Dietary Prohibitions

Continuing translation of chapter 24 of Essentials from the Golden Cabinet (Jin gui yao lue) by Zhang Zhong-Jing, a 1,700 year old text.

Liver organ meat, especially if it’s from an animal that died on it’s own, should not be eaten as a regular food.

Avoid eating heart because the heart houses the spirit, which will seek revenge later.

Do not eat meat or fish that doesn’t pick up dust or dirt when dropped on the ground.

Do not eat meat that floats on water.

Do not eat meat or fish that neither a dog or bird would eat.

Do not eat meat that doesn’t stir when roasted, but moves when touched by water.

Do not eat meat that has dark red spots on it.

Live animals whose flesh is hot to the touch and hemorrhaging should not be eaten.

Cannibalism will upset the spirit and the soul.

Do not drink cold water when eating fat meats and hot broth.

Eating spoiled rice or stinky fish will cause harm.

Do not eat animals that died (not slaughtered) with their mouths closed.

Animals that died en masse on their own died from an epidemic; they are poisonous.

Do not eat an animal that died on its own, found in a prostrate position with its head facing north. Eating it will kill the person.

Eating raw meats, or drinking milk to the full, will give rise to blood worms and white worms.

Eating beef from cattle that died in an epidemic disease will cause severe diarrhea and hard tumors to develop. Purging herbs should be used.

Preserved meat stored in an urn with rice and kept through the summer becomes poisonous. Eating it will cause kidney disease.





About Lok-Kwan

Lok-Kwan is a Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of Illinois. He is a board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist. He sees patients and teaches qigong in Chicago and Wilmette. Visit his website
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2 Responses to Dietary Prohibitions

  1. Gladys says:

    Thank you, they are very useful recommendations.

    • Lok-Kwan says:

      Especially regarding cannibalism 🙂 But the information refers to a time when picking up roadkill was probably common practice and famines not uncommon. It was 3rd century, AD! Amazing thing was the insights into epidemic diseases which was quite ahead of its time. And about 25% 0f the formulas from the book are in common use today! Because they work!

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