Drying Dampness

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Paul Pitchford's book, "Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition," does an excellent job of blending Eastern medical thought with nutritional research. The following is a summary of the Asian medical diagnosis of dampness:

Dampness creates signs of stagnation and sluggishness - the person is easily tired and feels heaviness in the body. If there is pain, it is fixed in one location. Conditions of dampness include edema or water accumulations in all or parts of the body, excess mucus, tumors, cysts, parasites, yeasts such as candida, fungi, excess body weight, and a thick and/or greasy tongue coating. Affects the functioning of the spleen-pancreas, and therefore weakens digestion.

Dietary Suggestions:
Foods which dry dampness are often bitter and/or aromatic. Examples: lettuce, celery, turnip, kohlrabi, amaranth, adzuki bean, wild blue-green micro-algae, asparagus, white pepper, alfalfa, pumpkin, vinegar, papaya, and bitter herbs: chaparral, pau d'arco, valerian, chamomile. Avoid or limit foods that promote dampness or mucus: dairy products, meat, eggs, tofu and other soy products, pineapple, salt, and concentrated sweeteners.