Dampness & COVID-19
Dampness is the word Chinese medicine uses for mucus/phlegm, & can also be loosely translated to include inflammation & histamine reaction, depending on the context.
Dampness is heavy, sticky, difficult to expectorate. It can settle in various places in the body, but will often manifest as upper respiratory issues.
We know that COVID-19 is a pathogen that causes severe dampness & fluid accumulation that can invade the lungs and obstruct breathing. It is important to remember that we are not powerless to this process. The more we learn, the better we can protect ourselves now and always.
Dampness can come from internal and external factors. Internal dampness is a by-product of deficient, overburdened digestive organs (in TCM, the Spleen is the digestive workhorse). External dampness is a result of living in damp conditions or being out in damp weather regularly or without proper clothing.
From a preventative standpoint, we can eat and live in a way that is less taxing & even nourishing to the Spleen, which will in turn transform dampness and lessen future dampness production.
Start your day with a warm meal & a hot beverage to encourage optimal digestion all day long.
Avoid cold foods and beverages, which are a shock to the digestive organs and actually can immobilize immune cells in the walls of the digestive tract.
Eat lots of foods that “drain” or clear out dampness: onions, garlic, clove, cinnamon, ginger, scallions, leeks, sage, parsley, raw honey, rosemary, dill, basil, chives, celery, lettuce, & turnips. Choose your favorites and incorporate them daily.
Be mindful of your mindset. Excessive worry and stress weakens the digestive organs.
Avoid foods that promote dampness: dairy, white flour, processed sugar, greasy/fried foods, alcohol, cold foods & drinks (yep, saying it again...it’s THAT important).
Dress appropriately for cold, damp, or windy weather. Protect your head and the back of your neck (wind gate), as this is where external dampness can easily invade the body.
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