Excess of heat: (1) feelings of uncomfortable heat, (2) great suffering from fevers, (3) easily fatigued, as activity stimulates further production of heat, (4) excessive thirst, (S) burning and irritation in the pit of the stomach (epigastrium), (6) bitter taste in the mouth, (7) pulse weak, rapid, and fast, (8) intolerance of hot foods, (9) relief and comfort from use of cold foods and other cold things, (10) great suffering in summer, (11) inflammatory conditions, and (12) fatigue and loss of energy.

                There are five causes of excess heat in the body (1) immoderate movement, either of the spirit or the body (motion of the spirit means things like anger or worry; motion of the body means physical exercise); (2) exposure to actual warmth (heat of fire, sun, etc.); (3) entry into the body of "potential" warmth (eating hot foods such as onions, garlic, mustard); (4) closing of the pores; and (5) putrefaction.


Excess of cold:  (1) weak digestion, (2) diminished desire for drinks, (3) laxity of joints, (4) tendency to phlegmatic type of fevers and catarrhal conditions, (5) cold things easily upset and hot things are pleasant and beneficial, and (6) great suffering in winter.

                There are eight causes of cold imbalance (1) exposure to actual cold (snow, winter air, etc.); (2) ingesting substances with "potential" cold (foods such as cucumber and yogurt); (3) excess of substances that overwhelm the innate heat (marijuana); (4) lack of nutrients that produce heat (fasting); (S) excess thickening of the residues of metabolism, which extinguishes innate heat; (6) excess of heat in the body for a prolonged period, causing destruction of the heat regulation function of the body (fever); (7) excessive motion; and (8) excessive rest.


Excess of moisture:   Signs are almost similar to excess of cold, but in addition there will be (1) puffiness, (2) excessive salivation (mucus in saliva) and nasal secretion, (3) tendency to diarrhea and upset stomach, (4) desire for moist type of foods, (5) excess of sleep, and (6) puffiness of eyelids.               

                There are four causes of moist imbalance: (1) exposure to moistening substances (baths); (2) moisture reaching inside the body from moistening foods (fish); (3) excess intake of food and beverages (gluttony); and (4) emotional excess (life of ease and weakness of character).


Excess of dryness :  (1) dryness and roughness of skin, (2) insomnia, (3) wasting, (4) intolerance of dry type of foods, while moistening foods will give comfort and pleasure, (5) suffer greatly during autumn and (6) hot water and light oils are readily absorbed by the skin.

                There are four causes of excessive dryness (1) exposure to actual dryness (winds); (2) administration of drying substances (vinegar, salt); (3) lessening intake of food and beverages (starvation, fasting); and (4) excessive motion.



Avicenna remarks in the Canon on the temperaments of various age groups: It may be summarized that children as well as grownups are balanced in respect to their heat, while the old and senile are relatively cold. Children possess a moderate excess of moisture to meet their requirements for growth. This can be observed from the softness of their bodies and nervous tissues, and easily understood from the fact that it has not been long since they grew and developed from semen, blood and the vapory vital fluid The fact that old and senile individuals are not only cold but also dry can be observed from the hardness of their bones and dryness of their skins. This will also be clear if one remembers the fact that, after all, a considerable time has passed since they originally developed from blood, semen, and the vital fluid.


Children and adults both possess about the same degree of heat. Moisture and air are, however, greater in children. The old and particularly the senile show greater earthiness than adults and children. Adults and children are both balanced, and adults more so than children. They are drier than children but not so dry as the old and senile. The senile are drier than adults in regard to their innate secretion but moister in respect to the abnormal moisture which makes their tissues only temporarily and superficially moist.