Thu, Mar 02, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Chinese medicine doctors reject online health myths

By Lin Hui-chin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Traditional Chinese medicine doctors recently said that Internet myths claiming that drinking milk at night prevents the human body from detoxifying itself and that ingesting ginger is unhealthy are false.

In traditional Chinese medicine, milk is considered neutral and only slightly leaning toward “cold,” unlike “hot” items such as chicken broiled in sesame oil or stir-fried chicken with garlic, which cause “heat” in the liver to become too intense, resulting in an unquenchable thirst, Chinese Meridians Beauty Institute honorary chairman Wu Ming-chu (吳明珠) said.

Traditional Chinese medicine approaches disease as the body being out of tune, Wu said, adding that prescribed treatments seek to return the body to equilibrium by balancing the “hot” and “cold.”

Milk is nutritious and the casein it contains could help induce sleep, she said, but added that people who are allergic or have experienced diarrhea after consumption should avoid milk.

Milk is an excellent source of protein and calcium, John Tung Foundation nutritionist Yu Hsuan Wen (尤宣文) said, adding that it also helps promote the growth of helpful bacteria in the digestive tract.

Wu said the ginger myth started with a purported ancient saying that consuming ginger in the morning was better than drinking soup made from ginseng, while eating ginger at night was the same as ingesting arsenic.

Ginger is a “hot” consumable in traditional Chinese medicine, she said.

Due to its potential to push the human body’s balance toward the “hot” side, ginger was generally considered unhealthy, Wu said, but added that because of changes to modern diets, with an increase in the daily consumption of cold foods and beverages, the constitution of the human body is different than its ancient counterpart.

The occasional consumption of ginger, which is usually classed as either young, raw or aged, can help drive off the cold, she added.

Aged ginger, which is spicier, can push the body further into the “hot” zone, Wu said, adding that people who often feel cold in their hands and feet would be most likely to benefit from ingesting aged ginger.

People who have constant dry mouth, experience constipation or easily develop acne might already have a “hot” constitution, she said, adding that they could worsen their condition by continuing to ingest aged ginger.

Traditional Chinese medicine usually suggests avoiding aged ginger at any time, rather than specifically at night, Wu said, but added that young and raw ginger are relatively mild and their consumption is not restricted, and all people can safely consume them without risk of upsetting their body’s balance.

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