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History of the word

The word Mcrobiotics combines the greek words “macro” (meaning long) with the word “bios” (meaning life). It was used for the first time in modern times by the german doctor Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836) in his book “Makrobiotik Oder Die Kunst Das Menschliche Leben Zu Verlängern”. For this reason it literally means “big life” or the study of longevity.

In the 20th century George Ohsawa developed a philosophy to complement Ishizuka Sagen food approach. To explain his philosophy, Ohsawa used the term “Zen Macrobiotics” that later became “Macrobiotics”.
The 2017 Macrobiotic International Conference, in Berlin, with  45 teachers representing different schools, institutes and organizations established a definition of Macrobiotics, that was later reviewed in November 2018 and January 2020. The term Macrobiotic can be used as a noun and as an adjective.


Ancient Greek ‘Makrobiotikon’ (long life). From Makros (long) and Bios (life).

Macrobiotics, noun

A system of holisttic principles and dynamic practices that guide nutritional options, activities and a lifestyle toahieve physical, emtional, mental, social and envirnmental health.

Macrobiotic, adjective

For example the acrbiotic philosophy, macrobiotic diet ou macrobiotic lifestyle.

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