Traditional Chinese Medicine and Warming Foods

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  • By Dr. Jill Tack
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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Warming Foods

Have you ever thought that maybe during the winter months our dogs and cats would appreciate a nice warming, hearty stew just like us? You know, that freezing cold day where you never seem to be able to warm up and decide to put something in the crock pot for dinner?

Have you ever thought that maybe during the winter months our dogs and cats would appreciate a nice warming, hearty stew just like us? You know, that freezing cold day where you never seem to be able to warm up and decide to put something in the crock pot for dinner?

For starters, if you don’t want to learn all the technicalities for making home-made food for your pet, you can begin by using “warming foods” that have been established by Traditional Chinese Medicine. These warming foods can help warm your pet’s inner core who may otherwise be seeking warmth by
laying on the furnace vent, seeking sunshine, needing a winter coat indoors or hibernating under the covers.

Warming up internal coldness in Chinese Herbal Therapy is mostly due to a yang deficiency that has existed in one’s physical conditions or due to an attack of an external cold pathogen. Meridian coldness is mostly due to an accumulation of cold energy in the meridians causing a blockage of energy and blood within the meridians. Cold is also associated to the kidneys and can be evident when the kidneys function becomes weak making the individual feel cold. You can use either warming or hot herbs as well as food energies.

Paying attention to warming energies that have an inward movement for the winter can really help your pet stay warm and comfortable during the winter months. The energy of food is referred to as their capacity to generate sensations within the body. For example, in the summertime we eat more salads and melons because they have a cooling sensation on the body whereas in the wintertime we prefer soups, stews and hot beverages. This brings us to the inward movement of foods and those that tend to be useful in the winter months. Warming foods that move inward are related to the flavors and energies of food and how the body reacts to a food substance internally. Foods with warming energies include chicken, lamb, goat, venison, lobster, beef kidney, lamb liver, chicken liver, pheasant, goat milk, oats, ginger, garlic, sweet potato, peppers, horseradish, pumpkin, hawthorn, papaya, peach, raspberry, coconut, fennel and turmeric while the inward movement supplement would be kelp.

Besides food, don’t forget about the treats. There are many warming treats that correlate with the food options. Below are some options for food and supplements. It is good to switch protein sources and brands of food often with cats and dogs. It allows them to have something different avoiding a chance of them becoming picky but it also enhances their gut function. If your cat or dog is usually of a “cold energy” this may be a great way to introduce something new but also improving on an ailment.

Supplements:

O’paws Herb & Ocean

Wholistic Pet Kelp + Garlic

Fruitables Sweet Potato, Pumpkin

Coconut Chips

Dry Food

Zignature Lamb

Acana Lamb & Apple, Chicken & Potato

Acana Grain-Free Grasslands, Wild Prairie

Nature’s Logic Lamb, Venison, Chicken

Holistic Blend Lamb & Rice, Chicken & Veg

Petcurean Go! Chicken

Fromm’s Four-Star Chicken a La Veg

Dehydrated/Freeze-Dried

The Honest Kitchen Force, Thrive

Grandma Lucy’s Chicken, Lamb, Venison

Raw

Primal Lamb, Venison, Chicken, Venison Rec Bones, Lamb Rec Bones

Stella & Chewy’s Lamb, Chicken

Vital Essentials Chicken

Oma’s Pride Chicken Mix, Lamb Mix

Bravo Lamb Blend or Patties, Chicken Blend or Patties

This is not a be all and end all list. There are many, many layers to Traditional Chinese Medicine which
also take the individual body type into mind just like any other naturopathic way of healing. Once
the warmer seasons are back around, re-evaluate your cat or dog to see if you need to continue with
warming foods or if switching to cooling foods for the summertime is best for them. Stop in, so we can
show you a few ideas!

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