主 办:北 京 中 医 药 大 学
ISSN 1006-2157 CN 11-3574/R

JOURNAL OF BEIJIGN UNIVERSITY OF TRADITIONAL CHINE ›› 2018, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 97-101.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1006-2157.2018.02.002

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Bigu is not a TCM life nurturing method for healthy people*

Ma Fangfang1, Liao Yan1, Lin Yin1#, Zhang Cong1, Xi Xi2, Pan Shixia1, Wang Yichen1, Ke Xiuhui1

  1. 1 Department of TCM Life Nurturing and Rehabilitation, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China;
    2 The Affiliated Rehabilitation Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400050, China;
  • Received:2017-09-06 Online:2018-02-28 Published:2018-02-28
  • Supported by:
    Construction project sponsored by Beijing Philosophy and Social Science Research Base( No.521 /010120201), Construction project of Beijing traditional Chinese medicine culture research base

Abstract: No ancient records of bigu (abstinence from grains) for life nurturing in healthy people have been identified although it was originally a taoist asceticism for pursuing immortality. The TCM classics of Huangdi Neijing and Nanjing have shown that healthy person with bigu would die of losing spirit after seven days. Bigu and life nurturing have been divided into different chapters to show the difference in the ancient medical books. The taoist doctors oppose bigu on account of early death and malady. Shiqi Bigu(eating qi with abstinence from grains) lacks theoretical evidence and no success cases could be verified. “Bloating without appetite” originally refers to the symptom (anorexia) of spleen deficiency pattern. This term is used in Taoist practice to denote willpower of “eliminating desire” (zhinian) in taoist cultivation. Without precise fabrication, bigu prescriptions tend to consist of 80% sweet-flavored ingredients or grain and tonic herbs, which may be the actual cause of bloating and anorexia with safety concern. Bigu seems to have deviated from the ancient rule of TCM “well-balanced diet with the grains, meats, fruits and vegetables for health”, and also violated the principle of “food variety with grain dominant” diet in modern nutrition. There is no rationality to include bigu into the life nurturing methods or therapies of traditional Chinese medicine.

Key words: bigu, fasting, health preservation

CLC Number: 

  • R212