In TCM the heart system includes not only the heart muscle itself, but also overall blood circulation and aspects of mental and emotional activity. Excess heat or fire affecting the heart is a state of over-stimulation. Cooling foods are recommended to reduce the heat or fire. Lightly cooked foods, along with a small amount of uncooked foods should be eaten.
For heart fire, the ratio of food groups should be as follows:
40-60% vegetables and fruit
30% complex carbohydrates like whole grains and root vegetables
Foods that Clear Heart Fire
Celery, spinach, swiss chard, cucumber, lettuce, dandelion greens, radish, asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, beets, turnips, carrots, parsley, sprouts, watercress, purslane, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, seaweed, spirulina
apples, pears, watermelon, persimmon
millet, barley, rye
tofu, soy products, yogurt
mung beans, adzuki beans
escargot, crab, oysters, clams
Foods to Restrict or Avoid
Roasted, fried and deep fried food in general
chilies, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, garlic, mustard
horseradish, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, vinegar, excessive salt
red meat, shrimp, cheese, eggs, peanuts
Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, Vol. 2. MacLean & Lyttleton. University of Western Sydney: Australia. 2002.
Chinese Dietary Therapy. Liu, J. Churchill Livingston: Edinburgh.1995.
The Healing Cuisine of China. Zhao & Ellis. Healing Arts Press: Vermont. 1998
This fact sheet is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is meant to complement rather than substitute for a consultation with a qualified TCM practitioner.