6 common facts about Ayurveda and TCM

Ayurveda has a history of more than 5,000 years, originated in the Indus Valley region of India. First, it was passed orally from family to family and generation to generation. Later it was recorded in the ancient Vedic books. The knowledge was spread along the silk road and influenced Chinese medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM is originated in China. As the origin of history got lost, written records are available from 2,000 years ago. Acupuncture points history can be followed way back to Stone Age.

As you can see – there must be some similarities between Ayurveda and the ancient way of TCM. Both systems are holistic for sure and see the human as a whole. Let´s have a closer look!

1.) Connections to the tongue

Ayurveda and TCM both use tongue diagnosis. In TCM the tongue is a map to our organs. In Ayurveda, we also use cracks, color, coat of the tongue to have a closer look at the imbalances of our patients. TCM also recommends to brush the tongue and avoid certain drinks or food before having a tongue diagnosis. 

2.) The theory of elements 

Here is another common thing – TCM is separating the body in 5 elements. Ayurvedic theory is separating the body into 5 elements as well. In Ayurveda, we call it Vata (Ether & Air), Pitta (Fire & Water), Kapha (Earth & Water). In TCM it is Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. 

And both systems have a similar way to find those elements in the human body. Here is a TCM description: 

  1. Solid structures such as bones, flesh, skin, tissue, and hair represent earth form.
  2. Water forms saliva, urine, semen, blood, and sweat.
  3. Fire forms hunger, thirst, and sleep.
  4. Air takes care of breathing like expansion, contraction, and suppression.
  5. Space takes care of physical attraction and fear.

3.) Pulse Diagnose 

Both Ayurveda and TCM use Pulse diagnose to find imbalances. 

Ayurveda describes the Doshas in our Pulses, while TCM describes 29 different Pulses in the human body. The goal is the same: to have a closer look at the individual and its imbalances to find a unique treatment. 

4.) The causes of illness

In TCM the evils are external in origin but can penetrate deeply into the body, as they do in Ayurveda.

The Six Evils are:

  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Damp
  • Heat
  • Summer Heat
  • Dryness

In Ayurveda Dryness and Wind and everything that is aggravating Vata is the root of 60% of all illnesses. 30% are related to Pitta Dosha and just 10% can be found related to Kapha Dosha. 

5.) Tastes and properties 

TCM describes different tastes in herbs and nutrition as well. Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Sour, Salty, Astringent and Bland. In Ayurveda, we describe Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter and Astringent. 

6.) Dietary and Nutritional guidelines 

Just have a look at the common TCM guidelines for eating habits and what should be avoided:

General Eating Habits   

  •   Eat in a calm and relaxed atmosphere and do not rush your meal
  •  Avoid intense interactions at mealtime, including television and reading
  •  Chewing food thoroughly supports spleen qi
  •  Don’t eat meals late at night
  • Avoid overconsumption and excessive fasting

  Avoid:

  •  Raw, cold food, and iced beverages
  •  Excessive dairy
  •  Oily, greasy, and fried foods
  •  Refined sugar and limit overly sweet foods like fruit
  •  Refined carbohydrates
  •  Excessive alcohol intake
  •  Excessive meat consumption

I am sure you can find here all the nutrition facts, you already read about Ayurvedic nutrition!

What do you think? What do you prefer? What do you practice? I would like to read some of your personal experiences in the comment section below! 

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Have a beautiful new week & lovely greetings, 

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