How to get rid of dampness in body (TCM)

If you would like to get rid of dampness in your body using TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) food therapy, then this post might be useful for your reference.

First, what is dampness and how is it formed in our body? In a perfect body, there will be no dampness because every food and fluid we consume will be either 100% absorbed through our spleens or pass out through the intestines and bladder.

However, no one has a perfect body, and especially with the weakening of our spleen (when we eat foods that are too oily, sweet, and cold), there will be parts of the fluid and foods that we eat are not 100% absorbed or pass out from our body. These things stay in our body and are known as phlegm or ‘dampness’ generally. 

While it is fine to have a small bit of dampness in our body, it can cause other health issues after a prolonged period of time. For example, if dampness occurs in the lower part of the body, the result will be water retention (水肿) in the legs.

If the dampness were to stay in the middle part of our bodies for some time, it will cause our spleens to further weaken and causes loss of appetite and stomach bloatedness even if you were just drinking water.

If dampness were to stay in the upper part of our body, it can affect our lungs and causes issues in respiratory system such as long-term coughing. 

Thus, it is essential to reduce dampness in our bodies for the sake of long-term health and not neglect it even when it does not bother you so much now.

How to know if I have dampness in my body?

You can visit any TCM physician to find out or take my online TCM body constitution test to see if you have the Phlegm and Dampness Body Constitution type, if yes, then you have quite significant dampness in your body.

2 types of dampness

In order to get rid of dampness effectively, you need to first determine if your dampness is due to heat-type (湿热) or cold-type(寒湿). You can use the following as a general guide to find out:

You have heat-type dampness if:

  1. The tongue coating shows yellowish and thick.
  2. Urine is yellowish or feels warm and/or painful when urinating.
  3. Sticky stools.
  4. Have oily face and acne-prone skin.
  5. Your body constitution test is Tropical or Phlegm and Dampness Body Constitution type.

You have cold-type dampness if:

  1. The tongue coating shows white and thick.
  2. Frequent urination (clear color).
  3. Have diarrhea easily when eating cold or oily foods.
  4. Face skin looks darker and area around the eyes are more swollen.
  5. Your body constitution test result is Phlegm and Dampness Body Constitution type. 

TCM Food therapy advice for heat-type dampness

For people with heat-type dampness, you need to quit smoking and avoid eating spicy foods. Also, avoid eating mutton meat as it is very heaty in thermal nature.

You are highly encouraged to eat bitter gourd, luffa, and winter melon. 

You should also drink more Chinese barley water as it is an effective drink for getting rid of dampness.

TCM Food therapy advice for cold-type dampness

You should avoid eating cold and raw foods and drinks. 

You can eat more ginger, chinese yam, red dates, and dried orange peel.

You can also drink Chinese barley water but for the barley, you would need to pan-fry (without oil) it until it shows a bit brownish before making it into a drink. 

I hope that this post is useful in helping you get rid of the dampness in your body!

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