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! 

If you don´t want to miss out on our next posts, subscribe here: 

Have a beautiful new week & lovely greetings, 

Traveling Korea Ayurvegan style

Let me tell you something about Korean food habits and Ayurvedic facts!

A travel blog about traveling Korea and exploring the similarities about TCM nutrition facts and Ayurvedic nutrition

I am back from my trip to Seoul and Jeju-Island and had a thriving September and time there! There was so much to explore – and one of my most favorite things is for sure – exploring food! Korean food got a delicious and unique taste, so very different from other Asian food combinations. But I also found some interesting things about Korean food and Ayurvedic nutrition facts – especially when it comes to the six tastes of Ayurveda.

Being vegan or vegetarian in Korea is possible, but sometimes challenging these days, as the Korean food is now mainly prepared with meat and fish compared to the traditional temple kitchen for example. It was even more, thriving to search and find those little vegan food spots, meeting other Korean vegans and make a difference as a vegan traveler.

Vegan in Seoul is easy!

Restaurants in Seoul often had one dish which is vegan, or vegetarian, so there it was kind of easy to find something. Some Kimbap restaurants which prepared fresh Kimbap rolls in front of your eyes, just made the rolls you would wish for. But what about the small and beautiful Island of Jeju-Do?

Vegan on Jeju-Do is adventurous

Jeju-Do is famous for sea animals, black pigs and even horse meat – when I was getting it right. So I guess many tourists are coming there for exactly those „specialties.“ But even on Jeju-do, there are small and thriving vegan food spots!

At first, it is simple at most temples to find temple food which is vegan and vegetarian. Here I can recommend to check their online pages, look for registration or opening times before you get there. Temple food with all it´s little traditional side dishes is about TCM components, which are perfectly fitting the six tastes of Ayurveda. After a meal like that, I was fulfilled, rejuvenated, not tired and sluggish, I had also no cravings at all.

The Loving Hut on Jeju-do

My favorite place on Jeju-Do was „The Loving Hut Jeju“ which is run by two amazing women. The chef is vegan for 23 years now and is saving stray dogs (and I also saw cats) from the Island. She said to me that she is doing it for the animals. Her food was like a homecoming. It was like coming home to your „Omma“ after a long and stressful week at work and so tasteful, delicious, that we went there twice in our short stay.

Kimchi Jigae

The menu there is changing with every season, which is form e even more Ayurvedically! Beautiful small, and comfortable place. I will come back for sure!

So if you are looking for a stay in Korea and you are vegan and vegetarian – prepare yourself with researches. If you haven´t any local and native speakers around, it could get challenging – but it is still possible!

Korean travel tips for you:

1. Be curious to try something new and try all the leaves to wrap your meals up and try all the side dishes! (So many Kimchi flavors! I loved it! )

2. Search the internet for vegan and vegetarian-friendly spots, you will find some but maybe you can´t sit down in every restaurant or place on your way. But the searching was always worth it!

3. Go and try temple food because those places were the most beautiful ones and the traditional Korean flavors are something you will mainly never taste in European restaurants or US places.

4. Not every dish is super spicy (I was warned that it is), also not every Kimchi was hot as hell – I was able to eat a balanced, on Ayurvedic tastes related, delicious diet there!

5. Most restaurants offer water for free and many are serving warm water or tea – this was amazing and also is an Ayurvedic principle for sure! As warm water is helping us to keep our digestive fire running and to digest properly.

6. I would also recommend trying as many dishes as possible. There is so much to explore in Korea!

So if you are planning to go there and feel a bit helpless, please feel free to mail me at any time. I can name some places for you and also have my brother there which can also help out with questions where to go and what to eat!

What do you think? Are you now in Wanderlust mode? Leave a comment in the section below and if you don´t want to miss the main principles of TCM nutrition and Ayurvedic nutrition next week, subscribe!

Have a beautiful Sunday,

Namaste!