Food Properties in 
Chinese Medicine

The following list of foods can benefit their associated organs.  It is best to work with a good diagnosis from a practitioner, but this will be a good start.

To learn more about which foods you should each in a given season please visit our seasonal diet recommendations page.

Liver & Gall Bladder (Wood Element):


Tomato - liver & stomach, Carrot- liver, spleen, stomach, Spinach - liver, large intestine, & stomach, Bitter Melon - liver, stomach, & heart, Lime - liver, stomach, & lung, Plum - liver & stomach, Mint - liver & lung, Chrysanthemum - liver & lung, Green Tea - liver, heart, stomach, bladder, & large intestine, and Ocean Snails - liver.

Warming and Moving

Cinnamon - liver, kidney, & spleen, fennel - liver, kidney, spleen, & stomach, Red Sugar - liver, spleen, and stomach, and alcohol - liver, heart, lung, & stomach.

Tonify Liver Yin

Carrot - liver, spleen, & stomach,  Mushroom- liver, stomach, & kidney, grape - liver, kidney, & stomach, Cherry - liver & spleen, Mulberry - liver, kidney, & heart, Gou Ji Berry - liver, kidney, & lung, Lychee Fruit - liver, spleen, & stomach, Pork - Liver, Lung, & Spleen, and Oyster - liver & kidney.

Tonify Liver Blood

Black Sesame Seed - liver, kidney, & large intestine, Liver (beef, pork, lamb, rabbit) - liver, Beef tendon - liver, and Squid - liver & kidney.

Tonify Liver Yang

Shrimp, Prawns, and Lobster - liver & kidney

Move and Soften

Onion - liver, spleen, & lung, Hawthorne Berry - liver, spleen, & stomach, Papaya - liver & spleen, Tangerine Seed - liver & heart, and Vinegar - liver & stomach.


Umeboshi Plum - liver, spleen, lung, and large intestine.

Heart and Small Intestine (Fire Element):


Lotus Root, Bitter Melon, Water Melon, and Green Tea.

Moving and Warming

Alcohol and Hot Chili Pepper.


Wheat and Lotus Seeds.

Spleen and Stomach (Earth Element):

Warm the spleen and transform dampness

Garlic, Pepper, Chili Pepper, Coriander, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Chives.

Nourish the spleen and tonify qi

Rice, Wheat, Buckweat, Sticky Rice, Sorghum, Peas, Chestnut, Lotus Seen, Almonds, Soy Beans (yellow and black), Adzuki Beans, Carrot, Pumpkin, Mushroom, Siitake Mushroom, Apple, Cherry, Fig, Lotus Root, Beef, Chicken Pork, Lamb, and Duck.

Foods that cool and moisten the stomach

Chinese Cabbage, Celery, Spinach, Bamboo Shoots, Eggplant, Tomato, Cucumber, Peach, Grapes, Kelp, and Tree fungus (black and white).

Foods that moisten the stomach and promote bowel movement

Plum, Banana, and Pomegranate.

Foods that Moisten the stomach and promote urination

Watermelon, Pineapple, Kiwi, and Corn.

Foods that moisten the stomach and lung yin

Pear, Tangerine, Orange, Grapefurit, Persimmon, apricot, Sugar Cane, and Lime.

Lung and Large Intestine (Metal Element):

Move the lung qi and transform phlegm

Garlic, Ginger, Coriander, Chives, and Daikon Radish.

Cool the lung and moisten the yin of the lung and large intestine

Carrot, Chinese Cabbage, Bamboo Shoots, Mushroom, Pear, Tangerine, Orange, Grapefruit, Persimmon, Apricot, Fig, Lychee, Sugar Cane, and Lime.

Moisten the lung yin and tonify the lung qi

Sicky Rice, Pine Nuts, Almonds, Pork, Duck, Sugar, and Barley Malt.

Kidney and Bladder (Water Element):

Clear heat, quench thirst, and promote urination.

Cucumber, Water Melon, Nappa Cabbage, Winter Melon, Celery, Corn, Kiwi, and Green Tea.

Warm the kidney yang, boost the kidney essence, and strengthen the lumbar

Black Soybeans, Walnuts, Chestnuts, Lotus Seeds, Lamb, Shrimp, Prawn, Lobster, Black Chicken, Squid, and Eel.

Moisten the kidney yin and clear deficiency heat

Turtle, and Sea Cucumber.

Nourish the kidney essence

Almond, Artichoke Leaf, Egg, Milk, Walnut, Royal Jelly, Mussel, Kidney, Bone Marrow, Nettle, Chicken, Oyster, and Sesame Seeds.

Astringe the kidney essence

Gingko Seeds.

Soften Masses

Kelp, and seaweeds.

Other important food groups that may help your particular health problems.

General Blood Stagnation:

Chicken Egg, Kohlrabi, Radish, Sweet Rice, Chili Pepper, Leek, Saffron, Rose, Brown Sugar, Chive, Mustard Leaf, Scallion, Tumeric, Butter, Crab, Onion, Turnip, Chestnut, Hawthorne Berry, Peach, Sturgeon, and Vinegar.

Foods which calm the spirit and relieve anxiety:

Wheat, Warm Milk Valerian, Motherwort, Mulberry, Lavendar, lettuce, Hops, Celery, Chamomile, Bitter Orange Flower.

Foods that raise the spirit and lift depression:

Bilberry, Basil, Oat, Sage, Rosemary, Jasmine.

Sources: The five Organ Networks of Chinese Medicine by Heiner Fruehauf.  Helping Ourselves by Daverick Leggett.