puzzled: how to justify raw vegan diet from the Chinese Medicine point of view

I am puzzled by different experiences from different people--there are reports about its overwhelming benefits like a cure-all, and there are reports about its deficiency. It seems that raw vegan diet has a lot of conflicts with practices in diet promoted by Chinese Medicine, and Ying&Yang.

Can anyone who has experience in both share something here? This question has been on my mind for more than a year, and is keeping me from focusing on

my study. I hope to know the truth very very badly. Thanks!


  • achin70achin70 Raw Newbie

    My knowledge is limited, but as far as I know TCM does not approve of eating raw because humans supposedly don't have the digestive fire to digest raw foods. However, this does not take into account that you can build up your digestive fire through healthy eating. Also, the history of food and water contamination in China might have had an effect on the development of TCM. Thus, cooking was necessary to keep people from falling ill. Hope this helps! :)

  • KristensRawKristensRaw Raw Newbie

    I think that's a great question.

    I have a TCM doctor who has taken my raw food prep classes and she told me that while TCM doesn't traditionally support a lot of raw in the diet, she continued to take my classes because I added plenty of warming ingredients to the food and used things/ways to help with digestion of the food. She loves the Raw lifestyle, and the last I knew, she was High Raw herself.

    I spoke with another TCM doctor and , for the most part, she agreed with the first. She also added that typically raw foods are very cleansing, which can be good (and recommended) for people with disease (think: cancer), but a diet of ALL Raw could be advised against for people with already cooling constitutions, or maybe hormonal problems, or for people who have health issues which lead them to needing "nourishing foods" rather than lots of cold, Raw food. However, she advocates raw foods such as green juices (add ginger and/or garlic and/or peppers to give it a warming effect), miso soups (not raw, but indeed living), raw fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, some fruits, kale salads and veggies that have been marinated and massaged to help break down the toughness, green smoothies (these blended foods are easier on digestion). Additionally, warming foods in a blender (raw soups, smoothies, etc) and using a dehydrator can help.

    So, my take is that there are times and conditions where people would benefit from cooked, warming foods (according to TCM), and there are people who do well with some Raw in their diet (again, according to TCM), and a there are people who do well with a combination. It depends on the doctor, the person and his/her condition and constitution.

    It seems to me that there can be a nice balance for people wanting to follow a TCM diet to also incorporate some fresh Raw foods in as well, as with the suggestions above.


    Kristen Suzanne


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