By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari

Perfect health originates from balanced humors

November 22, 2017

TEHRAN — In a nutshell ‘Akhlat’ are liquid humors which are formed in the liver and gastrointestinal system subsequent to the digestion. The four humors including blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm, will provide the cells and the body organs with necessary nutrients.

The liver is the body’s ‘kitchen’. The food will be processed partially in the stomach, sent to the liver and fully digested there and constitute the four aforesaid humors.

Therefore, the healthier the humors (Akhlat) are the healthier the body. So, selecting healthy food stuff in accordance with the main Mizaj (temperament) to aid digestion is the point to keep healthy.

The most abundant and the main humor in the body is blood. Phlegm is the next important humor in terms of significance and abundance. Black bile and yellow bile are not as abundant as the former ones.

In the Iranian traditional medicine ‘abstaining’ is the best path to effective treatment. According to a saying by Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam, once you are aware of the detrimental effects of a food item you should abstain from it and it is wise “not to choose your desire over your body’s comfort”.

Each body tissue will feed from some of the four humors more than the other ones. For instance, hard and rigid body organs such as bones, tendons, nails, and hair will mainly feed on black bile. So low quality or small quantity of black bile produced in the liver will negatively affect these organs.

The softening of the bones (osteomalacia), brittle nails, dull and dry hair with split ends that lacks elasticity, and joint dislocation (also called luxation) are the symptoms of poor quality black bile.

The soft tissues such as the central nervous system (CNS) including the brain and the spinal cord, fat, and synovial membranes normally rely for nourishment on phlegm. So, if phlegm goes bad it will undermine the nervous system function, gastrointestinal activity, the skin health, and the joints’ health. Accordingly one might suffer sleep deprivation or oversleeping, memory loss, runny nose and watery eyes, joint swelling, etc.

Many body organs, particularly heart, muscles, and liver, live on the humor ‘blood’ as it is the main and vital humor by constituting to the rehabilitation, growth and survival of the organs.

The liver is the body’s ‘kitchen’. The food will be processed partially in the stomach, sent to the liver and fully digested there and constitute the four aforesaid humors.

Some body parts also exist on yellow bile. Yellow bile facilitates the transfer of blood and nutrients from capillaries to the remote body organs.

The most abundant and the main humor in the body is blood. Phlegm is the next important humor in terms of significance and abundance. Black bile and yellow bile are not as abundant as the former ones.

So one can conclude that healthy food items that constitute to the main food we consume must consist of nutrients which lead to the formation of more blood and phlegm and less black bile and yellow bile in the liver.

In fact we need all four humors at normal levels so we need to eat variety of food and drinks which result in balance production of the humors (with regards to both quality and quantity) in the body.

In the next article the properties of each humor will be discussed in details.

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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