Adapting to Cold and Moist

Reading time : 2.5 min

Oregon falls by Charles Knowles

Cold and Moist

The animals in a temperate forest sing, but not with the complexity of their tropical cousins. The flowers bloom and fruits ripen, but more modestly than their tropical counterparts. Cool weather slows the collective metabolism. There is less density of life and less competition than the tropics.

There are certainly areas of the body that should be swampy, but when this extends into areas which are meant to be dry, it creates problems. Sedentary living reduces fluid metabolism. This can lead to water retention. When the internal microbiome becomes cold and damp, it overloads your water transport mechanisms. It doesn’t matter how much water you are drinking. What is important is that your body is distributing all of the water you absorb.

Any fluid left behind makes your body soggy. This can cause your body to begin slowly rotting like an old tree in the forest.

Signs of Cold Dampness in the Microbiome

Thirst When people have dampness, they will typically lose their sense of thirst and have to remind themselves to drink water
Urine Clear and frothy, possibly cloudy
Stools Tendency toward sloppy or sticky stools
Discharge White
Fungal infections Tend to get fungal infections: Toenail fungus, sinus infections, yeast infections, jock itch, athletes foot, chronic mucus, thrush
Skin Weeping rashes, acne on the insides of the legs, edema
Sleep Sleep obstruction, snoring, or sleep apnea
Temperament Tired, lethargic
Tongue color Pale
Tongue shape Fat with marks on the side where the tongue is pushing into the teeth. This shows reduced water metabolism and increased extracellular fluid
Tongue coating Possibly with a thick white coating

Cold and dry VS. cold and damp:

The key point to observe is urine production. With cold damp, there is less urination and it tends to be frothy. With pure cold, there is a desire to urinate often and the urine tends to be clear and scanty. Cold and damp tends to come with fungal infections. The tongue coating in both cold and cold damp can be white, but with dampness the tongue coating tends to be thicker. When the body is cold and dry you see signs of dry skin, mucus membranes and poor skin luster.

If you live in a moist and cool region or if your internal microbiome has become too moist and cool:

cool moist

Dry out by increasing sweating, urination and defecation.
Sauna, getting appropriate sunlight, and stomach massage are all ideal
Dry the water by warming the body.
Sichuan peppercornChili peppersCumin





Use teas which are slightly spicy and known for settling the stomach
Pu-er teaBlack teaGinger tea
Think of things that live in a forest. These creatures have the chemical structure to deal with the cold and damp climate.
River fishDeerElk




Freshwater aquatic plants are the best. They must have incredible water transport mechanisms to stay dry and avoid rotting. If you don’t have these, use other vegetables and add the appropriate spices.

Water pepper

Water spinach



Water chestnut


Chinese water chestnut

Bitter green vegetables

Pearl barley

Job’s tears


Herbal Profile: Sichuan Peppercorns

hua jiao(2)

Sichuan peppercorns or “hua jiao” contain a flavor called “ma la” which means that it is numbing and spicy. When you eat it, it provides a numbing and tingly feeling around the lips. This spice is used in damp climates to strongly warm and dry the body. It is highly antifungal and kills certain parasites. Add this simple spice to both meat and vegetable dishes to counter the effects of oil and help burn fat. You can find it in most Asian grocery stores. If there is a language barrier, simply show them this “花椒”. This spice is useful for warming the body , killing pain, and burning fat.

Herbal Profile: Chili Peppers

chili peper 2

Chili peppers are warm, spicy and pungent. They can help warm a cool micro biome and help to burn away fat. They have anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects on the body which can help those with chronic pain enjoy greater mobility.

Adapting to Heat and Dampness

Adapting to Heat and Dryness

Adapting to Cold and Moist

Adapting to Cold and Dry

Oregon falls by Charles Knowles

Creative Commons License Adapting to Cold and Moist by Andrew Miles & Xuelan Qiu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


3 thoughts on “Adapting to Cold and Moist

  1. Pingback: Adapting to Heat and Dampness | Andrew Miles, LAc & Xuelan Qiu, PhD

  2. Pingback: Adapting to Heat and Dryness | Andrew Miles, LAc & Xuelan Qiu, PhD

  3. Pingback: Adapting to Cold and Dry | Andrew Miles, LAc & Xuelan Qiu, PhD

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