People with a hot constitution often have a fast metabolism, but their bodies build up too much internal waste. Different symptoms arise as a result of this waste. For instance, many hot constitution people have an oily face, acne, a dry mouth, and bad breath.
What causes a hot constitution?
Firstly, a hot constitution is largely determined by prenatal and biological factors. For example, your mother might have had a hot constitution while pregnant with you.
Much like the concept of genetics in western medicine, according to TCM, at conception your parents set your foundational energetic nature. Wang Chong, a Chinese medicine practitioner in the 1st century CE writes that:
Strength and long life, weakness and short life are connected with the copiousness and scarcity of the receive qi…When the qi is copious, the body becomes strong, and the body being strong, life lasts long. On the other hand, when the vital force is scanty, the body is weak, and with a weak body, life is short…A short life is accompanied by much sickness.
On top of this, other factors can lead to a hot constitution. Often, people with this body type have addictive habits that can make them “hot,” such as drinking too much alcohol, staying up late, smoking, eating too much meat, and/or feeling depressed for a long time.
You can feel better
Regardless of the source of your hot constitution, you have the ability to bring your body closer to a yin and yang harmonious state. That means a state of ideal health that will leave you feeling energized, optimistic, and enlivened.
Here are some general patterns associated with a hot constitution. You may have overcome some of these tendencies with lifestyle choices you make. Well done! Read on to learn how to improve your health further.
Common physical symptoms of hot constitution
- Oily face with a flushed complexion
- Loud voice and breathing
- Preference for cool and avoidance of heat
- Prefers to drink cold drinks
- Tendency to have acne
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth with a bitter taste
- Consistently feel weary
- Unhealthy bowel movements – constipation or diarrhea
- Dark urine
- Leukorrhea in women
- Cravings for sweet and fatty foods
- Red tongue with a yellow, greasy coating
- Slippery and rapid pulse
Common physical characteristics
- Body shape tends to be medium or slim
- Sturdy physique
Common emotional characteristics
People with a hot constitution:
- are often susceptible to getting angry easily
- can frequently act over assertive
- experience nervous agitation
- frequently feel angry
- tend to be impatient
Greatest points of susceptibility for hot constitution
- Tend to get sick when the weather transitions from the heat and dampness of late summer to early autumn
Greatest health risks
- Skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and carbuncles (clusters of boils under the skin)
- Gallbladder inflammation
- Urinary tract infections
How to off-set your hot constitution through diet
If you have a hot constitution, you should eat cooling foods that clear damp heat. You should also limit spicy, fried, and fatty foods.
Firstly, eat on a fixed schedule and only eat until about 70% full. Avoid overeating which can cause food retention by weakening the spleen. Food retention leads to the accumulation of waste and damp heat. Choose foods that have a cooling energetic and are easy to digest. These foods will release heat, cool the internal body, and facilitate the removal of wastes.
Secondly, following the Chinese medicine body clock, you should eat a large breakfast between 7:00-9:00 AM, an even larger lunch between 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, and a light dinner between 5:00-7:00 PM.
Finally, if you have a hot constitution, you should not snack between meals. Snacking adds more waste to an already taxed system, generating more heat and more symptoms.
Even though you most likely maintain a medium to slim body easily, you need to avoid eating fatty, fried, roasted, and greasy foods that cause more heat. Lightly steamed and sauteed foods are best.
Foods to add
People with a hot constitution should add cooling foods. These foods are great choices.
adzuki (azuki) beans
Job’s tears (coix seeds)
Job's tears, also called coix seeds, help clear damp heat.
Foods and beverages to avoid
If you have a hot constitution, you want to avoid items that are warming, hot, and pungent in nature.
heavily spiced food
While honey is healthy for many people, it can make it difficult to clear damp heat from the body.
How to clear damp heat with lifestyle changes
Avoid living in a damp area
While you might not have a choice of where to live, when you do, choose a cool, dry climate. If you do live in a hot, damp area, make sure you have plenty of fresh air circulating in your home. Additionally, try and dry out the air as much as possible with a dehumidifier.
Keep to daily schedule to heal your hot constitution
Furthermore, you need to follow healthy living practices, or you will accumulate more and more waste, wrecking the glymphatic system in your brain (the brain’s waste removal system). Unlike the waste you can see physically, in the form of eczema, acne, etc., you cannot see waste deposits in the brain, until it is too late. You might one day suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Therefore, you should consider these lifestyle recommendations. Get plenty of sleep, ideally going to sleep no later than 11:00 PM. Internal organs essential for removing toxins and waste from your body do most of their work during the hours of 11:00 PM and 4:00 AM. If you are awake during these hours, they do not receive the energy they need to help you heal.
Additionally, as indicated above, you should also eat according to the Chinese body clock schedule. By not overeating and snacking all day, your body will have time to properly digest your food and remove excess waste products.
Improve your mood
As someone with a hot constitution, you might often feel like the world is out to get you. You take situations personally and find yourself off balance. Namely, you find yourself angry, which can turn to depression because you lose hope that things will ever stop being annoying.
To bring your body and emotions back into balance, you need to cultivate the ability to hold your temper and avoid extreme emotions. Consciously control negative reactions when something feels exasperating. This type of emotional development takes practice, just like playing a sport, learning an instrument, etc. For some body constitutions, balanced emotions come more naturally, but not necessarily for you.
With a hot constitution, your health will benefit if you cultivate feelings and actions of kindness. That can feel like a huge challenge, especially if your emotional energy is blocked. Doing the Meditation to Release Blockages and Strengthen Emotional Armor will help clear the emotional waste and open you up to positive thinking.
How to exercise for your hot constitution
People with a hot constitution can do more intensive forms of exercise. Some examples include long distance running, swimming, hiking, martial arts, various team sports, etc. During the summer, or times when the temperature gets hot, you should ideally exercise at the coolest times of the day – in the morning or evening.
Five Tibetan Rites
The Five Tibetan Rites is a challenging exercise routine consisting of five movements to be done every morning. They will help you open up blocked channels and remove waste from your body.
How acupressure massage and moxibustion can help
A great Chinese medicine treatment is acupressure massage. It is a powerful tool for people struggling with a hot constitution. When you massage the acupressure points listed below, you clear meridian blockages, and that can help clear damp heat and remove wastes.
Massage the following points 1-3 minutes at least 3 times a week to nourish yin and clear deficient heat. Open the flow of qi will help you sleep and feel better.
Acupressure points for a hot constitution
Acupressure points for regulating spleen and stomach functions.
Stomach 36, ST 36, Zunsali and Stomach 44, ST 44, Neiting
Spleen 9, SP 9, Yinlingquan, and Spleen 6, SP 6, Sanjinjia
Acupressure point to raise yang qi and clear damp heat.
Bladder 57, BL 57, Chengshan
Massage this acupressure point 1 to 3 minutes twice a day to remove damp-heat and treat acne related to a hot constitution.
Large intestine 11, LI 11, Quchi