An Introduction to the Five Flavors

Lenore Cangeloso

By Lenore Cangeloso


An Introduction to the Five Flavors

Healthy digestion is truly the foundation for good health. Chinese medical nutrition offers an outlook that is not only individualized but focused on balance and diversity within our meals.

In our busy modern lives— healthy intuitive eating often gets looked past and we are seeing that people with compromised gastrointestinal (GI) tracts are leading to compromised immune systems—as well as a wide range of conditions such as diabetes, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, obesity and certain autoimmune conditions. There are many ways our GI health can be compromised such experiencing states of chronic stress, prolonged use of antibiotics, environmental toxins, a diet full of processed foods or consuming foods you are potentially sensitive toward— all can bring imbalance to your microbiome.

But luckily there are simple and easy ways to help boost the bodies vitality, immune system and digestive health. Some of the best ways to help maintain a healthy internal environment is through eating a diet that is unique to your personal needs and constitution. Focusing on boosting your gut microflora to be diverse and resilient will help to bring more balance into your overall system and increase your vitality and health.

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This is where Chinese Medical Nutrition really shines. It emphasizes a diet rich in vegetables, full of broths abundant in minerals and herbs, as well as eating a diverse variety of foods and colors. It focuses on how foods energetically interact with our body, how they change our internal temperature and ignite a healing response. When we are able to eat in a way that helps to support our individual health needs and goals, our body responds. Essential Tastes is a nutritional guide that leads you into the tasty and therapeutic depths of flavor science from a lens of Chinese Medicine. These flavors (bitter, sweet, acrid, salty, sour) are more than just a tasty sensory experience, as the pathological mechanisms and physiological functioning of the Organs are indivisible from them. Our senses help us learn about the world around us, and our sense of taste especially connects us with our health. Our taste preference changes according to the physical needs of our body and is known to elicit a powerful emotional response. The experiences that flavor can create can be evocative and therapeutic. These flavors can excite our senses, nourish our body and soul, and alter our physiology. Food has the potential to become our greatest teacher and healer. With every bite we can become more in alignment with nature, taking in its wisdom, and bringing more balance to our body.


Chinese medicine and its accompanied nutritional theory teaches us to treat the body like a garden that needs to be tended, rather than a machine that needs to be serviced. It shows us ways to use the intrinsic properties of the foods we eat and the herbs we choose, to increase our vitality, to promote health, healing, and rejuvenation.

This guide will highlight some basic theory associated with Chinese Medical Nutrition and then dive deeper into the Five Flavors, their associated Organ Systems and therapeutic actions. It will also offer a few delicious recipes to make this concept easy to infuse into your life. Let this book be a guide to learning, listening, and healing with food.

May the way you eat lead you to greater health!

This book is available via Amazon. If you are interested in a pdf/ebook please contact me directly via my email

Lenore Cangeloso, LAc is a state-licensed and board certified Acupuncturist and Herbal medicine practitioner. She is the owner of Wild Earth Acupuncture in Portland Oregon. Lenore has spent many months traveling to deepen her knowledge of the human body, and is a dedicated and skilled practitioner that strives to help you achieve optimal states of wellbeing. You can learn more about Lenore at

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