Common Actions of Foods

The common actions of foods refer to the general actions of foods without referring to any specific internal organ. Some actions are familiar to Western readers, such as relieving asthma or checking perspiration, while others are more rooted in Chinese medicine, such as "cooling blood" or "toning up yang." This article aims to provide a comprehensive list of common actions and the foods that have these effects.

Arrest Bleeding

Foods: black fungus, chestnut, chicken eggshell, cottonseed, cuttlebone, guava, lotus plumule, spinach, vinegar.

Calm Down the Spirits

Foods: licorice, lily flower.

Check Acid

Foods: chicken eggshell, cuttlebone.

Check Perspiration

Foods: oyster shell, peach.

Check Urination

Foods: raspberry.

Check Seminal Ejaculation

Foods: lotus plumule, oyster shell, walnut, black fungus.

Counteract Toxic Effects

Foods: abalone, banana, bean curd, black soybean, castor bean, cherry seed, chicken egg white, Chinese wax gourd, clam (freshwater), cucumber, date (red and black), fig, honey, Job's-tears, kohlrabi, radish, salt, sesame oil, small red bean, star fruit, vinegar.

Dissolve Blood Coagulations

Foods: brown sugar, chive, chive root, crab, hawthorn fruit, saffron, vinegar.

Disperse Cold

Foods: ginger (fresh), wine.

Eliminate Sputum

Foods: Chinese wax gourd, clam (saltwater), longevity fruit, pear, radish, sea grass, seaweed.

Facilitate Measles Eruption

Foods: cherry seed, coriander, sunflower seed.

Improve Appetite

Foods: green pepper, ham, red pepper.

Induce Bowel Movement

Foods: castor bean, sesame oil. Induce Perspiration

Foods: cinnamon twig, coriander, ginger (fresh), green onion leaf, green onion white head, marjoram, rosemary.

Lubricate Dryness

Foods: bean curd, chicken egg, chicken egg yolk, honey, maltose, milk (human), pear, pork, sesame oil, spinach, sugar cane juice, yellow soybean.

Lubricate Intestines

Foods: apricot seed (bitter and sweet), banana, milk (cows), peach, soybean oil, walnut, watermelon.

Lubricate Lungs

Foods: apple, apricot, chicken egg white, ginseng, lily flower, longevity fruit, loquat, mandarin orange, peanuts, persimmon, strawberry, white fungus, white sugar.

Produce Fluids

Foods: apple, apricot, bean curd, coconut, date (red and black), ham, lemon, licorice, litchi, maltose, milk (cow's), peach, pear, plum, sour plum, star fruit, strawberry, sugar cane juice, tomato, white fungus, white sugar.

Promote Blood Circulation

Foods: black soybean, brown sugar, chestnut, eel blood, peach, saffron, sweet basil, wine.

Promote Digestion

Foods: apple, coriander, ginseng, green pepper, hops, malt, nutmeg, papaya, pineapple, plum, radish, radish leaf, red pepper, sweet basil, tomato.

Promote Energy Circulation

Foods: caraway, chive, chive roots, dill seeds, dry mandarin orange peel, fennel, garlic, kumquat, litchi, marjoram, radish leaf, spearmint, star anise, sweet basil, tangerine, tobacco.

Promote Milk Secretion

Foods: common carp, lettuce.

Promote Urination

Foods: asparagus, barley, Chinese cabbage, carrot, Chinese wax gourd, coconut, coffee, corn, corn silk, cucumber, grape, hops, Job's-tears, kidney bean, lettuce, mandarin orange, mango, mung bean, muskmelon, onion, pineapple, plum, star fruit, sugar cane juice, water chestnut, watermelon.

Quench Thirst

Foods: crab apple, cucumber, loquat, mango, muskmelon, persimmon, pineapple.

Reduce Fever

Foods: muskmelon, star fruit, water chestnut.

Relieve Asthma

Foods: apricot seed (bitter).

Relieve Cough

Foods: apricot seed (sweet and bitter), kumquat, longevity fruit, mandarin orange, tangerine, thyme.

Relieve Diarrhea

Foods: guava, sunflower seed.

Relieve Hot Sensations in the Body

Foods: chicken egg white, crab, mung bean, sea grass.

Relieve Pain

Foods: honey, litchi, spearmint, squash, tobacco.

Sharpen Vision

Foods: abalone, bitter gourd, wild cucumber, freshwater clam, cuttlefish.

Soften Hardness

Foods: clam (saltwater), kelp, oyster shell, sea grass, seaweed.

Tone up Blood Deficiency

Foods: beef, chicken egg, chicken egg yolk, cuttlefish, milk (human), oyster, spinach.

Tone up Energy Deficiency

Foods: apricot seed (sweet), bean curd, beef, brown sugar, chicken, eel, licorice, maltose, mutton, polished rice, potato, sweet rice, sweet potato.

Tone up the Heart

Foods: coffee, wheat.

Tone up the Kidneys

Foods: black sesame seed, string bean, sword bean, wheat, kidneys.

Tone up the Liver

Foods: black sesame seed, liver.

Tone up the Lungs

Foods: Job's-tears, milk (cow's).

Tone up the Spleen

Foods: beef, carp (gold), ham, horse bean, hyacinth bean, Job's-tears, polished rice, potato, string bean, sweet potato, yellow soybean.

Tone up the Stomach

Foods: beef, hops, milk (cow's), rosemary.

Relieve Drunkenness

Foods: apple, ginseng, strawberry.

Warm up the Internal Regions

Foods: black pepper, chicken, chive roots, clove, fennel, ginger (dried), green pepper, mutton, nutmeg, red pepper, sword bean, white pepper.


Understanding the common actions of foods and their effects on the body can help individuals make informed decisions about their diets. By incorporating foods that promote specific actions, one can support overall health and well-being.