Chinese Food Therapy for Pets
by Jennifer Tucci, DVM
“Food is the medicine you take every day. “
The belief in the healing power of food is one central to Chinese medicine, where food therapy is often utilized in conjunction with other modalities to treat disease. It is the art and science of tailoring diet plans to individual patients based on their unique pattern of age, species, geographical location, personality and current imbalance or disease process. Food ingredients are chosen based on their energetic properties (ginger is a warming spice, watermelon is a cooling fruit) and special actions (honey soothes the throat and decreases coughing).
Recipes can typically be classified into one of the following categories:
- Health Promotion and Prevention – to improve health on a regular basis and to prevent seasonal- and climate-related problems
- Disease Treatment – to directly treat clinical conditions, including skin problems and vomiting or diarrhea
- Adjunct Therapy – to complement primary treatments (acupuncture, herbs, or Western medicine) of diseases such as ear infections, urinary crystals and stones, kidney disease, liver disease and cancer.
The ultimate goal of food therapy is to restore and maintain balance and health in the body. Food therapy is slower-acting than standard medications but is safe, natural and promotes long-term health.