In Avicenna’s medicine there are two temperaments, cold and warm. They further separate into the categories warm and dry, warm and wet, cold and dry and cold and wet.
In his theory, it was quintessential to identify a patient’s temperament, before making a diagnosis and starting a treatment.
Hereafter, some possible properties of the four temperaments in humans are listed:
1) Warm and dry
Big and strong joints; dry skin, coarse and short hair and big eyes. Intelligent, generous, open-minded, emotional, easily irritable, strong memory and good appetite. Physically very active, mentally very precise and regularly active. Sensitivity to hot and dry conditions. 5 to 6 hours sleep are sufficient.
Number of meals: Having warm and dry characteristics, you should eat three medium-sized meals a day.
2) Warm and wet
Tall, corpulent and muscular physique; skin moderately soft with reddish colour, emits a warm feeling; thick, oily and bushy hair; salient capillaries; persuasive, convivial, communicative and sociable person; flexible, funny, imaginative, emotional, cheerful, courageous, excited, but also worried. Good, but selective memory; good physical endurance, moderate to frequent mental activity; sensitivity to hot and wet conditions; slight sweating; moderate to deep sleep; women can tend to have painful menstruation.
Number of meals: Having warm and wet characteristics (with a normal to tall physique), you should eat two medium- to big-sized meals a day.
3) Cold and wet
Tall physique, corpulent with tendency to overweight; cold, wet and soft skin structure; pale complexion, light skin colour and fine, light and fatty hair; dreamy, watery eyes (medium- to big-sized); slow and soft voice. Quiet and patient listener, emotionally anxious and timid, but complacent; slow, but longer memory; constant appetite, little thirst, ability to skip meals; physically lethargic and lack of endurance; slow mental activity and without endurance; sensitivity to cold and wet conditions; low level of sweating; deep sleep, 8 or more hours of sleep necessary and tendency to oversleep.
Number of meals: Having cold and wet characteristics, you should eat only two medium-sized meals per day.
4) Cold and dry
Lean, bony physique; small, thin joints; dry and coarse skin structure; cool, grey complexion; thin, coarse, dry and dark hair; small eyes; thoughtful, good in management and creative in art with a tendency to perfectionism; emotionally anxious, unsecure and suspicious; good short-term, but bad long-term memory; irregular and variable appetite and thirst; physically active on a regular and reasonable basis; sensitive and vulnerable; mental activity is restless, inquiring, imaginative and philosophical; sensitivity to cold and dry conditions; little sweat; irregular, interrupted sleep, tendency to insomnia. Soft, but quick voice. Women have the tendency to coagulate during menstruation.
Number of meals: Your cold and dry characteristics allow for three meals a day. They should be medium- to small-sized.