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Yang Tonic Foods


Chai tea spice is a yang tonic food

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses four main pillars of treatment to manage illness and disease: acupuncture, botanical (herbal) medicine, healthy lifestyle and proper diet.

Each of the imbalances that can lead to illness (hot/cold, yin/yang, interior/exterior, excess/deficiency) can be altered by eating foods that re-balance the systems of our body.

Yang represents the energy that is responsible for warming and activating our body’s many functions.  When yang is depleted your energy is sluggish – your body begins to slow down and your body systems display signs of under activity.  One of the first signs of yang deficiency is feeling of coldness or sensitivity to cold.

For a yang deficiency, consuming yang tonic foods, and avoiding yin foods is prescribed.

Yang Tonic FoodsEating cold and/ or raw foods drains the body’s yang energy, as these foods require additional energy to warm them up for digestion (which is a yang function).  Eating warmed foods, such as porridges, slow roasted foods, soups and stews as well as warming spices (in small amounts) supports yang energy in the body.

Lisa Watson

Dr. Lisa Watson is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a passionate writer and speaker and encourages her patients and readers to embrace their full, amazing, health potential. You can follow Dr. Watson on twitter at @drlisawatson or contact her at

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