Sour Flavor

Phase

Wood

Network

Liver/gallbladder

Effect

Astringent, gathers and preserves fluids General Application

Sour-cooling foods refresh the body, reduce excessive perspiration, promote the creation of fluids, and soothe "heated" temperaments by cooling emotional "heat" in the liver/gallbladder. Sour flavor also supplements yin. "Sour makes happy." In times of emotional stress and anger, the sour flavor should be favored, because it supplements liver yin. The supplementing effect of sour flavors is moved along to the heart element (via the engendering sheng cycle).

Sour moves inward and is healing for distracted, unfocused minds or restless lifestyles.

Sour flavor is contraindicated when acute S external weather conditions (wind-cold) impact the body. When pathogenic effects are still located in the outer layers of the body, sour flavors pull these factors into deeper layers. This worsens the course of disease and reduces treatment success (no heated lemon juice during acute cold!). The therapy of choice for colds is acrid flavors, which open pores, promote perspiration, and clear pathogenic factors from the body surface.

Excess sour flavors damage muscle tone (lowering pH > sore muscles, muscle contraction) and sinews and should be avoided when suffering from non-articular rheumatism and arthritis.

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