Chinese Nutritional Strategies


Chinese Nutritional Strategies


"The middle jiao and food has always been of central importance in the Chinese quest for health.  Hopefully all practitioners realise the potential of this area and view the legacy of traditional information available from China with respect and awe; this app is a good avenue to access some of this information."

Peter Torssell
Journal of Chinese Medicine
February 2014


iPhone and iPad users please use this link:

Android users please use this link:

How to use the Chinese Nutritional Strategies app

The three main ways the app can be utilized are: 

1. As a quick reference for individual food qualities

2. To research foods by traditional characteristics

3. To compile and send a list of recommended foods to your patient based on your diagnosis


1. As a quick reference for individual foods:

This is pretty straight forward. Use the "Search" tab to type in a food you are interested in or use the "Browse" tab to look through categories of food you are considering (Beverages, condiments, dairy, etc).

2. To research foods by traditional characteristics:

Use the "Browse" tab and select a characteristic you are interested in:

  • Temperature 

  • Flavor 

  • Action 

  • Indication 

  • Indicated Pattern 

  • Contraindicated Pattern 

For example if you are interested in a list of foods indicated for insomnia then first select the "Browse" tab, select "Indications" then "Insomnia" this will yield: Beef Liver, Beet, Chicken Egg, Hops, Lily Bulb, Longan, Lotus Seed, Mulberry, Oyster, Russian Olive, Spinach, Wheat, and Yogurt.

3. To compile and send a list of recommended foods to your patient based on diagnosis:

Select the "Diagnose" tab then select one or several patterns (a check mark will appear on selected patterns). Then select the "Continue" tab and a list of foods to Seek Out (Indicated by your selected patterns), Moderation (Mixed Indicated and Contraindicated patterns - these will be shown as a "+" for indicated and as a "-" for contraindicated below the foods), and Avoid (Contraindicated by your selected patterns).
Select "Edit" below each list if you wish to make any changes to the

Select "Settings" to enter Default Notes for the patient (for example:
Eat only cooked foods, Avoid eating late at night, etc) and then enter your Contact Info.
Return to the "Diagnose" tab and then select the "Email" or "Print" tab to send or make a hard copy of the recommendations for the patient.

Seasonal Recommendations:

The seasonal recommendations feature addresses the "When" of prescribing Chinese nutrition. To access this feature, select the "Diagnose" tab, select the appropriate patterns, select the "Continue" tab, select the button in the top right corner and it will reveal the seasonal recommendation options. These options are:

  • Spring 

  • Summer 

  • Late Summer 

  • Fall 

  • Winter 

  • Auto 

  • Off 

Select a season you wish to research or select "Auto" and the app will automatically select the current season based on the Chinese solar (agricultural) five season calendar. Not surprisingly, "Off" will disable the seasonal recommendation feature. The seasonal
recommendation feature allows the practitioner to emphasize the local growing seasons when dispensing dietary advice. For example, if the practitioner diagnoses urinary bladder damp heat and has the seasonal recommendation feature switched to "Auto" in the winter then foods that treat urinary bladder damp heat but are not in season in the winter (for example watermelon) will be moved from the seek out to the avoid category.

Important note:

The entire data set in the app is designed to be edited and personalized by the user to reflect any dietary traditions or texts the user wishes to emphasize. Simply select the "Edit" tab in the upper right corner of each individual food listing and then select the "Edit" option below each characteristic make any changes and then select "Save" in the upper right corner.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or feedback.

Toby Daly PhD, LAc



App Store description:

The Chinese Nutritional Strategies (CNS) app is a tool designed to allow practitioners of Chinese medicine convenient and complete access to centuries of nutritional insights.

The heart of the CNS app is the database of more than 300 common foods, along with their temperature, flavor, actions, indications, notes, seasonal recommendations, and differential diagnosis categories. The database is searchable by any of these criteria and sorting through it allows the practitioner to compile a list of recommended foods, and then share those recommendations in electronic or hard copy with the patient.

In addition, all aspects of the database may be altered by the practitioner. For example, this is the data set for watermelon:

Temperature: Cold
Flavor: Sweet

Actions: Enters the heart, stomach and urinary bladder channels, clears heat from heart, stomach and urinary bladder, relieves summer heat, augments yin fluids, drains damp, moistens the intestines

Indications: Thirst, mouth sores, palpitations, overheated during the summer with inability to urinate, edema

Notes: "Nature's Bai Hu Tang" - Chinese medical saying

Wood (Spring): Avoid
Fire (Summer): Moderation
Earth (Late Summer): Seek out
Metal (Fall): Seek out
Water (Winter): Avoid

Lu Qi Deficiency:Contraindicated
Kid Yang Deficiency:Contraindicated
Urinary Bladder Damp Cold:Contraindicated
Urinary Bladder Damp Heat:Indicated
Heart Yang Deficiency:Contraindicated
Heart Fire:Indicated
Spleen Qi Deficiency:Contraindicated
Spleen Yang Deficiency:Contraindicated
Stomach Fire:Indicated
Stomach Qi Deficiency with Cold:Contraindicated
Stomach Food Stagnation:Contraindicated

Any of the above characteristics may be altered and saved to the database. For example, the Chinese dietary tradition that you follow may consider watermelon to have a neutral temperature and be indicated for cough. Simply change these characteristics in the database and any future searches for neutral temperature foods or cough will include watermelon in the results.

An especially unique feature for the CNS app is the seasonal recommendations feature which addresses the "When" of prescribing Chinese nutrition. Again using the watermelon example, if the practitioner diagnoses urinary bladder damp heat and has the seasonal recommendation feature switched on in the winter then watermelon will be moved from the seek out to the avoid category. This seasonal recommendation feature allows the practitioner to emphasize the local climate and growing seasons when dispensing dietary advice.

Questions, feedback, comments? Please

Developer: Arlo Leach
Compiled, edited, and translated by Toby Daly, MS, LAc

Toby Daly received his undergraduate degree in Food Science from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. He began studying Chinese medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam a Korean monk trained in
the Saam tradition. He earned his master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2001 upon completion of Chinese medical training in San Francisco as well as China. During his four years of training in San
Francisco, he interned with the prominent San Francisco acupuncturist Dr. Angela Wu famous for her treatment of infertility with Chinese medicine. He recently completed his PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine with 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffery Yuen.



Doam, Sunim, Saam lineage
Fruehauf, Heiner, PhD, LAc
Jiao, Daniel, DAOM
Wu, Angela C., OMD
Yuen, Jeffrey, PhD

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