By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari

Everything has a temperament: Age range and their suitable lifestyle

October 18, 2017

TEHRAN — Temperaments, or to use the Persian term Mizaj, lay basis for Iranian traditional medicine.

However, human beings are not the only ones with distinguishing temperaments, everything around us has a temperament. Exercises, sleeping, wakefulness [link], psychiatric conditions [link], flavors, climates [link], colors, seasons, day and night [link], and body organs [link] have defining temperaments which have been explained in previous articles. 

Last but not least the temperament of the age range will be discussed in details in this article.

Age range 

Although each person is born with a fixed and unique temperament, also called inherent or main Mizaj, with the passage of time the main Mizaj is subjected to fluctuation. For example someone’s Mizaj might get drier but this doesn’t mean that they are suffering mal-temperament [link]. 

Taking that into account, in addition to the main Mizaj, one must take heed of the temperament of the age as well and take necessary actions to stay healthy. 

Growth period

Based on Iranian traditional medicine since one is born until the age 25 to 30 is called the “growth period” with the preponderance of warmness and wetness. To keep teenagers and children healthy they are recommended to consume food stuff with warm and wet Mizaj. Eating bread, meat, rice with bran, fruits especially apple and sometimes banana is good for them. However, one should be careful to avoid excessive warmness. 

As one is growing up in this period they need to consume more food and increase their nutrient intake. Eating diverse types of foodstuffs and high quality food is of importance to this age group.

Youth

From age 30 to 40 is called “youth” when the wetness will dwindle and the warmness and dryness will be more dominant. One should not use much food stuff with warm and dry Mizaj as it increases the yellow bile in the body. 

Many might break out in pimple, get irritable, and suffer sleep deprivation. Such people should abstain from spices, pepper, spicy food stuff, sweets, salty and deep fried food items. Instead they should use food stuff with cooling characteristics such as pomegranate, pomegranate juice, sour cherry, peach, lemon, lime juice, barberry juice, verjuice, lettuce, sekanjabin (Iranian drink made of honey, mint and vinegar), vegetable soups and dairy products such as yoghurt to moderate the warmness and dryness in the body. They can also use lifestyle tips for people with choleric temperament. 

During growth period and youth one has a strong digestive system and can easily digest heavy food such as meat. 

Middle age and old age

Between the age 40 to 60, called “middle age”, warmness and wetness will plummet and instead, coldness and dryness will be predominant in the body. After the age 60, also called “old age”, abnormal wetness may occur in the body so the Mizaj will become cold and wet. And due to the excessive wetness for many old age is synonymous with puffy eyes and face, loose skin, drowsiness and loss of memory. 

In some other cases coldness and dryness will be more predominant in the body. Therefore, the coldness and dryness affiliated with the old age would cause wrinkles, curvature of the spine, drop in body temperature, poor digestive system, and puffy eyes and face.

Generally with the old age, comes decrease in warmness and wetness and the temperament of people aging over 60 will get colder and drier compared to their main Mizaj.  That’s why lifestyle tips for people with melancholic or phlegmatic temperament would also suit people age over 60.

Due to their poor digestive system the elderly should abstain from fatty food, leftovers, deep fried foods, fast foods, tomato paste and sauces, and conserves and instead they should consume high calories and low volume foods. They should also cut back on water, dairy products, fruits with cooling characteristics, and sour food items. 

They had better eat vegetables, celery, chives, fig, grape, raisin, walnut with fresh cheese, and almond porridge with honey or rock candy, fresh bread, lamb meat, meat extract, almond, pistachio, coconut and coconut extract, fruits such as sweet apple, grape, partridge and quail meat.

Eating Abgoosht (Iranian stew made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, and tomatoes, and dried lime) provided that it is not too fatty and is cooked well with cumin and apple is recommended to the elderly. Eating wheat Haleem (a stew made of wheat and meat) and drinking goat warm milk with honey also suit them. However, they should avoid drinking cold milk while they are hungry. 

In order to avoid constipation which is pretty normal at old age, eating plum or fig which are soaked together and drinking sweet almond oil or olive oil is of benefits.

Applying moderate oils such as sweet almond oil or violet oil (for people with warm inherent Mizaj) on the body surface is also good for these people. Wet cupping therapy is not recommended to these people unless a physician order in a special condition. 

People over 40 must know that they had better follow lifestyle tips for old age and take them more seriously after age 60.  

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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