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The Six Evils of Traditional Chinese Medicine

The six evils of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) relate to the natural environment and the climate in particular.  Each aspect of the climate affects your body and mind, and can lead to a wide range of problems. The six evils are:

  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Dampness
  • Dryness
  • Heat
  • Summer heat

In TCM, wind is associated with the liver. Wind can lead to fast spreading rashes, fevers, spasms, colds, mucus issues, and sore throats. Extreme wind can ignite liver diseases that result in convulsions, Parkinson’s, migraines, and brain disorders.

Cold is associated with the kidneys. Cold causes the blood and Qi to congeal.  This creates problems with the joints, stomach, intestines, and liver. Cold can cause stiffness in the neck, body aches, and sneezing. Extreme cold exposure can lead to chronic watery stools, paleness, depression, menstrual pain, and even infertility.

Dampness interferes with the spleen’s ability to function properly. Prolonged and unhealthy exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, bronchitis, body aches, infection, colitis, and fibromyalgia.

Heat is associated with the function of the heart. Illnesses associated with heat result in rashes, headaches, burning ulcers, anxiety, and restlessness. People prone to heat illness also exhibit more drug and alcohol abuse. They may be prone to meningitis as well.

Summer heat ailments are also traced to the workings of the heart. This results in thirst, dizziness, high fever and blurred vision. Summer heat can bring about poor appetite, diarrhea, foggy thinking, and tightness in the chest.

Dryness is the evil that is associated with the lungs. Ailments that can occur include dry skin and hair, thirst, headaches, dry cough, mild fever, and chills. Those exposed too long to dryness will typically have very vulnerable lungs.

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