In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Damp and Phlegm are on a continuum Think of Damp as a mild spring day with an overcast sky. Think of Phlegm as thick fog.
Damp and Phlegm are excesses that have root causes. Either the cause is a weakness of the digestive system (Spleen Qi deficiency) or the condition is caused by too much of the wrong type of food.
When Damp assumes substance it becomes Phlegm. Usually that means something like extra pounds, thick drainage, or even soft nodules. In rare cases, the Phlegm can be invisible. Those people will have problems apprehending the world clearly. They can have difficulty concentrating, or in extreme cases, psychiatric problems.
Overweight people often skip breakfast, because they aren’t hungry. They may even feel slightly nauseated. The phlegm obstructs the natural hunger response.
Begin by reading the dietary recommendations listed for Spleen Qi deficiency, including breakfast suggestions. Please do not eat yogurt or cheese for breakfast.
Green tea can help with the muzzy-headed feeling.
Foods to be Avoided:
Avoid dairy, including milk. If you must have some cheese, then have a bit of goats-milk cheese or feta. Unfortunately, soy products and soy milk, as well as peanuts, also make Damp worse. Use grain such amaranth, or cooked lentils, to meet your protein requirements. Seeds can also be combined with vegetables to add protein. For instance, add sunflower seeds to salads and Muesli. If you eat meat or chicken, avoid fatty cuts and remove the skin. Butter and most oils should also be eliminated.
Refined sugar destabilizes the blood-sugar levels, making us hungry, which makes us eat again. Try to save refined sugar for an occasional treat.
Foods with Diuretic Properties
Alfalfa, parsley, radishes, celery, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, and kelp all drain damp, through their diuretic properties.
If the damp has already progressed to phlegm, don’t expect instantaneous results. TCM herbal therapy can be helpful, when used over a period of time, in conjunction with life style changes. Phlegm will make you feel lethargic, and your limbs might feel heavy, but exercise is a must.