By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari

Keep healthy: Know what you eat, how you eat

November 16, 2017 - 11:4

TEHRAN — The Iranian traditional medicine puts a strong emphasis on what one must eat and drink - in accordance with their temperament- and how to eat to have a healthier digestive system.

As per the Iranian traditional medicine healthy eating and a healthy digestive system accounts for a healthy lifestyle.

Quoted from Kitab al-Kafi - a hadith collection - Imam Musa Kazem (AS) - the seventh Shia Imam - has said that ‘restraining’ does not necessarily mean not eating at all, but eating small portions. 

There other sayings about eating healthily and sensibly as well. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said that the stomach is the house of all illnesses and restraining is the key to treatment. 

If a doctor prescribes what’s good to eat or not and stops someone from consuming unhealthy food stuff and drinks one can restore their health by controlling the damage detrimental food and drinks could cause to someone’s health, while it’s highly unlikely that mere prescription of drugs would constitute to total recovery of a patient.  


‘Akhlat’ are liquid humors formed in the liver and gastrointestinal system following digestion. In other words after eating and drinking, digestion, the process of breaking down food stuff into smaller units and converting them into a substance suitable for absorption, happens. 

Afterwards the substances move towards the liver and will be processed again (called the second digestion in traditional medicine) which form the four liquid humors called: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm.

The four aforesaid humors, or Akhlat, are supposed to supply the cells and the body organs with necessary nutrients.

Excessive amounts of blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm is rooted from the fact that someone has not stick to their healthy diet. 

Therefore, it is two of utmost significance to keep the four humors in balance:

Eat and drink in accordance with one’s temperament (Mizaj): eating good foods and drinks

Following health tips provided by Iranian traditional medicine on how to eat and drink healthier food items to have a healthier and stronger digestive system

Recognizing the properties of what we eat and drink and knowing our Mizaj would help the digestive system to generate healthy humors so that all organs including muscles, liver, bones, heart, etc., would receive adequate nutrients and work properly which constitute to optimum health. 

The Mizaj of each humor, food stuff producing them in the body, symptoms of excessive humor in the body, etc. will be thoroughly explained over the next weeks.  

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.


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