Dietary therapy (shiliao 食療) is a distinctive feature of traditional Chinese pharmacology. But the Song period (960-1279) saw a new vogue for beverages and foods with added medicinal ingredients. 'Health drinks' containing aromatic medicinal herbs enjoyed great popularity in all strata of society. The writer distinguishes this phenomenon of medicated foods from the practice of 'curing illness with diet' and draws parallels with the current popularity of medicinal cuisine (yaoshan 藥膳).
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