Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Hot and Cold of food

Often, food that we give to our avian pets are classified as hot or cold. Like... grasshoppers are hot, crickets are cold, mealworms are hot, cucumbers are cold.... and apples I have been told are hot by some who believe them as cold and some says hot. Now, why all these confusion?

My thoughts are.... its a very Asian thing.

In ancient Chinese science, all things are explained with the five elements. They are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The elemental theory is also used in traditional medicines. When you visit a traditional Chinese doctor, most will feel your pulse at the wrist with 3 fingers. Oddly unlike Western doctors who ask you the symptoms, these traditional practitioners will instead tell you your symptoms. And their diagnostic skills are base on these elemental theories. And it is all about balance... e.g. wood produces fire, fire produces earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water and to finish the loop, water produces wood. In a perfect world, all these elements will be in balance, therefore the world will be in harmony and the body will be in perfect health.

So, it must be difficult to explain to their patients that these traditional healers simplified their explanation by telling them that they are "hot" or "cold". And such herbs are "hot" to address their "cold" problem and another herbs "cold" to counter their "hot" disorders. Over time, such classifications become standards in food classifications. We are talking about centuries of conditioning.... so it is not difficult to understand how ingrained it has been in Asian cultures.

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