The three main ways the app can be utilized are:
1. As a quick reference for individual food qualities
2. To research foods by traditional characteristics
3. To compile and send a list of recommended foods to your patient based on your diagnosis
1. As a quick reference for individual foods:
This is pretty straight forward. Use the "Search" tab to type in a food you are interested in or use the "Browse" tab to look through categories of food you are considering (Beverages, condiments, dairy, etc).
2. To research foods by traditional characteristics:
Use the "Browse" tab and select a characteristic you are interested in:
For example if you are interested in a list of foods indicated for insomnia then first select the "Browse" tab, select "Indications" then "Insomnia" this will yield: Beef Liver, Beet, Chicken Egg, Hops, Lily Bulb, Longan, Lotus Seed, Mulberry, Oyster, Russian Olive, Spinach, Wheat, and Yogurt.
3. To compile and send a list of recommended foods to your patient based on diagnosis:
Select the "Diagnose" tab then select one or several patterns (a check mark will appear on selected patterns). Then select the "Continue" tab and a list of foods to Seek Out (Indicated by your selected patterns), Moderation (Mixed Indicated and Contraindicated patterns - these will be shown as a "+" for indicated and as a "-" for contraindicated below the foods), and Avoid (Contraindicated by your selected patterns). Select "Edit" below each list if you wish to make any changes to the recommendations.
Select "Settings" to enter Default Notes for the patient (for example:
Eat only cooked foods, Avoid eating late at night, etc) and then enter your Contact Info.
Return to the "Diagnose" tab and then select the "Email" or "Print" tab to send or make a hard copy of the recommendations for the patient.
The seasonal recommendations feature addresses the "When" of prescribing Chinese nutrition. To access this feature, select the "Diagnose" tab, select the appropriate patterns, select the "Continue" tab, select the button in the top right corner and it will reveal the seasonal recommendation options. These options are:
Select a season you wish to research or select "Auto" and the app will automatically select the current season based on the Chinese solar (agricultural) five season calendar. Not surprisingly, "Off" will disable the seasonal recommendation feature. The seasonal recommendation feature allows the practitioner to emphasize the local growing seasons when dispensing dietary advice. For example, if the practitioner diagnoses urinary bladder damp heat and has the seasonal recommendation feature switched to "Auto" in the winter then foods that treat urinary bladder damp heat but are not in season in the winter (for example watermelon) will be moved from the seek out to the avoid category.
Functional Cooking Methods (iOS only):
This feature allows access to the transformative nature of cooking methods (炮制 Pao Zhi) on the qualities of foods. To access this feature, select the "Diagnose" tab, select the appropriate patterns, select the "Continue" tab, then select the button in the top right corner that looks like a cooking pot, and it will reveal the functional cooking methods. These methods are:
Dry frying - increases the Spleen awakening and Stomach strengthening action of the food
Salt frying - directs the food's qualities downward to the Kidneys, nourishes Yin, reduces fire
Honey frying - increases the food's supplementing and moistening actions
Vinegar frying - enhances the food's astringent, analgesic, blood invigorating, and detoxifying actions
Wine frying - enhances the food's ability to clear blockage from the channels, expel wind, and alleviate wind
Ginger frying - reduces the tendency of bitter and cold foods to upset the stomach
Steaming - neutral effect on a food's thermal nature
Baking - gently supplies Yang to a food
Roasting - reinforce a food's astringent effects, supplies Yang to a food
Boiling - reinforce a food's actions, lessens any toxicity, prolonged boiling (up to 36 hours) develops immense Yang potential in foods
Grilling/Broiling - develops a strong Yang effect on the food
Select which method or methods you would like to recommend for each food. Then send the food list via email or print out a hard copy for your patient.
The entire data set in the app is designed to be edited and personalized by the user to reflect any dietary traditions or texts the user wishes to emphasize. Simply select the "Edit" tab in the upper right corner of each individual food listing and then select the "Edit" option below each characteristic make any changes and then select "Save" in the upper right corner.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or feedback.