Dryness is one of the six exterior pathogens (i.e. a quality in the environment or climate which can cause disease). It is the predominant climatic factor in summer and autumn when the climate is lacking in moisture. It is also prevalent in artificial climates suchs as in air-conditioned or centrally-heated buildings. It is mainly an exogenous pathogenic factor which invades the body via the mouth and nose attacking the Lung. It can also occur internally, normally due to Yin deficiency, particularly of the Spleen and Stomach. In TCM theory, there are generally considered to be two syndromes which can affect the body:
- Warm – most common in late summer and early autumn.
- Cool – most common in late autumn and early winter.
Signs and Symptoms:
Dryness tends to consume and impare body fluids as well as affecting the function of the Lungs. This usually results in the following clinical manifestations.
- Dry cough with little sputum or sticky sputum which is hard to expectorate
- Dry mouth, nose and eyes
- Dry skin which may be rough and chapped
- Dry scalp
- Scanty urine and constipation