By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari, MD, PHD

What are the causes of mal-temperament?

August 23, 2017

Generally, Mizaj represents the excess or lack of warmness and humidity in one's body and is classified into four categories- also called four qualities- of warmness, coldness, dryness and wetness.

Therefore, regarding which quality is more dominant the tempers are classified totally into nine categories of warm, cold, wet, dry, warm and dry, warm and wet, cold and dry, cold and wet, and moderate (when none of the qualities are dominant).

Mizaj is a spectrum, meaning that two persons might have warm Mizaj but one's Mizaj might be warmer than the other one. In fact, no two individuals have the exact same Mizaj.

As per Iranian-Islamic traditional medicine each individual is born with a specific temperament (Mizaj) which is referred to as “inherent” or “main” Mizaj. The best Mizaj for a person is the one that corresponds to the warmness and humidity the person is born with and should keep it within its normal range. Therefore, there are no good or bad Mizaj. All Mizaj are good provided that they remain unchanged (keeping the exact same amount of warmness and humidity one is born with); all body parts working properly and staying healthy is an indication of it.  

The best Mizaj for a person is the one that corresponds to the warmness and humidity the person is born with and should keep it within its normal range.

Spoiling one’s inherent or main Mizaj and moving towards excessive warmness, coldness, wetness or dryness, would undermine the persons' health. So one must take immediate action by recognizing the factors causing such symptoms and prevent them from developing. 

In case one take no heed and keep on spoiling their Mizaj for long time mal-temperament or ‘So-e-Mizaj’ will occur and diseases start to develop in the body. Everyone, with any kinds of Mizaj, can be affected by mal-temperament; in other words- depending on their distinguishing Mizaj- they might suffer from excessive warmness, coldness, wetness or dryness. 

To remain healthy, one should adopt the lifestyle that suits their Mizaj. 

Excessive warmness 

There are cases when the patient is diagnosed with excessive warmness in their bodies. Here are reasons as to why someone might experience conditions caused by excessive warmness in their bodies:

  • Heavy and fast exercise, intense activity, and getting too much high speed massage
  • Great anger or happiness
  • Being exposed to heat, either sun, or fire for a long time
  • Consuming food stuff with warming characteristics or warm Mizaj such as date, pepper, etc.
  • Clogged pores which reduce sweat 
  • Infection and infectious diseases which cause fever and excessive body heat
  • Having a warm temperament, as people with warm Mizaj are more prone to be affected by warm Mizaj food stuff or warm environment than people with cold Mizaj

Fast heart rate, breaking out in pimple and mouth ulcers, and sleep deprivation are the side effects of excessive warmness. 

All Mizaj are good provided that they remain unchanged

(keeping the exact same amount of warmness and humidity one is born with);

all body parts working properly and staying healthy is an indication of it. 

Excessive coldness

 Some actions or consuming some food stuff can contribute to excessive coldness in the body:

  • Lack of movement or not taking exercise 
  • Profound sadness and disturbing thoughts which lead to sleep deprivation and restlessness 
  • Intense mental or physical activity which will first increase the warmness but will ultimately result in nutrient deficiency and lack of warmness in the body 
  • Being in cold, dark and damp places
  • eating, and drinking food stuff with cold Mizaj or rubbing cold ointments for long time
  • Taking too many showers or baths which unclogs the pores, work up a sweat, and decrease the warmness in body
  • Not eating much or going on starvation diet 
  • Overeating which slows digestion and decrease warmness in the stomach; poor digestive system would not efficiently convert food to energy, bad materials build up in body and the body would become cold

Unfortunately people with cold Mizaj can soon be affected by mal-temperament caused by excessive coldness by consuming food stuff with cold Mizaj. 

Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari, MD, holds a PhD degree in medical physiology and is an Iranian-Islamic traditional medicine researcher. He is also an assistant professor in AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

MQ/MG

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