Eating with the Five Flavors & Seasons

Humans have been eating and living with the season for 1000s of years and about 100 years ago that all changed, and not for the better!  There is way too much dis-ease and mental illness, stealing life too early and unnecessary pain and suffering. Epidemiological studies estimate 50% of Americans alive now will get cancer, and that could also apply to Canadians. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 12 million new cancers are being diagnosed in dogs and cats each year, which means one out of three will die of Cancer. Understanding ourselves, body, mind and spirit, is how to maintain a healthy way of life and learning the five flavors can be part of your health solution.

 It has become apparent that we need to relearn how food, herbs and balancing life’s stressors. Food and herbs nourishes us; did you know the organs are connected to our emotions and our emotions are connected to our organs? Learn which food and herbs will assist you to regain homeostasis and/or keep your body in that state of flow and ease.

Why is eating with the season important?

  • Food abundant in the season assists the body’s systems and mental health.
  • Food abundant in the season attunes the body systems for the next season
  • Eating vegetables and fruit grown locally in nutrient-rich soils without chemical fertilizers and pest sprays are rich in enzymes, minerals and vitamins needed for both metabolism and digestion.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Food grown organically, locally and in the season is packed with nutrients therefore you require less.
  • Is one of the best means of dis-ease prevention and self-care.
  • Allows your body’s systems to be strong in that season and prepare you for the next season to come.

Five Flavors and Our Body’s Systems and Emotions

All food and herbs have thermal energetic and five flavors which is how our body knows how to use the extracted nutrients. A balanced diet would include a majority of sweet and pungent foods with a nice blend of sour, bitter and salty. Sweet flavor is in many foods from most vegetables, animal protein, nuts, seeds, fruit and whole grains such as brown rice. All foods contain at least 2 or more flavors. An excessive amount of any flavor may cause an imbalance.

 I learned a lot from taking classes, reading and now I can create meals with the five flavors. At the end of this article you will find some recommendations of books and classes on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda Medicine for those who want a deeper understanding of the Five Flavors and their Thermal Energetic.


Thermal Energetic of BITTERS are mostly cooling and a few are warming to the body’s systems.

Foods which are BITTER in taste support the heart and small intestine and assist stomach, spleen, lung and large intestine

  • Certain Bitters have purgative effects and induce bowel movements for constipation.
  • Known to help with ·Inflammation ·Infection · Dampness (phlegm) .
  • Support Heart and Small Intestines- circulation & absorption.
  • Bitters can dry Candida Yeast over-growth and fungus
  • Reduce High Blood Pressure
  • Tonify and vitalize the Kidneys and Lungs
  • Clear heat and cleanse arteries of damp mucoid deposits of cholesterol and fats
Taste is Bitter
Organ most supported Heart and Small Intestine
Season is Summer and when the Heart and assimilation is strongest or weakest.
Virtue is Being in the Rhythm and Flow – Wu Wei
Heart and Small Intestine in harmony, enjoys life, laughter, is focused, calm and grounded.
Heart and Small Intestine imbalanced is loquacious, sorrow and laughs excessively.


AmaranthCitrus peelPau’d ArcoTurnip
AsparagusDandelion rtQuinoaValerian
Bitter MelonDandelion lfRadish leafWhite pepper
Burdock rtEchinaceaRice vinegarYarrow
Celery seedHopsRye


“The Spleen belongs to Earth which pertains to the Centre, its influence manifests for 18 days at the end of each of the four seasons, and it does not  pertain to any season on its own.” The Foundation of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni

Thermal Energetic of SWEET has all three thermal energetic properties cool, neutral and warm supporting the body’s systems.

Foods which are SWEET in taste support the stomach and spleen and assist the lung, large intestine, kidney and urinary bladder

  • Attunes us for all the seasons
  • Energizes yet relaxes the body, nerves and brain
  • Strengthens the spleen-pancreas and soothes the liver
  • Moistens dry conditions of the lungs, and slows an overactive heart and mind
  • Very important for those who are nervous and scattered
Taste is Sweet
Organ most supported in Digestion (Stomach/ Spleen Pancreas).
Element is Earth
Season is Late Summer and when digestion is strongest or weakest.
Virtue is Reciprocity; mutual benefits, giving and receiving
Digestion in harmony (Stomach/Spleen/pancreas) enjoys life, singing,
dreams is focused and grounded.
Digestion imbalanced worries to much, feels heavy and sluggish,
sloppy in approach, forgetful, weepy.

Sweet is subdivided into:

  • Full sweet from complex carbohydrates, protein and fat (more strengthening)
  • Empty sweet from fruit and vegetables (more cleansing)


Maple syrup
Rice syrup
Sesame seed
Sunflower seed
Sweet potato
Swiss chard
( sweet)
Water melon

PUNGENT FLAVOR (acrid, spicy, hot, aromatic)

Thermal Energetic of PUNGENT is mostly warming to the body’s systems.

Foods which are PUNGENT in taste supports the lungs and large intestine and assists the kidneys, urinary bladder, liver and gallbladder

  • Enters and clears the lungs of mucus
  • Improves digestion ruled by the spleen/pancreas
  • Stimulates blood circulation and is a cardio tonic
  • Clears and improves sluggish liver function
  • Moistens the kidneys, which affects all the fluids; keeps us supple and aids in a healthy nervous system
Taste is Pungent
Organ most supported are the Lungs and Large Intestine
Element is Metal
Season is the Autumn the Lungs and Large Intestine will be their strongest or weakest.
Virtue is Righteousness and Honesty
Lungs and Large Intestine in harmony enjoys life, takes deep breathes, is focused, calm, has clear intentions and is grounded.
Lungs and Large Intestine imbalanced there can be depression, sadness, deep grief, may have lung issues, worries too much, feels heavy, sluggish, is sloppy in appearance forgetful and weepy.

FOOD & HERB acrid, spicy, hot, aromatic (*very warm pungent)

Black pepperChamomile*Horse
*CayenneElder flower*Onions*Rosemary


Thermal Energetic of SALTY is cooling to the body’s systems.

Foods which are SALTY in taste support the kidney and urinary bladder and assist the liver, gallbladder,heart, and small intestines.

  • Regulates water metabolism
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Promotes blood sugar health
  • Helps to reduce signs of aging because it keeps us toned
  • Promotes healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly the brain
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Promotes sinus health
  • Prevents muscle cramp
  • Promotes bone health
  • Regulates sleep, promotes natural sleep
  • Supports sex hormones
  • Promotes vascular health
  • Assists in absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract
Taste is Salty
Organ most supported Kidneys and Urinary Bladder
Element is Water
Season is the Winter the Kidney will be their strongest or weakest
Virtue is Wisdom and Will
Kidneys and Urinary bladder in harmony enjoys life, is calm and grounded.
Kidneys and Urinary bladder imbalanced is fearful, anxious, scattered and has a hard time staying focused.

The importance of full spectrum Salt

Salt…is a grounding crystal that takes us down into the body/mind where well-centered concentration of matter attracts a clear perception of its opposite: Spirit (non- matter)
– Jacques De langre, in Sea salt & Your Life

Salt has been around for over 250 million years, and humans have been using salt as far back as 6050 BC.  Salts are helpful for all biological activities and have the most “grounding” descending activity of any substance used as food.

  • Salt strengthens digestion and increases the flow of hydrochloric acid
  • Salt enables us to focus more clearly on the material world
  • Excess salt is said to lead to greed

Purchase complex salts such as Himalayan crystal salt. Commercial table salt consists of only sodium chloride 97.5% and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. 

Eating common table salt (sodium chloride) can cause unsightly cellulite, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and kidney and gallbladder stones.

Salty Flavor Food and Herbs

Celtic sea salt
Himalayan Crystal Salt
Sea vegetables: kelp, Dulse, Kombu, Wakame, Agar, Hijiki
Soy Sauce
Tamari sauce
Umeboshi Plum


Thermal Energetic of SOURS is mostly cooling to the body’s systems.

Foods which are SOUR in taste support the liver and gallbladder and assist the heart, small intestines, stomach spleen and pancreas.

  • Keep the tissue firm
  • Help emulsify fats and proteins
  • Dissolve minerals for improved assimilation
  • Keep the body and organs tone
  • Strengthen weakened lungs
  • Keeps us grounded
  • Play a role in the “heart-mind” organizing scattered mental patterns
Taste is Sour
Organ most supported Liver and Gall Bladder
Element is Wood
Season is the Spring the Liver and Gall Bladder will be their strongest or weakest.
Virtue is Benevolent, kind
Liver and Gall Bladder in harmony focused, calm and grounded.
Liver and Gall Bladder imbalanced is impatient, irritable, scatted and angry.
Aduki beanGrapeMangoSauerkraut
AppleHawthorne BerryOliveTangerine
Apple cider vinegarHuckleberryPicklesTomato
Apple, sourLeekPlum, sourYogurt
Black CherryLemonRaspberry

Knowing your food and herbs and your physical and emotional state is how to maintain homeostasis, the yin and yang of our inner body`s systems. Life is short and the sooner we understand our imbalances there is less chance of deep chronic illness.

Our brain health depends on our body’s systems functioning optimally; this provides us with a strong healthy mind.

The primary organs of detoxification are the – LIVER, LARGE INTESTINE and KIDNEYS

References and Recommendation

The Herbs of Life Health & Healing Using Western & Eastern Techniques by Lesley Tierra, L.AC., Herbalist

The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierrra, C.A., N.D.

Planetary Herbology by Michael, C.A., N.D

Books by Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D.

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