Adapting to Cold and Dry

Reading time: 2 mins

Cold and Dry

dry winter leave by Pavlina Jane

The cold, dry air of the arctic causes life to slow to a crawl. The slow decay and sparse plant life contributes to poor soil quality. Plant life grows briefly in Summer and then must prepare for the icy hibernation of winter. Every animal in these environments must adapt. They insulate themselves in fat and burrow underground to create warmer microclimates.

In the arctic life itself seems to escape with every breath. The air pulls water and heat out of your skin. In the arctic, people need to stay warm and moist. As northern peoples eat nutritionally dense foods, it providing more metabolic heat. It creates a tropical greenhouse inside, serving as a climate barrier against the frigid landscape. To help maintain this barrier they use pungent foods such as leeks garlic or hard liquor to maintain warmth. Where pungent foods are scarce, sweat baths achieve similar effects. Smokehouses and saunas can be found throughout the Arctic circle from Scandinavia to Alaska. These saunas provide a climate barrier and also help people generate nitric oxide. This helps them to maintain gut balance. When people have free circulating nitric oxide then cold exposure can stimulate their body to begin turning fat into heat and usable energy. Without developing nitric oxide production through hard physical work or saunas and having cold exposure, this can rich diet can lead to gut dysbiosis, colon cancer and obesity.

Blue Balloon by Simon Bisson

Signs of Cold Dryness in the Microbiome
Thirst Desire for warm drinks
Skin White, patchy, and dry
Temperature Cold limbs, easily chilled, dislike of wind or cold weather
Emotions Tired or lethargic
Lips Tendency toward pale and chapped lips
Mouth If the body becomes too cold, the mouth may develop thrush
Pulse Slow
Urine Frequent and clear
Stools Tendency toward diarrhea with undigested stools
Tongue color Pale
Tongue coating White

If you live in a cold, dry region or if your internal microbiome has become cold and dry:

Cool dry


Root vegetables such as ginger, garlic and salt
Animals from cold climates or high altitudes. Reindeer, duck, seal, walrus, yak, whale, fatty and nutrient dense foods, warming foods
Use fewer fruits. Enjoy leeks, radishes and other warming plants.

Adapting to Heat and Dampness

Adapting to Heat and Dryness

Adapting to Cold and Moist

Adapting to Cold and Dry

Dry winter leave by Pavlina Jane

Blue balloon by Simon Bisson

Creative Commons License Adapting to Cold and Dry 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 Dry

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

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

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

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