Here's a list of Damp Heat Foods! Meaning ... foods that can make Damp Heat worse or may, if you eat too many of them and are susceptible to it, increase your chances of getting Damp Heat.
I've also listed various foods that help your body cope with, and even expel, signs of Damp Heat.
It's made up of two pathogens that can invade your body, or may be lying quietly within, awaiting their moment to manifest:
Damp leads to stiffness, swelling and heaviness.
In cold and damp climates symptoms of Damp are common because people living in warm, central-heated houses don't take notice of the weather and the damage it can do to their health.
So they often don't wear enough nor take adequate precautions when outside, and easily get caught out by bad weather.
Then, because modern medicine is mighty, they take medications to quell the pain and discomfort and think, 'that's that'.
That's NEVER 'that' if you suppress symptoms.
What's more, every drug has a primary and secondary action. So, if you continue to take the medication, you'll end up with more than you started with - and it's not all good.
Heat symptoms display
Modern medicine is even better at dealing with Heat than with Damp. But your body has been genetically programmed over hundreds of thousands of years to produce Heat symptoms in response to many challenges that nature throws at it.
Not always is this a good thing, but that's how it is. So if you suppress that Heat response, you tend to weaken your body's ability to fight diseases in the future.
In some cases, for instance when the Heat is produced to kill a bug, you may end up with something else, which is called in Chinese medicine a remaining pathogenic factor.
Trust me, you don't want that either.
So modern medicine sometimes works a treat, but can leave us with other problems which, in time, can become chronic. We often think these are normal, or caused by old age, but at least in theory, they shouldn't be.
So, add heat to swelling, and you get sore, swollen, inflamed joints, or purulent sinusitis, a cough with thick probably yellow phlegm, (phlegm is another story!) or an inflamed liver. Not good and certainly not always easy to cure.
Also, typically, though you'll discover far more on my page on Damp Heat, your tongue will have a greasy, yellow coating, you'll often get a bitter taste in your mouth and your facial skin will be oily.
From a Western medical perspective, you might say that your condition comes from accumulated toxins in your system. Your Liver and Gallbladder can't clear them out so they build up. Your metabolism is often fast but this build-up produces garbage which, like organic matter in a rubbish dump, produces heat.
In which case, you must stop stoking the bonfire! Don't add stuff that makes it worse and do start doing things that help clear the garbage.
As far as the Heat is concerned, Heat being in your case a sign of Yang excess (though Heat can be a sign of deficient Yin too), you must avoid foods and actions that are heating.
As far as the Damp is concerned, it's more tricky, because Damp is a Yin condition, and in your case it is a full or excess-yin situation. (Read about Fullness and Emptiness here.)
Here'e an analogy. If you live in a warm, damp, climate and your house gets flooded, what do you do? Once the water ebbs away, you're in danger of getting moulds and creepy-crawlies. You have to clear out the sodden furniture and dry it, but warm-damp-air makes this difficult. Washing with cold water helps to clean it but, because of the damp air, the water doesn't dry easily so the moulds quickly return.
In the same way, there are some foods, 'damp heat foods', that make it worse.
If taken too often, these damp-heat foods may even produce Damp-Heat in susceptible people.
Unfortunately, by ceasing to eat them you don't immediately get better, in the same way that if a bonfire is burning nicely because you poured petrol over it and set it alight, stopping the petrol won't stop the blaze. Whereas more petrol might make it worse.
There are also foods that can nudge your body towards dealing with the symptoms better. Again, starting to eat them won't cure the problem straight away, but they will have a gradual influence, especially if you stop the damp heat foods that make it worse. (Otherwise it would be like pouring water onto a fire when you are also pouring petrol onto it - you'd get a lot of steam, another form of damp heat!)
So, if you're receiving professional help, such as good acupuncture or herbs, not eating the right foods and, especially, continuing to eat the wrong ie damp heat foods, will definitely hinder progress.
Small note! No food is all bad or all good. Even the following damp heat foods may have their place in some people's diet from time to time. Damp-forming foods, for instance, are moistening, so if you had Dryness as a symptom, Damp-forming foods may help it for a while. But it's easy to get it wrong.
More important than the following is avoiding damp heat foods ie those that produce Damp-Heat, see above.
Over time, the Chinese worked out that quite a few foods can help to clear Damp-Heat. Unfortunately, many of them are not used much in European or American kitchens, so you may not be familiar with them or know how to prepare them.
NB individuals react to foods differently. You might find that your body accepts one of these but someone else's body doesn't.
Here are some of them:
Although this page is about damp heat foods, you'll get a broader understanding of damp-heat if you read the following pages.
If so, you'll realise that a few of the above damp heat foods also exacerbate phlegm-damp and phlegm-heat syndromes: some of them are actually worse for those conditions than for damp heat.
Alternatively, ring him on 07950 012501 or freephone (only free to telephone within the UK) 0800 298 7015.
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('Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine' published 1986, was never available in a Kindle version.)
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Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine! See Reviews.
Seven Reviews so far for Yuck Phlegm. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
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