3. Fresh-Light Plan
Purpose: For the pattern Dampness
in the first plan of this series we looked at the condition of Qi Deficiency. This pattern of "Dampness" very much grows out of Qi Deficiency and is also very common in Yang Deficiency.
In Classical Chinese Medicine the organs of digestion… the stomach and pancreas (named Stomach and Spleen in Chinese Medicine)… need a good amount of energy (or Qi) to be able to work. If Qi is lacking they will not do their job properly, which is to transform the contents of the stomach into useful components for our metabolism and then transport them to where they are needed.
When this job of so called “transformation and transportation” is compromised the food eaten will not be properly processed and as a result certain unwelcome changes begin to occur… for instance an overall feeling of dull heaviness or an accumulation of weight in the lower body. These metabolic changes are called “Dampness” in Chinese Medicine. Other signs of Dampness might be various fungal infections, loose stools with undigested food or a muzzy feeling in the head. Looking at the tongue body one might see a sticky tongue coating. So one of the first things to do with Dampness is look at the level of Qi in the body and supplement it (if lacking) with the measures outlined in the last nutrition note. The next thing to do is look at the diet. A range of foods are thought to have a tendency to contribute to Dampness or be what is called Damp Forming when eaten in excess.
Typical Damp Forming foods are: Dairy products in general, Wheat and Sugar.
Reducing these items should help resolve the Dampness in the body especially when combined with Qi promoting measures as discussed before.In addition it worth knowing something about the Chinese Medicine concept of digestion… that the stomach needs to have a level of warmth to function properly… and that eating to much raw, cold food will impair the stomach in it’s job of transforming and transporting. This is especially thought to be true in our relatively colder and damp environment. Therefore salads and raw food is best eaten in moderation and in season to help keep the digestion warm and working well. Cooking food appropriately enables its digestion. It’s all about balance really… like most of the rest of Chinese Medicine. So in winter, for instance, one can make even a “warm salad” if wanted with let’s say grated carrot with the addition of some warm food like toasted walnuts and sunflower seeds, perhaps with some Tamari (soy sauce) in addition. In addition to the “avoiding” categories of food listed above, there are some foods to try and add that are traditionally thought to help with Dampness.
These include the following: Aduki bean, Alfalfa, Apple, Celery, Citrus zest, Lemon, Pepper, Radish, Spring onion, Water chestnut, Watercress.
So… why not try it out? With this issue improvement should be felt relatively quickly.