Apples, the Humoral Way

Apr 24th, 2017 | By | Category: Ayni Books, Extract

by Paul Lloyd, Author of Become Your Own Doctor, an informative book on diet, nutrition, and how to make simple medicines the humoral way.


“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” according to a popular rhyme. This advice has become more relevant since the campaign to get us to eat at least “five a day” was launched. But crucially, helping to keep the doctor away depends to some extent on the variety of apple being eaten, how it has been prepared, and on the humoral complexion of its consumer.

In general terms fruits, herbs and vegetables in their raw state are often on the cool and moist sides of midpoint, but it is important to realize that this really is a generalization. Humoral characteristics, and therefore nutritional value, depend on many factors. Cooking moderates coolness and moistness, and boiling these foods in water can sometimes, perhaps ironically, reduce the amount of humoral moisture in them. Similarly, processing these foods by adding various edible substances in the cooking process alters their humoral makeup. The addition of spices, for example, may render a cold, moist fruit suitable for a phlegmatic person – even in cool, damp climatic conditions. As the body is at one with nature, affected by environmental conditions and the foods it absorbs, it should not surprise my readers to learn that fruits, herbs and vegetables – like all other foods – are also affected by conditions that surround them. This brings another variable into the equation. A fruit or herb growing on a mountainside will be dryer than one growing near a riverbank or at the edge of marshland.

Humoral characteristics of plants and fruits also depend on the particular variety. This is not as difficult to determine as one might suppose. Generally, a sweettasting apple, cherry or orange, for example, will be humorally “warmer” than a sour one; but, in the words of past dietary experts, not necessarily as nutritious.


Humoral property:

Sweet varieties are warm in the first degree and temperately moist. Sour varieties are cool and dry


These comfort the heart, quench thirst, dry up phlegm, and relieve a cough. Apples are particularly beneficial to youths and others who have strong stomachs and a choleric temperament.


This fruit can offend weak stomachs, especially when they are eaten raw; eating too many apples may also upset the system. This is because they are very cold and “windy” and hard to digest. They can corrupt the humors and are harmful to phlegmatics.


The sweetest varieties are the most nutritious, and they are best when fully ripe. They are most beneficial when roasted, baked or stewed with something humorally warm like pepper, sugar or honey. Ideally apples are eaten in the autumn and spring.



Become Your Own Doctor – Lost Secrets of Humoral Healthcare Revealed

An informative book on diet, nutrition, and how to make simple medicines the humoral way.

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