By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari

Importance and specifications of “Akhlat”- Blood

December 20, 2017

TEHRAN — Keeping the four humors, namely yellow bile, blood, black bile, and phlegm in good proportion would definitely improve one’s health.

In a few words the Iranian traditional medicine explains that the humors are formed from consumed foods in the liver and gastrointestinal system after digestion. The four aforesaid fluid humors, which are present in the body, vary in quantities. 

“Blood”

“Blood” is the most abundant and accordingly the most important humor in the body which will be formed by eating main dishes. The humor of “Blood” is necessary for growth especially in children and teenager when growth spurt happens. So they will be needing larger amounts of “Blood” by consuming food stuff which will produce this humor in the body. 

A great deal of the bloodstream is made up of humor of “Blood” which is warm and wet. It is noteworthy that the body lives on “Blood” as it keeps the body warm and moist as warmth and humidity are indicatives of being alive.

What to eat what not to eat

Consuming food stuff in accordance with one’s Mizaj (temperament) would enable them to remain healthy. 

Though we might eat various food stuff the stable food which constitute to main dishes lead to the formation of “Blood” in the body. Wheat and wheat bread, rice, beans and chickpea, sweat fruits such as fig and grape, read meat specially lamb and beef, liver, kidney and heart meat, egg, fatty food stuff such as butter and cream, nuts like walnut and almond would produce “Blood” in the body. Consuming proportional amounts of such food items would normally produce “Blood” in the body and maintain the healthy state and growth.

Excessive “Blood” symptoms

Similar to any other humor excessive amounts of “Blood” will cause discomfort or even serious illnesses. Dizziness, lightheadedness, frequent yawning, fatigue, red and bloodshot eyes, redness of the face and lips, blood filled pimples, abscess especially on the hips, genitalia or anus, bleeding of the gums while brushing your teeth, frequent nosebleeds, high blood pressure, losing mental acuity, a sweet taste in the mouth specially in the morning, heavier than normal or prolonged menstrual bleeding, itching, and hot and moist skin are of the symptoms of excessive “Blood”. 

“Blood” is the most abundant and accordingly the most important humor in the body which will be formed by eating main dishes. The humor of “Blood” is necessary for growth especially in children and teenager when growth spurt happens. So they will be needing larger amounts of “Blood” by consuming food stuff which will produce this humor in the body. 

How to reach baseline level of “Blood”? 

As mentioned on multiple occasions Iranian traditional medicine highlights that abstaining and not consuming food and drinks which are not good for us depending on our main Mizaj are playing a major role in keeping healthy and in this case keeping baseline level of “Blood”. 

Nowadays due to the lack of movement attributed to the modern life and consuming high amounts of food many suffer from excessive “Blood” and other Akhlat in their bodies and feel full all the time; in Iranian traditional medicine the feeling is called “Emtela” which means fullness in English. 

So, people especially those with warm and wet Mizaj (sanguine temperament), should not consume large amounts of food products with warm and wet Mizaj which produce excessive amounts of “Blood” in the body. Fasting and starving are of the treatments recommended to people suffering excessive “Blood”. Therefore, decreasing food intake drastically for a fortnight would benefit them.  

Having a diet consisting of low calorie foods makes you feel full to help you ward off hunger. Food such as soups and stews with small amounts of rice, split peas, and fresh vegetables accompanied with natural laxative such as plum, tamarind, barberry juice, or sumac extract added half an hour before serving the food would help diminish excessive “Blood”. 

Such food is called ‘deceptive food’ in Iranian traditional medicine as they deceive the one who eats them by making them think they are eating something but they don’t actually gain any weight. They can be helpful in weight loss diets as well.

Vegetable, zucchini, or okra stews which taste sour by adding verjuice, lemon, barberry, plum, tamarind, as well as salads and dairy products, drinking sour juices namely sour cherry and barberry, and homemade pickles provided they are not very spicy would benefit people experiencing excessive “Blood”. 

Also wet cupping or bloodletting and donating blood prescribed or recommended by a skilled traditional medicine specialist proved to be effective in decreasing excessive “Blood” in the body. 

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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