sour. So think
sauerkraut, also things like a green apple, also foods that are slightly bitter. Foods
that are mostly sour and slightly bitter are the most nourishing, and foods that are very
green. Wood Element, think trees, think green, think grass, so vegetables like fresh salad
and spinach, veggies juices, herbs like milk thistle and dandelion. Also bluporum is another
one in Chinese Medicine, and then green apples, but think green foods, fresh foods, living
foods, those are going to be the best for healing the liver and the gallbladder in foods
that are sour. The next element in Chinese Medicine is going
to be your Earth Element, and the Earth Element is going to be for people that tend to be
a little bit more round. Sometimes people that tend to be a little more jolly. Sometimes
they’ll get some redness in their cheeks. The Earth Element tends to be people that
emotionally struggle with worry, and it also from a seasonal standpoint has to do with
the fall harvest. People that are the Earth Element tend to struggle with candida. So
if you’re a person that you know you’re a chronic worrier or if you’ve ever struggled
with candida, the Chinese Medicine or TCM Diet can help you. Specifically, you want
to do foods that nourish the spleen and so that’s connected to the spleen and stomach.
Those foods are going to be warming vegetables that are just mildly sweet like pumpkin, sweet
potato, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, even corn, those foods that are lightly sweet
and nourish those organs. Now on the flip end, obviously you have the
candida or you’re an Earth Element person, you don’t want to get too much sweet so it’s
all about balance. If you get too much sweet it totally burns out your spleen and your
stomach, versus lightly sweet, you have a little bit of pumpkin or a little bit of butternut
squash, things that are just mildly sweet, those are nourishing to those organs if you’re
consuming just one to two servings a day. So a person that’s that type of body type,
you want to do let’s say a diet that’s high in things like bone broth and organic meat
and also some good starchy vegetables. Think as a meal, Shepherd’s Pie. That’s a great
example of a diet that an Earth Element person would benefit from. The number three Element we’re going to focus
on now is the Metal Element. The Metal Element are typically people that have big, strong,
bold features. If you think of a big muscular linebacker, somebody that’s sort of chiseled
and built like stone, that’s a Metal Element in Chinese Medicine. That’s their typical
build, and those people tend to struggle emotionally with grief and sadness, sometimes depression,
those would be those negative emotions they experience that can affect specifically the
lung and the colons. The Metal Element has to do with your immune system. If you’ve ever
struggled with any type of immune system issue or immune weakness, you want to consume foods
that support, whether that’s autoimmune disease or food sensitivity or food allergies, any
of those issues are signs that you should be really supporting that immune system. White
foods really support the immune system and the lungs. So think horseradish, think white
potatoes, think garlic and onions and cauliflower. All of those foods are very nourishing to
a Metal Element. So again, getting a lot of those immune foods like garlic and onions,
cauliflower, those things are very nourishing, and then also probiotic-rich foods like yogurt
and kefir are great for those, and raw cheeses, like a raw sheep’s cheese, those are really
nourishing to the Metal Element. The number four Element we’ve got to take
care of is going to be your Water Element. The Water Element is really related to the
health of your kidneys and your adrenal glands, which can sometimes even go and affect the
thyroid, but the adrenal glands and kidneys specifically. So if you ever struggle with
any type of infection, any type of fatigue or low energy levels or adrenal fatigue issues
or chronic fatigue, those are warning signs that you need to nourish those organs. Also,
any hormone imbalance. If you’re a person that struggles with early menopause or PCOS
or any hormonal issue, you want to follow those and support the Water Element in Chinese
Medicine. The Water Element tends to struggle with fear.
They become fearful, and if you think about this that’s tied to an organ. If you get extremely
fearful people can actually urinate themselves because that affects the kidneys. Well, think
about doing that in a light way day after day, you lightly affect the kidneys and the
adrenal glands. You wear those organs out in that way. So the way you want to support
those organs is doing dark colored nutrient-dense foods. Think berries like blueberries and
blackberries, cranberries, also think beets and spinach and seaweed, very dark antioxidant
rich foods. The fifth Element in Chinese Medicine is the
Fire Element, and that emotion tends to be somebody that’s very fiery or passionate,
think the summer months. The best foods for that are spicy foods, and that’s going to
be things like cayenne pepper, it’s going to be Mexican food, it’s going to be corn
tortillas, it’s going to be hot sauce. So again, foods that are very warming and hot
to the body, those are going to be the best; salsa, even guacamole, those things are great
for a Fire Element and that’s typically Fire Element is acid reflux. If you have acid reflux
or a heart issue, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure or circulatory issues,
you’re going to want to follow the Chinese Medicine tips and diet to help heal the Fire
Element. So guys, I could go on and on and on about
this. If you want to learn more about Chinese Medicine visit my website, that’s or just search Dr. Axe Chinese Medicine or Dr. Axe TCM Diet, but I’m telling
you Chinese Medicine is incredible, it’s rich, it’s one of the top things you can follow
to heal your body naturally. If you want to learn more, again visit my website, subscribe
here to the YouTube channel. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video on the TCM Diet, also known
as the Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet.

100 Replies to “The Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet”

  1. I am trying to find online what 'water' people look like, just out of curiosity. It seems I'm mainly water with a little tiny bit of earth. Mud. LOL! I am shaped like Dr. Axe, though. I wonder if when you're at ultimate health, you are a different element. You know, when you are ill, are you 'out of your element' – hehe! I guess I'll have to do more reading. Thanks Dr. Axe! Wonderful, digestible information as usual. Santa is Earth element. I need to change up the cookie recipe, I guess! <3

  2. Dear Dr. Josh, this is very confusing, when one has an autoimmune disease (M.E.) thanks to the horrible hpv-vaccine…which has fucked up loads things for me which puts me in all mentioned categories, so how do I act ? do I just mix up all the mentioned ? I hope will answer me as I know I am one of millions who have had their health ruined by the hpv-vaccine and now have an autoimmune disease.

  3. Please make some video on healing and prevention cracked capillaries and enlarged veins. Thank you!

  4. I understand knowing about Chinese medicine as a cultural ethnic medicine. But accepting it as something that works or "more accurate"? Oh please. Chinese medicine is based on believing that health is related to chi energy of course that is total bs. They gave some ingredients that happen to work. But if you try to treat your illnesses with Chinese medicine you'll destroy your kidneys and liver. There is a reason average lifespan of Chinese is not very good.

  5. In addition to my earlier comment it's important to know why Chinese medicine is common in China or other Asian countries. Even today many poor people do not have access to proven western medicine in China. So their only alternative is various traditional medicine. It's a big business for those who sell this stuff. But it simply doesn't work. It is based on pseudoscience.

  6. Hello Doc can you do a blood pressure "hypertension" Video? I eat 80% clean exercise 4 to 5 days a week and can't get below 140/85 average is 150/90. Thanks.

  7. First of all your reference to "western" medicine is erroneous. The diet that is touted in America is a corporate diet or SAD, foods manufactured by corporations not small farms with real food. Also most of Europe does not eat this way, the food in Europe is far superior to that in America and they are much more open and in fact practice natural healing. There is a reason GMO's are banned in most of Europe. Remember that 2 out of the top 3 countries with the healthiest living populations are located in America and Italy. China isn't even on the list and has never been. Also some of the greatest healers have come from America and Europe.

  8. I believe in Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet. Because I believe everyone's body structure is different. Some people just eat a little but they easy to get fat even they do exercise. Some people eat a lot but they never get fat. However, the typical Traditional Chinese Medicine concept may just suitable for Asian or Chinese. You know the western people body structure are every different to us. Anyway, the element concept can help everyone know more about the food we eat and your body structure. Not just see the nutrition fact on the packagings.

  9. As a medical social worker for the past 15+years, I've seen many Chinese elderly who have cancer refused to go for conventional medicine but TCM yielded better outcome and unnecessary sufferring from surgery and chemotherapy txt. Chinese has very different approaches when it comes to illness, as Dr. Axe said, TCM focuses on norishing the organs and balance, but not just removal of the bad cells and try to destroy it by harmful radiation…

  10. can someone please answer my question can hemp seeds be added to a green drink like carrot cucumber apple beet celery

  11. Chinese medicine very good for uneducated peasant who knows nothing of scientific traditions, favourite market. Yes rhino horn like penis therefore eating rhino horn make penis larger. The more endangered the more powerful!

  12. I think I am a typical "earth element" woman with a little bit of "wood element". Pumpkin and corn do a lot of good to me, so I incorporate them into my diet. I reduce my rice consumption for several months already and my candida problem gets better managed. Although sweet potato is also meant to be good but it produces a lot of gas so I ate less often as compared to pumpkin. Pumpkin is not very sticky to the teeth, so it is also good for health of the gum and teeth as compared to rice. For the "wood element", I like sauekraut and in fact I like cabbage very very much!!! The more yellowish it is, the more benefits it will have on me. I tried dandelion (liquid form), but it did not work out well. I did not try milk thistle before, may be…I will try in future.

  13. about Earth diet of sweet taste: pumpkin, sweet potato, the squats etc. are in line with TCM theories, also grains like millet, quinoa work great. On the other hand, any artificial or processed sweet foods ruin the Digestive functioning of the Earth Phase. They ruin it by confusing your natural taste, and by addicting your system for short cut and easy access to the sweet taste. None easy access to Sweet protects and prevents better. Actually what really heals is the Rest –> fast! What do you think and practice?

  14. the Classical Chinese medical doctors are turning in their graves right now. this is such a basic understanding of Chinese medicine and much of it is actually misleading.

  15. The last thing Traditional Chinese medicine needs is some crack pot Western MD spewing wrong advise from an art you obviously don't understand so sit down and shut up. Your advise is all wrong and here's why. First off if someone is having anger issues (wood,liver) you never strengthen or nourish the attached organ element you subdue that organ and strengthen the controlled organ (control cycle) which would be the spleen in this case. This same principal holds true for all of the elements. Feed the controlled organ by following the control cycle. Yes folks TCM covers it all and in my view is close to perfect system but it is very complex and takes a good amount of time to understand so be patient. I would recommend a book called Chinese Nutrition Therapy by Joerg kastner, MD, LAc. A great starter book that covers it all for the beginner. Good luck.

  16. traditional Chinese medicine has been tested by numerous Chinese Doctor since 5000 years ago, I really feel sad that it is being replaced by Western medicine. It is priceless heritage that the ancestors have left to us…

  17. Thank you so much, Dr Axe. I actually wonder at the number of issues I have without actually being sick, so I'll be taking your advice and looking into the chinese diet and I guess something has to give when your are 77.

  18. Water element, U mentioned hormonal imbalance which is what I struggle with but fearful? Not me. I am never a fearful person; nothing scares me; nothing at all. I am currently on Chinese treatment for months now and was adviced against consumption of milk.

  19. I can tell you one thing..I was diagnosed with a spleen qi deficiency and rightly so, because I do over worry and over think and I have thyroid issues (a goiter), I was eating a diet more geared to hashimoto's and was not feeling any better, until I met with a doctor that enforced and diagnosed me with my spleen condition and no lie, I feel great. I have my moments where I feel a flare up in my goiter, but all in all, never felt better. I know I am healing. It's not the placebo, because it has been going on for a few months now.

  20. To have a good understanding about Chinese medicine, one must learn Traditional Chinese Astrology how 5 (10) elements interact each other's.
    A very powerful method use to help diagnostic see their issue thru their birth chart and their face map.

  21. My cousin informed me about the “sowo hope site” (Google it). Throughout almost no time, I slipped 13 pounds. This diet program works for everybody. Google it to learn more.

  22. Where did you study Chinese Medicine Dr. Axe? Your 5 element cycle…. yes it is a cycle, is out of order and your advice is at best, wrong…. and at worst, dangerous. Many people trust you and it is very irresponsible of you to give misleading information on a subject you know little about. Please delete this as well as your other "TCM" videos and get off the bandwagon. Stick to what you know and leave the TCM to the experts. The reason it is a masters degree in itself is because it is extremely complicated and impossible to "simplify" as you are attempting. Studying TCM is like studying law, you really have to break it down and understand every little detail before you can teach about it. Please refrain.

  23. The advice you are giving is not Traditional Chinese Medicine. No acupuncturist would give this advice! Did you take a weekend course for chiropractors?? Milk?!?! A cold, damp food? Really?! Do not call this TCM! This is not TCM dietary advice! Shame on you for spreading lies due to your own ignorance and lack of education when it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine!

  24. In what world is this Chinese medicine food advice? Everything you are saying is against Chinese medicine diet theory? Have you studied Chinese medicine? Raw vegetables? Milk? In what world does Chinese medicine promote this for any element? You are confused and do not know Chinese medicine. Stick to your training and stop dabbling in medicines and theories you do not understand.

  25. Do you know that at one point, Buddhists in China banned animal milks? Therefore, they clearly were used before they did. Was this ban successful among the Chinese who did drink it as far back as neolithic times? When, where, how, and how much milk was consumed before it was banned? How much milk and what kinds are used today?

    From all we could learn, milk never was popular among the Chinese, but it never disappeared either. Most of it was consumed by the affluent and the elite, and particularly sought after by women. There was a well known, popular, believed, and beloved Chinese poem that said something like: if one drinks milk one can live to be more than a hundred. Actually, the poem says drinking milk one can live to be two hundred and forty. The poem is not talking about soy milk nor nut milks, not even about fruit nor grain milks. It speaks about animal milks, mostly cow's milk.

    More detail in this link:

  26. in traditional Chinese medicine, people don't have a certain type of elements, all five elements should be balanced in a human body to maintain healthy

  27. I love that your wood,I am also wood element. We have a good BS Meyer, we can usually tell if people aren't honest. We are creative and love hand crafted things. We live may types of music, usually outgoing but love nature.

  28. Chinese medicine treats the whole person, the body, the mind, the emotions and the spirit and it's based upon Q energy levels and imbalances in energy which cause distress. Dealing with the basis of creation , life force energy, Chinese medicine relates more to quantum physics than to western traditional Newtonian Physics. Energy balance between organs are obtained by eating the proper food to stimulate the organs to function correctly using the 5 element theory and to integrate with the rest of the body and the practicing the ancient traditional Wu Ming Meridian Therapy and acupuncture . The patient takes charge of their own healing because they are educated on where their problems arise from and how to treat themselves through TCM.

  29. chinese medicine is the key to harmony and healthy life western medicition made only victims of system and they basicaly earning money on human suffer .. it s totally twisted have you ever notices the symbol on hospitals? it s two snakes they tell you it s DNA but true is that thats satans symbol and bible warned us about it.. nature is the way thats why i love this guy he realized it and he knows that nature is the way how to be godlike and not toxic.

  30. also we need to understand that eating an overabundance of foods related to any single element can cause disharmony in the associated organs so eating to much sweet foods will cause digestive issues like diarrhea, also remember eat according to the seasons so for example don't eat cold raw foods in the autumn and winter those seasons are meant for you to eat warming cooked hearty meals. and every meal should have a balances of the 5 tastes sour, sweet, spicy/pungent, bitter, and salty balance is the key to your health. just some extra information for you guys from a 2nd year TCM student

  31. and here's a good suggestion if you are eating cold raw foods make sure its accompanied by hot or warm drinks like tea or hot water with lemon the spleen likes warmth and the stomach likes be at what is called a hundred degree soup following this will help you avoid spleen and stomach issues

    cayenne pepper
    corn tortillas
    hot sauce
    Sorry i couldn't help myself by laughing myself to bed!! :D:D

  33. I relate more to the metal element but I'm definitely not built like a linebacker. Then I see multiple ones I can see myself in, so what do you do when you have multiple issues? I think my main two are depression, immune disease and hormonal issues.

  34. Woaaaah recommending hot sauce and spicy foods for someone with acid reflux???? What kind of medical recommendation is that? Please put more critical thought into producing medical advice content that reaches millions of people. YIKES.

  35. Its room 101 basic introduction to TCM…its up to you to research …worth your time…believe me..

  36. Everyone should learn the fundamentals of TCM try acupuncture for a couple years then create their own opinion.

  37. I am starting to be very passionate about veganism (started a week ago) but since of my liver qi deficiency, (cause by pregnancy) one of my Tcm teachers told me that I need to eat meat to be healthy because of not having enough blood (or my liver not working enough?) or else I will be unhealthy?. Can I nourish my liver from not eating meat just as fast?

  38. Dr Walt. Please stick to you learned medicine instead of attempting to tackle TCM. In TCM we do not have any type of Diet, this is a Western notion. As I learned in China, Westerners attempt to Market things to their advantage for fame and money. TCM is easy to learn yet har to practice while Western Medicines are hard to learn but easy to practice. Also the Nutrition you learned is nothing like I learned in TCM. Your 5 Element explanation is very Western and not TCM.
    Thanks, Dr Walt AP Dipl NCCAOM, RN BSN, CSRN, BSMT, MHt

  39. Excellant info as a long time herbalist and knowledge of such I enjoyed your precise and clear explaination of foods and organ imbalace. Thank-you!

  40. Very interesting but a little confused as I seem to be all of these! Can you do a more in depth video on this topic – maybe one video on each element please? 😊 thanks x

  41. Are you sure about the metal body? Giavanni has Earth element with linebacker body and metal and wood skinny. Please verify. Thanks. Nice work! Usually

  42. An Asian person could be 70’years old yet look 45. Obviously eastern medicine works and doctors get paid the more the patient is healed…. western medicine profit from
    The sick which is why they age so fast and look 70 by the time they’re 50

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