Oriental Nutrition—the second branch of Oriental Medicine—is based on the same theory as Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, therefore can increase organ function, blood circulation, or energy circulation. Using it properly will also increase response to care. The basic premise is two-fold: first, eat the correct food for your constitution. Second, eat the proper food for the season. This all comes from a wonderful school of thought in Oriental Medicine called the “Five Element Theory.”
A full Oriental Medical Examination (classical pulse and tongue diagnosis) is necessary to determine your constitution (basic overall state of health) and using that information, you could effectively choose foods which will harmonize the function of your body. The following are some basic guidelines for food to eat in winter:
Kidney and urinary bladder function correspond to winter. To stimulate the function of these organs, consume foods that are salty flavored or black. For example: black sesame seeds, mussels, walnuts or sea vegetables (such as hijiki, kelp or dulse).
Salt cravings can indicate kidney or bladder deficiency!