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Tao of Healing, The

by: Bob Flaws

Portland OR: Rudra Press, Arts Press 1998, $12.95, Paperback
ISBN: 0-936185-92-9

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(1) page(s): 10 and 29

This volume replaces two earlier books on Chinese Dietary Therapy: Prince Wen Hui's Cook and the Arisal of the Clear. My earlier editions have slightly different titles, is this an indication of what is to follow?

Subtitled: Dietary Wisdom According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is a layperson's guide with practical implications. It is written by a Fellow of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in private practice since 1977. Flaws has written more than sixty books (including The Book of Jook reviewed in Flavor and Fortune Volume 4(4) pp. 13, 16). He has also written dozens of articles about Chinese medicine.

The book has an introduction about the basic principles of Traditional Chinese medicine thereafter abbreviated TCM, advice on eating a balanced diet, information about cooked versus raw foods, and advise to eat in moderation, among other things. Pages about cholesterol discuss what is known and the fact that TCM makes no mention of it.

There are some differences between this book and the previous one. Flaws advises that sugar is stressful to the adrenal glands and directly causes secretion of yin dampness or pathologic substance. He points out that peaches engender fluids and moisten the intestines, quicken the blood and disperse accumulations. Good comparisons are given of Western and Eastern medical approaches making this book a valuable asset for anyone's bookshelf. Though it has no recipes, the listing of 150 commonly eaten foods and their Chinese medical descriptions as part of the basic backbone of TCM are discussed clearly. It is a good basic introductory book for those who want to know more about TCM.

The following recipe is recommended for obesity saying that a daikon a day (no size mentioned) exerts cooling and detoxifying effects on the blood and that it and cucumber burn fat and calories. They recommend that you cut down on calories and balance endogenous factors responsible for obesity, and that you drink this decoction twice daily.
Daikon and Mushroom Decoction
1/2 cup wood ears
1 cup sliced daikon radish
dash of salt
1. Soak wood ears in two cups of hot water for one hour or until soft. Drain, and rinse, if they are sandy.
2. Put them and the sliced daikon in a pot with three cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer near the boiling point for twenty minutes, then remove from the heat.
3. Add salt to taste and drink hot twice a day, for as long as you like.

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