Chinese Medicinal Meals (Yao Shan) in the West.

Essay by verneUniversity, Master'sC+, May 2003

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Dietetic therapy assumes that human behavior, social life and healthy are inter-related. Many culturally-bound dietetics therapies have been reported around the world by anthropologists and doctors. With more and more Chinese restaurants appear in west countries, Chinese herbal food, using medicinal diet-cuisine with officinal foods to deal with some local diseases, also came into these countries. Some dietetic scientists (Lin, 1997) think this kind medicinal food would provide an alternative and effective therapy for everyone. However, it seems to me that the Chinese medicinal food might not be fit to be a universally effective therapy food due to the fact that it is culturally embedded in Chinese culture. In many Chinese herbalist doctors report referred that Chinese medicinal diet has higher nutritional value which cooker put unsavory herbal into Chinese diet make people enjoying delicious diet as same time get body recover. But in my view, medicinal diet seems not such valuable to un-Chinese culture bound residents because every culture has difference dietetic structure, hygiene standard and culture-specific diseases.

I will firstly start with a brief introduction about Chinese medicinal diets, tracing its historical and cultural roots, its making and rationale. I will also mention the spread of Chinese medicinal diets in the Western countries before I proceed to bring the thesis of this essay: inadequacies of using Chinese medicinal diets in the West for the Westerners. There are many authors believing that Chinese medicinal diets will be accepted all of world at the beginning of this century since there were nearly more than 10% people using medicinal diets for an alternative and effective therapy. (Li, 1994) I will support my thesis by referring to three aspects of Chinese medicinal diets and its applications in the West, namely, food structure, hygiene standard, and culture-specific diseases. By food structure, I refer...