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3 Regulating the diet
Ingestion of tonics in winter has been the traditional life cultivation method in China for several thousands of years. Modern researches believe winter is the season in which nutrients are most easily accumulated in a year. Therefore, nutrients can be transformed into energy to the greatest extent and stored inside the body by means of recuperation with the proper diet to nourish viscera, limbs and bones. Ingestion of tonics in winter includes the two types of tonification with the diet and tonification with drugs. Tonic foods include mutton, chicken, beef, dog meat, and so on; tonic drugs include Ejiao (Colla Corii Asini), Renshen ( Radix Ginseng ), Lurong ( Cornu Cervi Pantotrichum ), etc. However, it should be stressed that the ingestion of tonics should be based on the requirement of one's own body no matter what methods are adopted, and that the tonification should be in combination with the constitution and the state of illness. Otherwise, the tonification is harmful, not beneficial and just opposite to the intended result. In terms of tonification with the diet, the people with yang deficiency or relative yang deficiency should eat sweet, warm-natured and yang-promoting foods like shrimps, dog meat and Lurong (Cornu Cervi Pantotrichum); the people with yin deficiency or yin deficiency syndromes should eat sweet and cool-natured or sweat and moist-natured foods such as rabbit meat, tortoise meat, soft-shelled turtle meat, Baihe (Bulbus Lilii) and Yin'er (Tremella); the people with deficiency of qi and yin should eat duck meat and goose meat. In terms of tonification with drugs, more attention should be paid to the fact that the tonification should be under the guidance of the doctor, free from arbitrary and excessive tonification to avoid the adverse effects on the body. For example, the people with weak constitution and qi deficiency may take Renshen (Radix Ginseng); the people with deficiency of qi and blood may take Ejiao ( Colla Corii Asini ); the people with asthenic kidney should take Liuwei Dihuang Bolus (Bolus of Six Drugs with Rehmannia) regularly; the people with yang deficiency of the kidney should take Jinkui Shenqi Pill, Lurong Paste (Paste of Cornu Cervi Pantotrichum) and so on; the people with deficiency of both qi and blood should take Renshen Guipi Pill (Spleen-Invigorating and Heart-Nourishing Pill Including Ginseng) or Shiquan Dabu Bolus (Bolus of Ten Powerful Tonics), etc.
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