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Is Food a Better Medicine? Exploring the Connection Between Nutrition and Health




There is no real difference between food and natural medicine. They share the same source!

In nature's rich tapestry, the lines between food and medicine blur beautifully. Both draw their essence from the earth, offering sustenance and healing in equal measure. Like the delicate dance of a plant and a weed, what we perceive as distinct categories often intertwine and overlap in the intricate web of life. Just as a plant can be seen as a weed by some and a valuable herb by others, so too can food and medicine be viewed through different lenses, each offering its own unique benefits and nourishment to those who seek their gifts. Let us embrace the interconnectedness of these realms, honoring the wisdom of nature's bounty and recognizing the healing power that resides in the simple act of nourishing our bodies and souls.


Our many naturally-sourced medications and foods find their existence through a plant, animal or mineral, it is really just a matter of potency and toxicity that distinguishes the two. While some substances may be potent in terms of their medicinal benefits, they may not necessarily be toxic. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist before incorporating any new natural remedies into your routine to ensure safety and efficacy.


Sun Simiao, a doctor from the Tang dynasty is famous for his use of food and everyday diet as his frontline approach to health. He strongly advocated for treating the diet prior to introducing stronger medications or invasive removals and surgeries.


Sun Simiao's approach to health was truly revolutionary for his time. He knew that all foods possess similar traits to the stronger medications that make up the Materia Medica. Drawing parallels between the properties of food and traditional medications, he understood that nature provided a wealth of healing properties in the foods we consume. Many times food and medicine exist at different parts of the same plant! But diet comes first. If the diet wasn’t first adjusted to foster and promote healing, the efficacy of medication can only be so much, and the result is likely to be temporary.


By prioritizing dietary adjustments to support the body's natural healing processes, Sun Simiao highlighted the significance of long-term health outcomes over temporary fixes. His wisdom continues to resonate today, serving as a reminder of the profound impact that our everyday food choices can have on our overall well-being.


It’s important we build off of this same wisdom today in the 21st century. As low as the medicinal potency of food might relatively be, when we eat these foods in the amount of several hundred grams, when we eat at the right times, in the right circumstances, and in the right combinations, we really can maximize this medicinal potential!



Dr. Kyle Ryley Acu., TCMD

Train Health

Be Your HERO

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