Home > Basic Principles > The Six Evils and the Seven Emotions > Cold Evil
Six Evils : I. Wind | II. Cold | III Summer-heat | IV. Dampness | V. Dryness | VI. Fire

H Cold

Winter scene: exposure to external cold can lead to chilling of the body. Emotional cold is associated with fear in both Chinese and Western thought.

Cold is associated with the element water and dominates in winter. Belonging to water, cold is a "yin-evil" which usually injures the body's yang qi. If cold enters the exterior surface of the body, it produces symptoms of fever, aversion to cold, headache and body pains. If it reaches the meridians, it produces muscle cramps and pains in the bones and joints. If it enters as far as the internal organs, cold-excess causes diarrhoea, vomiting abdominal pains, and intestinal noises. "Inner-cold", again not related to weather, is usually caused by a deficiency of yang-energy, in the stomach and spleen, inducing the internal cold symptoms of nausea, diarrhoea, coldness in the limbs and a pallid complexion. Excessive consumption of cold foods ("cold" in the sense of energy, not temperature) can also induce inner-cold. Some examples of cold foods are green tea, eggplant, tomato, celery, and barley.

Characteristics of the Cold Evil:

  Being a yin-evil, cold tends to impair yang-qi.
  It is the nature of cold to congeal and stagnate.
  It is the nature of cold to contract and shrink.