Real Old Remedies


Energetics in the Western Herbalism

The Western energetic system of herbal medicine observes patterns in nature, allowing us to grasp the workings of the human energy system. Winds that dry, waters that swell, heat that
rises, cold that depresses are all vital expressions of nature that play out in our organs, joints, muscles, thoughts and spirit. The Energetic Approach uses just four qualities: hot, cold, dry, and

Common signs of HOT include:

● red, hot, and/or swollen tissues
● sharp pain
● itching or burning sensation, fever
● anxiety or irritability
● red tongue, yellow or brown tongue coating
● rapid or pounding pulse.

Examples of HOT conditions can be:

● hives, welts, red or itchy rashes
● acute injury with redness, swelling, sharp pain, and tissue that feels hot to the touch
● acid reflux, which often includes a feeling of burning or stabbing pain
● irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea
● colon hypermotility, and/or sharp pain

Common signs of COLD are:

● easy bruising
● wounds that are slow to heal
● tissues that appear pale or have a blue or purple tinge and feel cool to the touch like cold
● poor circulation
● dull or throbbing pain
● white or clear mucus
● pale or purplish tongue
● cloudy thinking, depression, and lethargy

Examples of COLD conditions include:

● sluggish digestion with increased gas and bloating
● chronic constipation (resulting from inadequate secretion of bile and digestive enzymes,
and/or lack of peristalsis)
● low blood pressure
● painful menstruation with dull, heavy, or throbbing cramps, very dark or purplish blood,
and/or excessive clotting

Common signs of DRY can be:

● dry skin and mucosa including sinuses, mouth, and vagina
● dry or itchy eyes
● dry, irritated, or ticklish cough
● sticky, scanty mucus that is difficult to expectorate or that forms “rubber cement” snot
● tongue looking dry or cracked
● tongue coat absent, scanty, or powdery-looking
● pulse that is thin, wiry, or feeble

Examples of DRY conditions may be:

● chronic constipation with dry, hard, pebbly stools
● allergies or other upper respiratory irritation accompanied by dry sinuses, itchy eyes,
and/or tickly throat
● menopause with vaginal atrophy
● dry skin
● dry or thinning hair
● Insomnia
● difficulty focusing or remembering

Common signs of WET may be:

● swollen or puffy tissues
● excess mucus production
● chronic drippy sinuses
● spongy, bleeding gums
● excess production of fluids (mucus, sweat, urine, diarrhea, damp or clammy skin)
● weepy or pustulent skin conditions
● wet cough
● fluid-filled cysts
● tongue appearing swollen, scalloped, glossy, or wet

Examples of WET conditions are:

● varicose veins
● edema (fluid retention)
● pneumonia
● joint pain and swelling that is worse in damp weather

In short, the four qualities measure excess and deficiency in the body. These qualities are important in determining what herbs and foods to use in restoring balance and counteracting
disease in the individual. The core principle is to work with the principle of opposites. In other words, an opposite property or action can be used to bring a tissue, organ, or system back into
balance. So, if something is hot, we try to cool it. If it is dry, we moisten it, and so on.

Additionally, individuals may exhibit 3 main functional states of imbalance of vital energy on a cellular, organ, system or personal level: deficiency, stagnancy, and excess.

Deficiency is when there is a lack of nourishment, nutrient assimilation, functional
energy or vitality.
Stagnancy can be observed when there is sufficient energy reserves (vitality) in the
individual, but it is temporarily inaccessible since it encounters too much resistance
within a system to be effective.
Excess is identified by energy, movement, or nutritive force that is too great for the specific individual, a system, or bio-energetic channel to function maximally or even normally.

Herbs have energetic qualities, too. Here, at Real Old Remedies, you can learn which herbs to use and how to apply them to restore your balance

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