Why am I writing a blog on thirst today? Well, to be honest, I'm thirsty. I was sitting here thinking about how much I would enjoy a nice cold drink, and instead of wandering over to the cooler on the other end of the room, I decided I would expend less energy just sitting here and writing about how thirsty I am. Thirst, like everything else in Chinese medicine, can reveal lots of insights about your health. Are you consistently thirsty? It may be a sign of excess Heat in the system. Not thirsty at all? Perhaps you have too much Dampness. Slightly dry mouth and throat? Maybe you have a deficiency of Yin. (Yin is the cool, nourishing, liquid aspect of the body).
The drinks that you crave can also signal imbalances within. If you prefer sweet drinks, it may be a sign of weakness in the Spleen. Have the desire for Gatorade? If you are looking for a saltier beverage, as sports drinks seem to be, your Kidneys might be imbalanced. Citrusy, sour flavors are connected with the Liver, the Lung likes pungent flavors, and a bitter taste in linked to the Heart.
The preferred temperature of drinks can also give information about levels of Cold and Heat in the body. If you prefer iced drinks, you may be prone to excess Heat. A love of hot drinks may mean that you have a surplus of Cold. (Incidentally, room temp to warm drinks are generally recommended in Chinese medicine. Ice is a big no-no. Warmth soothes the Spleen and Stomach and promotes smoother digestion, where Cold tends to contract and harden. This can lead to digestive upsets and other unpleasant issues.)