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Crazy Chinese Health Notice Answers Lingering Questions - Xinjiang: Far West China



Crazy Chinese Health Notice Answers Lingering Questions

June 10, 2009 | 6 Comments

Ever wonder why you went bald?  Do you ever find yourself with a decreased vigor for life and can't explain why?  Did you suddenly go deaf without any prior symptoms?  How about an unexpected bloated belly or an intense case of diarrhea?  If any of these describes you, then I'm happy to say I finally have answers for you.

Yesterday morning here in Xinjiang I had a lovely little surprise sitting on my desk, a notice from our local health center.  I was about to throw it away when I noticed the title that had me instantly hooked: 20 Foods Which Shouldn't Be Eaten Together.


20 Foods Which Shouldn't Be Eaten Together

I'd like to translate these twenty food combinations for you, including their purported effects, and in turn I want you to realize that this was not meant to be a joke.  These health officials are completely serious.  This notice was passed around the city in hopes that people would think twice before serving, let's say...rabbit meat and celery in the same meal.  Apparently, all your guests would walk away bald.  I'm doing you a favor here, so you might want to take some notes.

A crazy Chinese health notice
Just in case you think I'm making this up
  1. Pork + water chestnuts = a stomach ache
  2. Beef + chestnuts = vomiting
  3. Lamb meat + watermelon = a decreased vigor for life
  4. Dog meat + green beans = poisonous to the body
  5. Rabbit meat + celery = loss of hair
  6. Chicken + celery = a decreased vigor for life
  7. Goose meat + chicken eggs = a decreased vigor for life
  8. Turtle meat + amaranth (a nutritional herb) = poisonous to the body
  9. Carp + liquorice (not the candy) = poisonous to the body
  10. Crab + persimmon fruit = diarrhea
  11. Chicken eggs + saccharin = poisonous to the body, potentially fatal
  12. Brown sugar + preserved eggs = poisonous to the body
  13. White wine (白酒) + persimmon = chest pains
  14. Onions + honey = damaged vision
  15. Radish + fungus = dermatits (a skin disease)
  16. Bean curd + honey = makes you deaf
  17. Potatoes + bananas = (I can't figure the translation for this one...sorry.  Anyone willing to try it out and let me know its effects?)
  18. Bananas + sweet potato = a bloated belly
  19. Peanuts + cucumbers = harmful to the body
  20. Sweet potatoes + persimmon = lithiasis (formation of stones, such as the kidney stone)

So the question remains for me...how much of this should I take to heart?  Any ideas?

Update: Thanks to a few commenters and some people on twitter I think that I can now say that #17 should correctly be translated as - "Potatoes + bananas = freckles".  Also, #15 should read "dermatitis", not "dermatits"...but since it's been commented on I'll keep it as is. Ha!

About Josh Summers

Josh is a writer, musician and entrepreneur who currently resides in Urumqi, capital of China's western province of Xinjiang. He has been traveling and writing about this region since 2006 and has no plans to stop in the near future.

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  1. Whenever i have diarrhea, i just take some Diatabs or Imodium tablets and it gives me some relief after a few minutes.*.*

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  2. Brought to my attention in one korean movie:-
    Ginseng + Nutmeg = Can increase the ginseng’s effect which, depending on the amount, can kill you.

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    Josh on August 8th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Wow! I haven’t heard that one…I’ll try to stay away from the Ginseng and Nutmeg!

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  3. Even in my family, it’s ill-advised to cook pork with ginger as the combination releases a certain chemical process when ingested that promotes illnesses if your body has weak defenses. It could be in the form of digestive problems, acid breakout, and the like. The Chinese culture has identified a lot of these poisonous/toxic food combinations such as

    Not everything that tastes good, means it’s okay. This could probably be the reason why most people now have ulcers or severe acidity in the stomach and discount it to be caused by work stress or family problems. In some studies including ayuvedric principles, I quote:

    “According to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and post-digestive effect (vipak). When foods, (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) having different attributes, tastes, heating or cooling properties, and post-digestive effects are eaten together, agni will be slowed down. The foods can then remain in the stomach for seven to eight hours. These same foods, if eaten separately might well stimulate agni, be digested more quickly and even help to burn ama. Thus, according to Ayurveda, one should eat according to one’s constitution and take fruits, starches, proteins and fats separately at different times of the day. Combining foods improperly can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation. This condition, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease complex. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish agni, change the intestinal flora producing toxin*s and may cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies.”

    Some combinations give you rashes, some give you diarrhea, and often people think they were food poisoned due to microorganisms such as e-coli, that could be true yes. But then again, you’d think, basing on the ayuvedric teachings, is it not fodder for certain bacteria that you combined food that promote these bacteria’s favorite food or breeding environment as well? Just a thought :) Specific so-called toxic combinations are crab and persimmons. True to some people, they’ve caused hospitalizations due to either allergy breakout or even diarrhea. And mostly, when we hear of victims of these food poisoning incidents, its the elderly or the children who are severely or fatally affected. Simply because of the body’s immune systems that may have failed them.

    So even if it’s an old wives’ tale, I best leave it to the ancestors’ wisdom and follow. After all, the worst effects may not even be felt NOW but overtime, the body may just continuously deteriorate or harbor some strange illnesses when I get older, simply because I weakened it long before, by simply combining some counter-acting yin and yang types of food.

    Oh by the way, a lot of the so-called Modern Scientific methods and procedures of the Western World frowned on a lot of Chinese principles. Take accupuncture, pressure points reflexologies, certain healing medicinal herbs for example.. and decades later, what has happened to people worldwide? A general clamor for natural supplements, herbal medicines, and the like. A lot like the way they laughed at the olden people brewing teas from copious amounts of bark, leaves and flowers are not being taken seriously. Even Chinese cordyceps for example, used for centuries have just began to surface and they’re now touted by Western Medicine as new drug to counter some leading diseases.. tsk tsk tsk..the skepticism is soooo over the top, don’t you think? ;)

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