Hot Peppers Cure Illness, Using the Theory of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements in Chinese Medicine

By Song Chenguang

PureInsight | October 13, 2008

[] One day, one of my patients visited me when I was cooking. So, I invited him to have lunch with me. This patient said that he was experiencing constipation and could not eat because there was hot pepper in the meal. After thinking about it, I told him that there would be no problem for him to just eat the amount of hot pepper I gave him, and the hot pepper could even cure his constipation. Then I gave him some hot pepper to eat. The next day, this patient was very happy and told me that my method worked very well because he went to the restroom after leaving my home. He told me that he didn’t believe me when I first told him the pepper could cure his constipation because other doctors had told him otherwise.

Hot pepper curing constipation is not a secret, but I had actually never used hot pepper to cure constipation before. What gave me the idea that it would work was simply my understanding of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements in Chinese medicine. Pepper’s medicinal property is hot and it tastes spicy. According to Yin and Yang, the hot is Yang and can consume Yin; and from the Five Elements theory, spicy is Gold and gold’s property is dry. Normally, you might think that a patient with constipation should not eat pepper. However, we can see that the shape of a hot pepper is similar that of our bowels, and both are hollow. Pepper is hot, consumes Yin, and over-consumption of Yin can be avoided if you take the correct amount of pepper; the spicy element can spread easily and boost circulation. If we use the spicy element in an appropriate amount, it can aid one’s bowel movements. The hot is Fire, the spicy is Gold, and the combination of Fire and Gold can generate Water. Water is fluid and can reduce dryness. So, I just applied the theory of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements to help the patient cure his constipation.

Chinese medicine is based on the interactions of Yin, Yang and the Five Elements. If you learn this theory, you can understand everything in Chinese medicine, and if you understand all this, you will know the theory of all being one. Everything is generated from one. What is one? It is the Dao and it is the Fa. However, in this universe there is the highest Fa, which can let all the Fa turn to one.

In the Ming Dynasty, Liu Bowen revealed the highest Fa in this universe to the common people. In his Tui Bei Tu, Liu Bowen included the answer that Heavenly Buddha gave to the Sanqing Jade Emperor, and the rough meaning was that this human world has degraded to such an evil and rotten extent that none of the previous sages could save it. Under this circumstance, only Maitreya Buddha could save it. Maitreya Buddha told those gods in the paradise that He would only spread the Fa with three words when He came down to the human world, and He would use this Fa to let all Fa turn to one and to rectify the universe. Then, He went down the human world.

What is the highest Fa in this universe? It is the highest characteristic of this universe: “Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.” In “Lunyu” (Zhuan Falun), it says:

It encompasses everything and leaves out nothing—from particles and molecules to the universe, from the even smaller to the even greater. It is an exposition of the characteristic of the universe, “Zhen-Shan-Ren,” expressed at different levels with different layers of meaning. It is also what the Tao School calls the “Dao,” or what the Buddha School calls the “Fa.”

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