Medicinal Food Therapy and the 5 Elements of Chinese Medicine

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The 5 indispensable materials needed for life on earth include
  • Wood
  • Fire
  • Earth
  • Metal
  • Water
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this 5 Elements Theory is used to classify the human body's physical structure, to explain the functions of the 5 Zang Organs, and to remind us of the cyclical phases of life within us.

When we begin to look at our body as a connected whole and as a smaller cosmo of the larger cosmo, we can begin to see similarities in the patterns of our body, just as we see in Nature. We can begin to understand how to take a more holistic and seasonal approach to achieving balance, for longevity long term healing.


  • Week 1: The 5 Elements of TCM
    • A deep dive into the 5 elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water
    • How does each element correspond to various aspects of life? Organs? Senses? Seasons? Life stages? Directions? Colors? Emotions?
    • How are they interconnected and how can each support / hurt one another? 
    • What patterns in nature can we find in our own bodies?

  • Week 2: How do we eat for Elemental and Seasonal balance?
    • What are the foods we need for each season?
    • What are the tastes for each element? 
    • How do tastes affect different organs?
    • How can we apply food therapy for seasonal living?
    • What is the difference between "seasonal food therapy" and "foods for stagnation"?

  • Week 3: Food properties and TCM's approach to nutrition
    • What is considered a hot vs cold food?
    • How does the type of cooking method change the food characteristic?
    • Why are nutrition terms used in TCM more focused on "improving Qi and Blood" as opposed to "Low fat, high protein"

  • Week 4: Body patterns and TCM Tongue diagnosis 
    (Guest appearance by Dr. Sun)
    • What are the general techniques used for TCM diagnosis? 
    • What are the types of "body signals" you can pay attention to in order to assess your unique body?
    • Dr. Sun will share some tips on how he uses the tongue diagnosis in his practice and he will also LIVE-diagnose my tongue in class. (He can also LIVE-diagnose your tongue - participation optional)

  • Week 5: Herbal Ingredients used in Medicinal Cooking 
    • What are commonly used TCM medicinal herbal ingredients? How can we use them to balance Hot / Cold conditions in the body? 
    • What are foods used to manage "Summer Heat"?
    • What are Traditional Chinese foods and how do they represent the deep connection and celebration of the transformative phases of Nature? What do these ingredients look like and how can we use them at home? (virtual demo)


    • Your host: This class will be taught by me, Jennifer Sun
    • When is it: Every week for 5 weeks @ 1:00pm Eastern / 19:00 Central European Time 
    • Class duration: 60 minutes
    • Capacity: Max 12 students per class