This is an abstract i have submitted for the 8th International Conference on Traditional Asian Medicine organised by The International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM) which will be held in september 2013.
All living beings need food to live. Inappropriate food will cause diseases and at the same time, food is the first medication against diseases. Like the universe and human body, food is made of five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Balanced diet should contain all the five elements. Although all plants contain these five elements, the varying ratios found in different plants make the six tastes: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter, Pungent and Astringent. A different taste has different functions in our body. As we have different nature of body constitution: Wind, Bile and Phlegm, the requirement for food varies from individual to individual. Deficiency or an excess of a particular taste in food results in an imbalance of the three humours, causing diseases.