Angry Doctor

Monday, July 09, 2007

You say tomato...

Al and I had burgers for lunch yesterday...


angry doc: Hey Al, you know a thing or two about Chinese medicine, right

Al: Ya, why?

angry doc: So is the tomato considered 'heaty' or 'cooling' under TCM?

Al: Mildly cooling, why?


angry doc: How did they know that?

Al: What do you mean?

angry doc: I mean, the tomato is a New World plant, right? That means it wasn't known in China until like 500 years ago, right? So how did the ancient Chinese know whether it was 'heaty' or 'cooling'?


Al: Er... maybe they tested it after it was introduced into China.

angry doc: How did they do that? It's not like there's a pH paper for 'heaty' or 'cooling', or some lab test they can use to detect how much 'heatiness' a gram of tomato has or something, right?

Al: Er... maybe they conducted experiments? Gave some people who were 'heaty' some tomatoes and see if they cooled down?

angry doc: You reckon? I'm just wondering whether they had a proper study with good methodology and control and all that, and whether the study was validated in subsequent studies. Think you can dig up some papers or references?


Al: I don't think they had randomised controlled trials back in the 16th century; I mean, it's just a vegetable, right?

angry doc: Don't you think it's important, man? I mean, people eat tomatoes all the time! Not to mention the ketchup. And did you know that China is the world's largest producer of tomatoes?

Al: Actually, I didn't.

angry doc: And it's a fruit, not a vegetable.

Al: Er... whatever. Can I have some of your fries?

angry doc: That depends; is the potato considered 'heaty' or 'cooling'?

Al: Forget it, I'll get my own fries...

Labels:

7 Comments:

  • I asked the same question of some other fruit, and my mom said it's cooling.

    When I asked why, she explained 2 friends of hers experienced "cool" symptoms after having a tad too much of it.

    Maybe the evidence is anecdotal? It could be informal and yet consistent.

    By Anonymous boon, At July 10, 2007 9:59 am  

  • Well, anecdotes do not good evidence make.

    I think the whole concept of 'heaty' and 'cooling' is rather suspect: there is no objective way of determining or measuring 'heatiness' or 'coolness'. It is also an inadequate way of describing the properties of plants and herbs; otherwise all illnesses caused by 'heatiness' would be treatable by one type of 'cooling' plant, wouldn't they?

    By Blogger angry doc, At July 10, 2007 11:35 am  

  • angry doc: That depends; is the potato considered 'heaty' or 'cooling'.

    The preparation of food also alters the *coolness* of certain foods.

    The proof of TCM can be found in the Schrodinger Cat Experiment.

    The weird counter intuitive stuff of Quantum Mechanics is prove positive that TCM works!

    Love the grilling under cross examination or was that examination in chief?

    Too funny.

    And you should have been a lawyer.

    PZ

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 10, 2007 11:55 am  

  • PZ,

    Thanks for visiting.

    I think you did a good job countering pseudoscience over at Mr Wang's blog; hope to see you over there again soon. :)

    By Blogger angry doc, At July 10, 2007 12:10 pm  

  • well, durian is heaty and I do get sore throat after just 2-3 pieces. That's why I should eat mangosteen to counteract the heatiness because mangosteen is cooling. Does that makes sense?

    Regarding wang, he's taking a blogging break. Probably got tired of defending his pseudoscience. :)

    By Anonymous boon, At July 11, 2007 10:40 am  

  • Perhaps "heaty" and "cooling" are poorly used terms. I'm of the belief that the excessive intake of certain classes of food would promote specific physiological effects within the body. The symptom of "Heatiness" could merely mean febrility without active infection due to the induced production of you-know-what from the food.

    Disclaimer: Fyi, I'm not a sycophant of alternative medicine. Just thought we shouldn't so quick to dismiss everything non-mainstream as voodoo. Unless it's straight chiropractic.

    By Anonymous unemployed, At July 12, 2007 1:57 am  

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