A Specific Constitution Embraces Certain Beneficial Foods and Herbal Medicine
By David Lee, L.Ac.
In essence, anti-aging revolves around the concept of optimal cellular physiological efficiency. Each cell in the human body plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of various systems, including the organs, glands, immune system, nervous system, muscles, bones, and skin. By creating an ideal molecular environment tailored to the individual, we unlock the body’s innate capacity to detect and correct potential health issues. The human body possesses remarkable abilities to ward off problems and rectify imbalances as they arise preemptively.
Constitutional medicine represents a significant departure from Western medicine, which often focuses solely on addressing specific health problems rather than holistically considering individual well-being. Our genes act as automatic regulators of our physiology, striving to establish a state of equilibrium known as homeostasis—a condition in which all molecular processes operate within their normal ranges. Natural medicine, in this context, functions as a support system, enabling the body to sustain this essential equilibrium, thereby facilitating the healing process.
Sasang Four Constitutional Medicine acknowledges that individuals possess unique physiologies based on their genetic makeup, influencing their paths to achieving balance. This approach offers a practical means of identifying one’s body type and tailoring treatments accordingly. Remarkably, numerous common foods, whether of plant or animal origin, possess medicinal properties.
A straightforward strategy for promoting anti-aging involves reducing the consumption of harmful foods while incorporating beneficial herbs into one’s diet. By aligning your dietary choices with your constitutional needs, you can significantly reduce the stress imposed on your body. It’s crucial to recognize that food is not merely sustenance; it serves as a form of medicine. Although the impact of individual food choices may seem subtle, their cumulative effect is substantial due to daily consumption.
By minimizing the intake of harmful foods, the body can enhance its efficiency in maintaining homeostasis, ultimately contributing to the pursuit of anti-aging goals.
There are four basic constitutions with corresponding treatments. A Damp-Dry Soyangin constitution needs Dry and Dampening foods and herbal medicines to help the body correct its imbalance and disease. Likewise, the other three body types need the opposite quality of food and herbs to assist the body in maintaining homeostasis. A Damp-Cold Soeumin needs Dry and Warm food and medicine. A Dry-Cold Soeumin needs Damp and Hot ingredients. Lastly, a Dry-Hot Taeeumin needs Damp and Cold ingredients.
For a given ailment, it’s essential to match the specific body type with appropriate foods and herbal remedies, as the effectiveness of treatment can be compromised if the constitution consumes the wrong ingredients. Merely identifying the ingredients related to a particular issue is insufficient. Consider irritable bowel disease, where treatment varies based on individual body types. Cold Soeumin types benefit from warming foods like chicken, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, whereas Hot Soyangin and Taeeumin types find relief with aloe vera, cucumber, and celery to address digestive issues.
Dry-Hot Taeeumin constitutions thrive on Dampening foods such as nuts, beef, and milk, but these choices may not suit Damp-Hot or Damp-Cold constitutions. Even some Dry-Cold Soeumins may have lactose and casein intolerance due to milk’s Cold properties. Shellfish can trigger allergic reactions in Dry Taeeumin and Cold Soeumin types due to their Dry and Cold nature.
When individuals with a specific constitution embrace beneficial foods while minimizing harmful ones, their cellular physiology operates more smoothly. This approach reduces stress on the mind and body, slowing the aging process. Digestion, circulation, respiration, hormones, and nerves function optimally, contributing to enhanced health. Genes and cells become more efficient at transmitting information and regulating physiology, leading to disease prevention and correction. Ultimately, this improved quality of life promotes longevity.