Fever according to TCM
Fever is a term in contemporary Western medicine, but in ancient China, where no thermometers existed, the term meant “heat radiation and emission”, which is a state of hotness or fever. It is an objective feeling of hotness when the body is hot (“you’re burning all over”), especially on the forehead or on the back of the hand (in contrast to cold palms). This is also how the traditional Chinese medicine “measures the temperature” even at present, regardless of digital thermometers. This hotness may or may not even be accompanied by a truly elevated body temperature that can be measured by a thermometer. The hotness upon attack of the outer FENG wind is the result of a struggle between the proper physical energy of ZHEN QI and the external pollutant of XIE QI, in our case, the harmful FENG wind. The higher the hotness, the higher the mobilization of our defensive forces in the body, and they are in full readiness to defend themselves as much as their strength suffices. Also, the force of the external pollutant of the FENG wind is directly proportional to the amount of hotness. According to TCM, it is not therefore good to drastically reduce fever upon the first signs, e.g. by means of chemical drugs or suppository rectal, or even “blindly” administer antibiotics or corticoids… This reduces fever for a while but the pollutant is “pressed” into deeper layers and then elevated temperature (and sometimes not only this!) appears again. In the event of elevated temperature, it is sufficient to give an abundance of fluids and repeatedly (depending on the condition) apply cold wraps or shower in lukewarm water at about 37ºC in the first 2 days. Consumption of so-called cold food of which the optimal is yellow melon, raw cucumber, iceberg lettuce or bananas also makes a powerful contribution to reducing inner heat. On the other hand, so-called hot foods such as dried ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, chilli, red meat, fried, baked and grilled meals, black coffee and alcohol are unsuitable as they increase the inner heat. Generally, however, in any acute attack of the organism, less means more – that is, there is no need to “reinforce the nesting” of the pollutant in our organism with an opulent amount of food, but we should rather challenge it with hunger and let it literally “starve out”. Using Beverage of silver wind (code 844) and herbal tablets of Cold of morning mist (code 002) will not harm and will reduce the temperature by opening skin vents and exuding pollutants from the surface of the body. After 2 days, the patient’s condition always breaks for the better (the disease retreats) or on the other hand, for worse (the disease progresses further and becomes more profiled and specified). The strength of the fever always corresponds to the strength of the two actors – the stronger the external pollutant of XIE QI or the good energy of ZHONG QI, the higher the fever, and vice versa, the weaker the external pollutant of XIE QI or the good energy of ZHONG QI, the lower the fever. Logically, the fever will be the highest when both participants are the strongest, and the weakest when they are both the weakest.
Almost the most important factor influencing the intensity of the fever, is the physical constitution of every person. A person with a yang constitution (i.e. with a predominance of yang and therefore hotness) will always be more prone, when attacked by the outer wind of FENG, to the development of the hot wind of FENG RE (just like when the wind blows smouldering ash up into fire) than to the development of the cold wind of FENG HAN; and will also be prone to higher fever. Conversely, a person with a yin constitution (i.e. with a predominance of yin and therefore cold) will be prone to the development of the cold wind of FENG HAN (much like when water in the pipes freezes). It can be said, therefore, that the constitution of a person is the main factor determining whether the hot wind of FENG RE or the cold wind of FENG HAN is developed when attacked by the outer harmful wind of FENG. If this was not the case, then all people in the Nordic countries would only suffer from the attack of the cold wind of FENG HAN and people in the southern countries would only suffer from the attack of the hot wind of FENG RE, which is not true. The presence, and it is definitely not an ice age but rather a “hot yang age”, is a hectic age that is full of hurry, stress, ambition, adrenaline, worries, concerns, but also of fried and spicy meals, fast foods, meat and sausages, additives and preservatives, stimulants, alcohol, drugs… It is clear that most of the population nowadays features inner hotness anyway because of the above factors (when not directly from their constitution, then from their diet and psyche). It is no wonder, therefore, that most diseases caused by the outer wind of FENG turn into the hot wind of FENG RE in the vast majority of cases.