Recipes and remedies

Since humours fluctuate according to mood, season, temperature and humidity, an optimal diet is one that would take into account this inner and outer context.

For instance, if it is very warm outside, chances are you will want fruit, grilled vegetables, salads, light cheeses and dairy like yogurt or young cheese - light fare that doesn`t burden the digestion. Inversely, if it is very cold, you`ll probably want a good stew, long-cooked meats with spices, thick creamy dishes, soups, baked goods.

For a humouralist, this made sense: one needs to cool the body when it is warm, and warm it when it is cold. Most humoural remedies included dietary recommendations, and food was considered medically potent.

And it is true that we are what we eat. It doesn`t hurt to know about the contents and effects of what we ingest, because after all, food is as fundamental to survival as air.

This page is devoted to recipes I particularly like, and that I think of as particularly humoural, in that, apart from being delicious, they are curative - of a cold, of indigestion, of the blues, of stress, or of simple old tiredness.

And if you are curious about the sorts of recipes humoural doctors prescribed, simply turn to Passions and Tempers! You can buy it in either hardback or paperback, from your local bookshop or at any online store.