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December 21, 2004


Hedieh Wojgani asks: I was just wondering ... you know in Farsi when we say this food is "garmi" (warm), that one is "sardi" (cold)? What exactly does that refer to? How can one decide what is "garmi" and "sardi"? I guess I wonder how one would explain this concept to a non-Iranian.

The basis of this classification is the humor system in medieval medicine. Foods are considered to be a mixture of 4 humors in the body

1) Blood
2) Yellow Bile
3) Phlegm
4) Black Bile

-- Blood is considered (hot and moist)
-- Yellow Bile (hot and dry)
-- Black Bile (cold and dry)
-- Phlegm (cold and moist).

Foods are according to their constituents can be either dry, hot, moist or cold or a combination of the above. If you are ill according to medieval medicine you have an imbalance of humors therefore you have to partake of foods that will correct your imbalance.

For example a fever is considered to be due to too much Yellow Bile (dry and hot humors are predominating) therefore you must have something (Moist and Cold) to counteract it (The essence of Shah-tareh is considered cold so you have that into a syrup with water to make a cold and moist concoction to counter-act the Yellow bile).

There is no easy way to explain what foods are related to what humor unless one is willing to consult medieval texts. Every food has its own humor, but some examples are

-- Ginger (that is warm)
-- Sugar (Ghand) is warm and moist
-- Beef (is cold and dry)

Aand go to any essence store in Shiraz and they would give you every essence with the relevant humor! Shirazi's are obsessed in this regard!

Mazdak Heidary-Khajehpour. Sad Afarin!

The person who wins the most number of daily quizes in a month will be awarded a book valued at up to $50 from Mage Publishers and their name will be enshrined in the Column of Champions! The award for second place will be "Avaaz-e Khaateraat", Shahrokh Golestan's interview with the late Delkash, including memorable songs from 50 years ago up to her recent concert in London. This cassette tape produced by the BBC Persian Service, has been donated by Reza Moini, most kindly.

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