Five FlavoursTraditional Chinese medicine
A term referring to the division of the foods and herbs used in Chinese herbal medicine into five categories of flavour—sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty—which relates to their effect according to the Oriental construct of disease; each of the five flavours is further classified as being either yin or yang in nature.
n in the dietary component of Chinese medicine, the five basic tastes into which foods are divided, each of which has different physiologic actions. Sour has astringent effects, retaining and generating fluids; bitter flavored foods are purgative, drying the body; sweet tastes replenish and strengthen, harmonize the stomach and spleen, and are generally tonic; pungent flavors eliminate toxins and alleviate stagnation by supporting movement of qi; and salty tastes soften congestions and tissue masses. The goal of Chinese dietary medicine is to achieve balance among these five tastes. See also qi.