By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari

Everything has a temperament: flavors, climates

September 27, 2017 - 11:46

TEHRAN — Everything that exists in this world including animals, plants, colors, objects, climatic conditions, places, etc. has a temperament (Mizaj).

Knowing that in addition to human beings everything else has a temperament means that one must make sure to treat everything in accordance with their Mizaj to remain healthy. To put it another way maintaining one’s health and keeping a balanced temperament depends highly on recognizing and getting along with the temperament of every other things around. 

In last two articles the temperament of body organs, colors, seasons and day and night were expounded. Below the temperament of flavors, climates and psychiatric conditions are listed. 


Flavors have temperaments and accordingly would cause warmness, coldness, dryness and wetness in the body. One can simply decide the Mizaj of a food item or a drink by tasting them to a great extent. 

Tasteless food items, also called watery, are cold and wet. Every insipid food item such as lettuce, dairy products such as yoghurt, or doogh (a yogurt-based beverage) and citrus fruits which are not too much sour or sweet are cold and wet. 

Sour flavor is cold and dry and cause dryness and coldness in the body as well. Vinegar and pickled vegetables and fruits preserved in vinegar, sour fruits or sour juices, verjuice, Qarehqurut or black kashk (fabricated from the liquid yoghurt) are all cold and dry.

Salty, bitter and spicy flavors which are usually used to give foods a special taste are warm and dry. Although spicy foods are warmer and dryer than bitter and salty foods respectively. 

Sweet flavor is warm and wet and most food items (including main dishes and high-calorie food) are classified in this group and that’s why many people like sweet food and drinks.

With that being said people with cold and dry Mizaj (melancholic temperament) who are normally thin and don’t gain much weight with dark complexion and rough and dry skin, particularly in autumn (a cold and dry season) and in mountainous areas should avoid consuming sour foods and drinks or they are most likely to develop conditions such as dry skin, depression, and weakness.   

Same goes for people with other temperament, for instance, people with warm and wet Mizaj (sanguine temperament) should cut back on sweet food stuff, people with warm and dry Mizaj (choleric temperament) should avoid using much spices and salt, and people with cold and wet Mizaj (phlegmatic temperament) must use dairy products, water and citrus fruits cautiously.   


Each climate has its own unique temperament. In general polar Regions, mountainous areas with rocky landscapes and sandy grounds and north winds are cold and dry. Salt marshes and deserts are warm and dry. Coastal areas are cold and wet and the tropics are warm and wet. 

In Iran, southern, some eastern and mostly central areas which are getting the most sunlight and low humidity are warm and dry. Coastal areas in southern Iran and northern Iran (only during hot seasons) are warm and wet. Western and northwestern areas which are dominantly mountainous are cold and dry and coastal areas in northern Iran (except for warm seasons) are cold and wet. 

The house orientation, weather the house is south-facing or north-facing or built underground determines the house temperament. North-facing houses (in Iran) with less sun exposure, underground houses or houses built in damp and humid places are cold and wet or cold and dry. But south-facing houses which get enough sunlight and built in warm places are normally warm and dry. 

Even winds can develop a distinguishing temperament in an area. Winds blowing from northern and north western areas in Iran are cool and can cause a cold temperament while winds blowing from southern areas are warm and develop a warm and wet temperament in a place. Western and eastern winds are moderate and won’t change the temperament much so it’s better for the windows to be on the west and east sides of the house in Iran to get the eastern and western winds. 

The type of soil of an area also counts. Areas with loamy and clay soil which have great potential of retaining water are wet while areas with chalky or sandy soil composed of the large particles which prevent it from retaining water are warm and dry. 

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.