Dampness in the Body

ice cream is very damp inducingIn Traditional Chinese Medical theory, excessive dampness is a major cause and consequence of disease.  What is dampness? There are two kinds, dampness external to the body, and dampness within.  In the body, its not exactly one pathogen like a bacteria or virus.  Rather, the term is generic and basically refers to all liquids and oils not adequately metabolized.

Thoth

Hermes, aka Thoth in Egypt, was a big proponent of acupuncture!

People didn’t have microscopes when the bulk of traditional Chinese medical theory was developed.  When the ancients looked at nature to explain life and its mysteries, they took certain principles and applied it to the universe around them to come up with answers.  One of these principles is that the microcosm is reflected in the macrocosm, and vice-versa.  Hermes is accredited with putting it this way: as above, so below.

The meaning of that statement is that nature repeats its patterns, methods, and tendencies regardless of scale, so things that hold true on a microscopic scale, also have a reflection on a cosmic scale.

dampness in chinese medicineLooking at nature, the ancient Chinese perceived six distinct energies that influence the environment.  These six are named after and reflected in climate: dampness, dryness, heat, wind, cold, and “summer-heat.”  Each of these is a distinct energy/influence that characterizes phenomenon we are surrounded by.

If these six are the building blocks of the environment we’re surrounded by, then it holds that our internal body climate has a reflection of these six energies/influences and their interactions.  Too much, or not enough of any one of them can upset the delicate balance of health.

The nature of dampness is to moisten and nourish, but also to clog and obstruct.  Its intimately related to digestion, and when it gets to be excessive, it can initiate, or by itself be the source of many health complaints!  One way to think of dampness in the body is as all the watery and oily substances – often when we use the term, we mean all the pathological water/oily substances, not the necessary stuff.

Basically a little amount of dampness is necessary for the proper functioning of the body.  For example, digestion needs a little bit of it for lubrication.  Too much dampness though, will directly tax digestion and elimination.  Weak digestion by itself leads to dampness too, so it can be a difficult catch-22 situation.   This is why it is said that excess dampness is persistent and takes time to control.

In health, dampness is kept in check by normal healthy physiological processes of especially digestion and elimination.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we know what acu-points, and which herbs also help the body dry, drain, and otherwise metabolize the excess dampness.  Part of our diagnostic process also involves the identification of location and type of dampness.

Under the microscope, what Chinese medicine identifies as dampness can be seen to be any, or a combination of: bacteria, virus, fungus, yeast, amoebas, and/or parasites! So you can imagine how so many diseases involve excessive dampness.  Many health complaints have this component of improperly metabolized liquids/oils.  Most often dampness combines with other pathogens, or climactic factors in Chinese Medicine terms –  especially heat or cold.

How do you recognize when dampness is excessive? Excess dampness is usually reflected by signs and symptoms of sluggishness and stagnation.  It has a turbid, heavy, and sticky nature and it can obstruct the proper function of body processes, especially digestion, elimination, and all fluid metabolism.   Of course any water or fat accumulation or retention involve dampness.

The overly-damp person is fatigued easily, might lack a healthy appetite, might not want to drink water, could have a bloated abdomen, watery stools, and feels heavy in the body, head, or limbs.  Problems with defecation or urination often have a dampness component.  Also if you look at the tongue, it will often have an overly thick coat on it.  Also, in some people, you might not see any of these signs or symptoms – except for maybe they tell you they’ve been diagnosed with having a tumor.

foods with bad oil - very damp

foods with bad oil – very damp. If your body can’t metabolize it, poop, pee, vomit, or sweat it out, it packs it away in your joints and it becomes pathogenic.

Overly oily or moist conditions, and all water accumulations in all or parts of the body always imply dampness: edema, tumors, cysts, cancers, eczema, acne, obesity.  They usually accompany overgrowth of bacteria, virus, fungus, …

Excessive mucus is also a type of dampness issue.  Dampness in the form of phlegm can affect the lungs and heart and is the most common cause of problems in those organs!  Damp people can easily get a cough.

Dampness can invade the joints and the meridians (acupuncture channels), affecting movement, sometimes with pain, and/or numbness.  Arthritis is a perfect example – often a consequence of substances that were eaten over the years but never processed (so the body packs them away in the joints).

Dampness is often slow to resolve. One of the main ways the body gets rid of dampness is through urination and defecation and those systems are directly affected by dampness.  For example, excess dampness can make the urine bubbly and or turbid, while stools can be dark, sticky, and smellier than usual.  Leukorrhea is a dampness issue.  Usually in these cases the damn dampness has combined with either heat or cold!  Urinary tract infections, which are so common these days, are what we call dampness combining with heat.

Degenerative diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, high cholesterol, and many others all have a excess dampness component to them.

All chronic dampness problems imply some chronic problem with digestion, so if you’re overweight, or commonly get infections, pay special attention to the diet guidelines below.   You might not believe you have chronic digestion problems because lab tests don’t show problems, but you do.

What causes excess dampness?

bananas are damp

Bananas are natural and “healthy,” but very damp inducing. Its only a problem when you make smoothies with it and are trying to lose weight.

Susceptibility to excessive dampness starts in the gut with yeast excesses in the digestive tract.  How does that start?  Unfortunately, the modern western lifestyle is filled with dampness causing foods and practices!  Too much raw, cold, sweet, or mucus-forming foods lead directly to excessive dampness.  Alcohol is very damp.   All sugary, processed foods, chips, soda, fast foods, almost anything packaged in a box fit that description, but specifically:

Some of the most damp foods:

  • dairy,
  • meat,
  • eggs,
  • tofu,
  • other soy-based foods,
  • pineapple,
  • salt,
  • concentrated sweeteners,
  • lard,
  • butter, and
  • oils are especially damp-inducing.

Simple sugars from sweeteners and fruits in excess also increase excess dampness in the form of infections and yeasts.  Nuts and seeds can also be very damp inducing, especially peanuts.

Anything that taxes digestion will lead to some kind of dampness.

soda is poison

Soda is so bad for you for many more reasons than just dampness.

All refined, highly processed foods, rotten, stale, chemically treated, or parasite infested foods will give big problem with dampness.  So don’t eat out!!   No seriously, these days with genetically modified foods being so prevalent (in 2010, 93% of soy, 86% of corn, and 93% of rape seed (used to make canola oil) planted in the U.S. were genetically engineered) you’re going to have a hard time finding restaurant food that isn’t going to tax your digestion.  You can read more on Canola oil problems here.

Poor combination of foods can lead to excessive dampness.  For example, meals with many different ingredients are hard to digest.  Overeating in general taxes digestion (never eat more than 70% of your capacity!), leading to excess damp.  Eating late night stresses the body, its hard digest food and sleep at the same time, and it can lead to dampness retention.  Of course there’s damp retention that is not so bad (a healthy overweight person), and then there’s damp retention from eating garbage (like margarine, canola oil, soda, …) which will lead to disease much quicker.

Some foods are especially good at inviting that damn dampness because by their nature, they tax digestion from multiple angles.  For example, ice cream is very sweet, cold, highly mucus producing, full of chemicals additives, and has concentrated sweeteners that don’t combine well with dairy.  But its delicious too, I know.  Unfortunately, in this culture and time, most people can’t adequately discharge the resulting turbid liquids and oils.  Over time, the consequence is a tendency towards fat lumps, tumors, etc.., regardless of whether your body type is skinny, moderate, or overweight.   There are many young women with fibroid problems these days, and I’ve noticed in my practice that most of them drink coffee regularly(which has nasty oils), or regularly indulge in other tasty garbage posing as food.

You see what I mean when I said the modern lifestyle leads to excessive dampness?

How do you treat excessive dampness in the body with foods?

First, avoid eating non-foods like cola and coffee which have a host of other problems.  Unfortunately many if not all foods you buy these days that come in boxes fit this description.  Why?  Some of the most common additives these days are soy oil, canola oil, peanut oil, or some other garbage GMO oil thats most likely also rancid by the time you get to eat it.

Bad oils are very damp inducing and poisoning.  And it seems they’re more at fault for heart disease than any amount of cholesterol.

Lard and butter are also on the list of dampening foods above but they’re otherwise healthy and a good source of necessary saturated fat.  This is where you have to distinguish between naturally dampening but otherwise healthy, versus dampening and also poisonous as in the case of most vegetable oils.

Next, avoid the above list of damp-rich foods in excess.  What is excess?  Depends on where your body is at.  If you are already overweight, tend to get chronic infections, or have had fibroids, any tumors or fat deposit problems, then you have to avoid some things entirely, for some time to come.

What should you avoid entirely? You can guess: fried foods in most restaurants, ice-cream, cake, candy bars, soda, ….  Your friend might be able to eat a Snickers here or there, but even once and it can be poison for you, in your situation.

Second, do things and eat foods that help get rid of dampness.   Basically the bitter and aromatic flavors help dry out dampness.  Exercise helps to air out dampness.  Good intestinal flora and healthy diet, digestion, and elimination are key – and will help you tolerate all sorts of nastiness.

Eat a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates consisting of grains, vegetables, and legumes.  This supplies the little healthy mucus you need for your digestive tract.  Some people take oil supplements for their GLA or Omega-x content, which can be a healthy habit if your digestion can deal with the form of those oils you’re taking.   I’m a fan of getting those things in natural food rather drinking a lot of extra oil.

Green juice

Drinking a cup of green juice a day by itself can supply a lot of much needed nutrients to your digestion and eliminative systems so that they can do their job well.  So good for you but also as a side-effect helps with dampness issues by strengthening you in general, and greens tend to be bitter which promotes resolving dampness.

But also remember carrot, apple, beets, and orange juices are a lot of sugar – which is damps favorite food!  Green juice is greens juiced! Put at least 20% celery (helps control blood sugar levels), and add any of: kale /collard / mustard-greens, leafy greens or soemtimes other greens.  Mix in parsley to help your urinary tract.  Add some cabbage if you have wounds to help heal.  I put baby bok choy when I have some.  If you have any gallbladder problems (most of you do), go ahead and mix in some beets for a while.  Sometimes a shot of juice is very cold on digestion – add some fresh ginger root to taste.

Then, there are specific foods for getting rid of dampness:

  • lettuce,
  • celery,
  • turnip,
  • kohlrabi,
  • rye,
  • amaranth,
  • aduki beans,
  • asparagus,
  • white pepper,
  • alfalfa,
  • pumpkin,
  • vinegar,
  • papaya.

Incorporate more of these foods into your diet to help it correctly metabolize and get rid of dampness.  Even if you are not able to get rid of your soda habit, adding celery regularly to your diet can help for a variety of reasons!

What else can you do?
Then of course there’s Chinese medicine with its array of techniques, including acupuncture and herbs.  We are professionals at dealing with dampness and although proper diet is always primary, Chinese Medicine techniques are the big guns!

Meanwhile at home, besides food, remember its important to exercise.  Think about how you would dry a damp cloth: you air it out!  You can simply run, and then on top of that, learn some qigong and or taiji!  Dampness tends to settle in the joints and make you stiff.  Correct taiji (tai-chi) will make you not only learn how to open your joints, but also what the correct range for extension of the joints is.

53 Comments

    aparadekto

    Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

      Afshin

      I’ll what I can to fix browser issues. What kind of problems are you having with Opera and my site??

    dillon

    Does ghee cause dampness too?

      admin

      Amaranth is bitter and helps fight dampness. I guess if you use a LOT of oil ghee can be damp… but its not particularly damp inducing in moderate use.

    dillon

    What about Yogurt, is it damp inducing?

      admin

      Yeah but I wouldn’t target Yogurt specifically unless you’re eating a lot of it and the rest of your diet is not good.

      As far as dairy goes, yogurt and butter (organic, from grass fed cows…) are ‘good for you’.

    lavalamp

    I really enjoyed reading your page on dampness, thank you! you say eating celery regularly is very good at reducing dampness. Is that raw or cooked or both?

      admin

      Both raw and cooked celery help reduce dampness. Like all veggies, cooking helps make it easier to digest but also remove some of the nutrients. And then there is a point after which cooking has totally destroyed the nutrients… so its a balance. Celery is so common and flexible you can/should have it both raw and cooked in food.

      I recommend a cup of a mix of celery juice and the juice of any leafy green(s) daily to just about anyone – add a little ginger to make it easier to digest if you can’t handle ‘cold’ drinks.

    dampproof

    Hello. I have damp and cold in the body. I know, that to get rid of dampness takes a lot of time. I have cysts on kidneys. What herbs can i use for expelling dampness? And all animal food should be avoided? Can urine promoting herbs be helpful?

      admin

      Damp conditions vary and treatment should be based on the nature and location of the condition. How do you know you have kidney cysts and have you been diagnosed by a qualified practitioner as damp-cold being the cause? Anyway, even if you have not, one thing I can definitely recommend is regularly using a moxa stick to warm up your lower back/kidney area. If you dont know what it is, its easy to find out with some web searches… moxa does a good job of dispersing local dampness and cold, is dirt cheap, and you can pretty much do it yourself (except in the case of the low back region, its probably best to get someone to help!)

      Diuretic herbs can definitely be helpful, especially if they are bitter. In real practice we never prescribe single herbs and we ALWAYS have to take into account the rest of your body signs/symptoms… so I’m not going to start listing a bunch of herbs here – but foods listed above can be very useful. Avoiding damp-inducing foods is always crucial too.

      One last thing thats definitely not going to hurt and might definitely help a lot: Apply Castor oil to the lower back area over where the cysts are supposed to be, daily, and put a warm pack on it. This is a treatment also for fibroids and might help for the same reasons that it helps that situation.

      Avoiding animal foods will not directly help or harm but meat is generally warm and therefore could help. Milk and cheese are definitely damp inducing though!

        dampproof

        Hello, thank you for your reply. Yes, i have been diagnosed by a qualified practicioner. He said, that my major problems are deficient-yang of the body, and dampness (mostly in spleen, cause it is prone to). I have get rid of all cold foods, i limited raw food intake, do not drink sodas and other sweets,(also herbs and acupuncture) and is much better. Your guide is a real help. Now in summer, my practicioner said, it is best time for me, because the energy in yin meridians goes up. However because of summer, i want to ask about cooling myself. I do not eat ice cream and green tea is not really appreciated by my body. What do you think about sour organic diary like curdled milk or kefir? Is it allowed to have them in small amounts during hot days? Btw, castor oil, made my skin burn, but my herbalist told me to apply steamed equisetum herb on my back to get rid of cysts. And i admit it helped a lot.

        debra ridout

        how can you possibly say, in any capacity that meat is good for You??

          Afshin Mokhtari

          Very simple. Thats what my experience and education have shown. Note though that I’m not saying all meat is good for all people, all of the time.

    dillon

    Would hemp flour, flax seeds, almonds or stevia help damp condition, make worse or no effect?

    dan

    my accupuncturist told me that my body is too damp. I have 3 internal cysts on the shaft of my penis. i am trying to avoid surgery. besides food lifestyle changes and exercises which i am already doing, would the daily castor oil and hot pack on penis help dissolve this problem?

      admin

      It wouldn’t hurt.

    joe

    after being diagnosed as having dampness today- with weakness in my liver and gall bladder, I found this site looking for foods to avoid.

    Are these foods damp: chickpeas, root vegetables like taro/cassava/tapioca, baked beans, seeds/nuts like almond, pumpkin, cashew, walnuts ?

    with regards to the nuts/seeds- i tend to eat them raw as opposed to fried- less oils but is it causing dampness too?
    thanks in advance

      admin

      Make sure you understand, or at least don’t misunderstand the diagnosis that you received. Your practitioner probably didn’t mean that you have an actual problem with your liver and gallbladder organs; they probably meant they sense through your pulse that the energy wasn’t running smoothly as it could be – which is true of about 95% of us in modern society. Anyway since I wasn’t there, I have no idea, but I want to point out that a lot of times there is gross misunderstanding (sometimes on both parts) of what the diagnosis means.

      The foods you mentioned are not particularly damp. Nuts are hard to digest, I suggest you buy them in the shell and crack open the shell right before you want to eat them – the problem is that as soon as oils are exposed to light/air/temperature, they start their degeneration process and rancid oils are VERY damp inducing and bad all around.

    tony

    Are these also damp?

    green apple
    Kerry’s gold butter (grass fed)
    Kefir
    cod liver oil
    wheat germ oil
    rice bran
    moringa powder
    ground flax seed
    chia seeds
    nutiva hemp (hearts) seeds
    Quinoa
    raisons
    pumpkin seeds
    brazil nuts
    carrots
    coconut oil (virgin extra organic)

    Sorry for the list…but this is part of my routine diet and I appear to be vulnerable to cold with phlegm and dampness.

    Thanks

      admin

      If you have problems with cold and phlegm then you need to put more warm and phlegm-transforming foods in your diet. Things that help transform and get rid of dampness also help with phlegm.

      The foods you mentioned are not particularly damp inducing – the state of your digestive health/strength is a bigger factor than any particular foods.

    funkshui

    hi i dont know if im having one of the worst stomach flu ever for over 2 months neither devoloped Irritable bowel syndrome .. been drinking loads of coffee and black tea especially in the last 5 months or so then one day drank starbucks coffee with milk .. got blistering cold outside then got home and ate beef roast… and now my stomach and bowels are not the same…get easily bloated no matter what i eat or drink. what can i do u think?
    thanks
    have to say thats a quite quality website…found loads of good infos

      admin

      Hard to say whats going on without seeing you. I recommend you find a good acupuncturist and put away the coffee.

    Pronet Enterprises

    I have fungus do to mold toxicity in my home. I’ve left the house but now trying to clear it from my system. I’m on some bile binding agents, but what herbs should I take to dry and detox with?

    I can’t eat grains or fruits as the sugars will feed the fungus.. What are my options regarding diet?

    I’m taking fish oil 4.5 grams a day in an effort to turn on ppar gamma so my cells will detox faster but worried the excess fish oil is also creating more dampness.. any suggestion here? The FDA banned actos which was used previously for ppar gamma upregulation. I’m following Ritchie Shomakers protocol for toxic mold syndrome. But again would appreciate any help with your suggestions so I can speed recovery. I was exposed for two years and desperate to get my life back.

    Thanks so much!!

      Afshin Mokhtari

      There is no magic bullet for your problems and I dont have access to you so I dont really know whats going on. I recommend you find a good Chinese Medicine practitioner in your area and follow their advice for reducing your dampness, …

    george tonis

    hello.
    i have a big cyst outside my right kidney and a smaller in my left]
    can i avoid surgery through nutrition and exercise?

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Maybe. I can definitely say you can help your situation by proper nutrition/exercise. Cysts are accumulations of fatty material that your body has not properly metabolized – long story short: you should get into eating seaweed regularly and avoiding foods that are hard to digest in general, especially anything with bad oils.

    george tonis

    thank you afshin
    any particular kind of seaweed?

      Afshin Mokhtari

      I use arame, hijiki, kombu, and nori. In my area I have access to quite a variety, and some of them are better in some dishes than others.

    Lily frangin

    Hi there, what should I eliminate/change in my diet, as my chinese medicine dr says I have too much dampness, which is causing my constant painful head presssure. Should I add a celery/greens juice daily? Should I drink white tea?
    I eat: hard boiled egg and 2 toasted sprouted grain toast and coffee for breakfast, raw almonds for snack. large salad and tuna/grilled chicken for lunch, beef/chicken/fish with cooked veggies (carrot,tomato,broccoli,cauliflower) for dinner, greek yogurt for snack.

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Hard to say with the information you’ve given. Definitely follow the guidelines in the article. Your Chinese medicine doctor has firsthand experience with your state so they will be most qualified to help you. Please also read the article on coffee, it is not doing you any good. How many times have you seen your acupuncturist? Dampness by itself will usually make you feel tired and sluggish, but if you have consistent migraines then there is also something else going on.

        Lily frangin

        Thank you for your advice – I don’t have migraines/headaches at all. I have constant foggy head/pressure/fullness in my head and extreme fatigue and sluggishness. I have seen my chinese medicine doctor 5 times already. I saw one before who helped me and said my meridian had opened, but then it didnt last and I was unwell again. I will cut out coffee. How is chai tea? is that ok to drink? Eggs and yogurt are ok? Should I drink green vegetable juice daily?

          Afshin Mokhtari

          It would be misleading for me to say this food or that food is ok for you or not – the reason Chinese Medicine works so well is that the prescriptions are based on where your body is at – and I dont have access to you. Having said that though, I don’t recommend anything with caffeine (my observation/opinion is that it keeps you away from feeling and dealing with your true feelings, and puts you up in your head instead of your whole body – which is useful if you are in the military or emergency services but otherwise self-inflicted spiritual violence in the long run!).

          Green vege juice daily sounds good but that means different things to different people – if you do about 30% celery and the rest kale/collard green/other greens juice then thats some good stuff. Carrot/orange juice is a bunch of sugar – very damp.

          Extreme fatigue and sluggishness are definitely a side-effect of dampness which has over time taxed your digestive and circulatory systems. Acupuncture is good but can take a while to make a difference if you’ve had this condition for some time. Herbs are also very useful to crucial for dealing with anything you’ve had for a while; not just any herbs but a formula tailored to your condition (the ingredients of which will also change with the passing weeks because so will your condition).

          One last thing for now, what kind of oils are you eating and using to cook with? This is something that will definitely make a difference – if not in the short run then in the long run. Read my articles on this site about oils and fats.

          Also dont worry too much about your ‘meridian opening’ … Chinese medical terminology is often confusing and misleading to patients and practitioners are often terrible at explaining.

          It often takes time to get results with Chinese Medicine (say 6 visits doing acupuncture and herbs daily in the meantime), so dont expect quick miracles. With a good practitioner you WILL get a miracle, but probably not a quick one.

    Lily frangin

    Thank you so very much Afshin and i will read the articles on oils and fats and will keep patient as i do beleive in chinese medicine so much – thanks again!!

    Joei

    Thank you so much for this enlightening article- it has opened my eyes to a better perspective on how to treat my own symptoms of dampness. Can you tell me if coconut oil exacerbates dampness?

      Afshin Mokhtari

      I dont think coconut oil is any more damp than other oils – but oils *are* generally damp inducing. As far as oils go, coconut oil is wonderful. Include foods in your diet that help break down and process the dampness rather than avoiding good oils.

    Adam Broder

    Thanks for the great article! Does gluten contribute to dampness?

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Adam, I suppose it depends on what form you ingest the gluten.

    nicki

    Your article and responses to posts has been very interesting. I have been having acupuncture with a western acupuncturist and nutritionist for fertility, who advised a low GL diet, with no sugar, coffee . Today I visited a traditional Chinese herbalist who diagnosed me as having excess mucus and heat in my body. Are there any foods you would recommend please? Many thanks in advance.

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Hi Nicki,

      Its hard to make any recommendations (besides what I mention in the article) based on just the information you gave. You definitely want to avoid coffee and sugar if you’re working on fertility. One note: if you have excess mucus/damp, try to eat more bitter things in your diet and also put radishes and turnips in there somewhere.

    Jillian

    Hi there
    Great article.. I have a very large fibroid and also dampness with cold and stagnation (as diagnosed by various chinese doctors) the issue now is i want to dry up this dampness because every morning i wake up expelling copious amounts of phlegm which is so gross even thoughh i have no cough or sinus infections or throat issues. I am currently on a drink of beets, lemons, aloe vera and 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses each morning and night to hopefully shrink the firbroids. I want to know is that concoction aggravating the dampness and phlegm. I just started it last week. Thanks so much. I’m really seeking relief.

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Didn’t those various Chinese doctors who diagnosed you also try to treat you?

      I don’t know if that drink of yours is helping getting rid of the fibroids, and it probably IS contributing to phlegm.

      Phlegm, mucus, dampness basically come in two flavors: cold and hot. Clear phlegm and whitish phlegm indicate more cold, while yellow and green are heat. There is of course combinations of both too which make it harder to treat… What type is yours?

      Either way, you have to nurture your digestion which means basically cutting down on cold foods – energetically cold as well as temperature wise. Its a big subject, find my article on cold/hot foods.

      For fibroids, one thing you should definitely do: Get Castor oil, rub it on your belly, put a hot water bottle on it – daily.

    george tonis

    hello
    castor oil and hot water bottle on the belly can treat a kidney fibroid cyst as well?

      Afshin Mokhtari

      I don’t know but I’m sure it couldn’t hurt and I don’t see any reason why it would’nt help.

    Shanna Graves

    Hi Afshin,
    I have been seeing a Chinese Dr for about 8 months and not feeling much different. She does acupuncture and neat treatments. I have been Diagnosed with spleen weakness and cold dampness. I feel very tired and sluggish as well as pain in my joints and severe mood swings. My question is I was told recently by a natural dr that I have a yeast fungus. How do the two relate? Does a full body cleanse help with that? Thanks in advance…your article is very very helpful.
    Shanna graves

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Shanna,

      If you don’t feel better after 8 months of treatment then I suggest you change acupuncturists. Are you getting treated by them with acupuncture at least twice a week, and getting some herbs to take everyday? If so it doesn’t sound like they’re too skilled at treating your problem. Find a different practitioner who has experience with your problem.

      Yeast problems will show up (at least) as dampness and phlegm in the traditional Chinese medicine paradigm. A body cleanse is different things to different people; all our bodies are going through a cleanse all the time when everything is working well; bowel flushing and fasting practices require a certain amount of baseline health/energy, and might be too depleting if you’re already fatigued.

      Some things you should definitely do: follow the advice in the dampness article on what to eat, and especially not-eat. The standard American diet will make sure you never get rid of the infection. Get Grapefruit Seed Extract at a health food store and complete a round or two of taking that – its readily available now and there are plenty of article on the net on how to use it for yeast.

    Gypsey Montes

    Hi , I have breast cancer and have been diagnosed as damp. I am addicted to organic milk and have a cup of pure organic coffee every day. I love raw vegetables and can not stand junk food. I will not use chemo or radiotherapy or medication and plan on the natural solution. I will be starting Chi Gong soon too.

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Milk and coffee are not helping your dampness issue. Good luck.

    Gypsey Montes

    P.S Is wheat grass any good to drink daily?

      Afshin Mokhtari

      Certainly the nutritional profile in it is good – if you can absorb it. It is energetically cold, so many people have problems digesting it. It is so cold that I’ve heard some people vomit if they’re not used to it. But understand the problem is a weak digestive system, not the wheat-grass – if someone has that problem I suggest they water it down and drink it bit by bit over time.

    Justme

    I have dealt with dampness since the age if ten. Boils and abscesses in groin and underarm area. I start taking my Chinese herbs given by my Chinese medicinal doctor next week (must boil then myself) but I’m tired of the boils. Any suggestions for my current situation OUTSIDE of what had already been posted? I’m not looking for diagnosis just helpful words

      Afshin Mokhtari

      If you dont see any results after 2 months or so of consistent use of the herbs, find a new practitioner. Avoid soda and other ‘foods’ that come in boxes or cans.

    Tracy

    Dear Afshin,
    Thank you for you website and all the info you posted. All very helpful since I have a hard time finding a proper acupuncturist in London. I’ve given up! Do you happen to know anyone on this side of the world?
    UK is such a damp country and when winter comes. My body struggle with it since sunshine is minimum. Although I do try to avoid damp forming foods. But when is cold is difficult to give up butter, toast and oily foods since they help to ground me. My body can accumulate heat and cold very easily also. It’s almost a full time job juggling what to eat or not eat. Can you suggest any herbs that could help me to rid of heat or cold separately?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Tracy

      Afshin Mokhtari

      I hear there is quite a large body of qualified practitioners in England; I wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find someone qualified.

      I don’t recommend you give up butter and oily foods. They are relatively damp forming, but also quite necessary for health if that is how you get your necessary fats. I DO recommend you give *BAD* fats… read my articles on oils.

      There are quite a variety of herbs for getting rid of excess cold and excess heat, I’d have to differentiate further before recommending any herbs. What makes you believe you accumulate heat/cold? What do you experience to make you say that? If you get cold easily, that could mean you lack warmth and maybe not that the cold is in excess. If you sweat or get hot easily, it could be that you’re lacking what you need to cool, and maybe not that you actually have coldness, or a variety of other causes. See what I’m getting at? Although some of the terminology of Chinese Medicine makes it sound simple, the reality is that the body is complex. That is why a qualified & skilled practitioner needs to differentiate to find out what is really going on before giving you herbs that influence your physiology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*