Food Therapy is the art and science of using selected food ingredients to feed each individual based upon their age, species, current physiological state or disease process using the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Different kinds of food can be used to treat various symptoms.
Before choosing a specific therapeutic diet a detailed history is taken to determine each pet’s constitution and the nature of their symptoms in order to determine the main pattern(s) that help define the disease process. For example, a dog that is panting frequently, constantly seeking cool places and is prone to recurrent ear and urinary tract infection may be diagnosed, according to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, as manifesting excess “Damp Heat”.
Each specific food ingredient has flavours and energies that are selected according to the pet’s physiological needs. In the case just mentioned specific ingredients can be chosen that will help to “Clear the Heat”, as well as “Drain” the excess “Damp”. Turkey, duck and white fish are considered “Cool” while chicken and venison are considered “Hot”. Likewise barley and brown rice are “Cool” while white rice and sweet potato are “Warm”. Therefore for the dog mentioned above a diet made of turkey and brown rice would be preferable to one containing chicken and white rice. Since both barley and kidney beans can be used to “Drain Damp” we may choose a diet for this dog that utilizes turkey, barley and kidney beans. The proper diet for each patient is based on all of these factors and not just the disease alone.