The Four Humours: Diet & Temperamental Trends

Bruce Michael

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Dear Phriends,

As life goes on, there are times when we are all part of a temperamental trend. In childhood, all are more or less sanguine, bouncing around on their tippy toes; some blond later to darken. Then comes our fiery youth; the will is applied to life in a choleric manner. Thus follows the middle-aged spread when we settle down a little into containment. Finally it is that the arthritic/sclerotic processes of old age come to stalk us with melancholic intent, and we long for heaven again.

Has anyone a herb garden? I grow fennel and it makes a good herb tea by just grabbing a piece of leaf and sticking it straight into a mug with hot water. It promotes the processes of excretion- tastes nice too. Nettle is the most radical weight loss herb- you couldn't get more fiery/choleric than that. I haven't succeeded in growing it yet, but have tried the fresh drink. You can feel the warmth of it right into your hands. It is also used as an iron tonic.

The phlegmatic phoods to avoid are the wheat products and the phatty phried oily foods - oily nuts etc. The watery squash family are also phelgma encouragers.

Dairy products don't encourage weight loss but do encourage the sanguine temperament. Again this goes back to the child in us as adults. Dairy products can contain a lot of fat also, and creamy custardy foods would be an attraction for the phelgmatic. There are plenty of warmth creating herbs, and those of an airy nature. I'd place fennel as an airy plant- that is how it strikes me anyway- it does expel gas too!

The phlegmatic temperament is one of containment- that is its usefulness. There are many illnesses that come about because of a lack of containment.