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What is the meaning of temperament in the traditional Persian medicine?

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The theory of temperaments is a comprehensive science which offers interesting applications for the diagnosis of humans’ physical and mental characteristics and is very effective in the identification and treatment of several diseases.

Every food that we eat bears important effects on every part of our body. By identifying our temperament, we’re able to avoid eating food that is problematic for us. Then again, this also lets us know which food is useful for us and helps us to save energy.

Of all the lifestyle factors, food is by far the most effective and the easiest to implement, since it’s totally in your hands. In general, there are two kinds of temperaments which differ conceptually:

  • Inherent temperament
  • Temperament caused by disease

Avicenna classifies food and drinks according to their warm, cold, wet and dry characteristics. Every food may have a warming or cooling property combined with a wet or dry property. This classification refers to the inherent temperament which is associated with the aliments and the effect that these aliments have on the individual. For instance, sheep milk is warm and wet, chicken is cold and wet.

The concept of the food’s warmness and coldness correlates with the food’s effect on the body. A surplus of food with similar properties or a lack of food with dissimilar properties to your temperament may therefore be detrimental to your health.

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