The motion of the Sun and the Moon – in the zodiac and in the day causes the generation of all the bodies under the sky.
The kind of generation is determined by the quality of stars: planets, starred images, comets generate all the alterations occurring in primeval qualities, hot and cold, and dry and wet. The mixture of the four elements is called Krasis, i.e the temperament.
As the Winter Solstice is the starting point for the year, phlegm is the first of the four humors produced inside the human body.
Food arrives in the stomach and it is divided into three parts: a part – useless for the body, is sent to the bowels and it is eliminated; a part is turned into a rich and composite substance and sent to the liver; a part is turned into a light substance, which is sent to the head.
In the head this substance is turned into Phlegm: as in a fountain, Phlegm falls again downwards. This is the exact meaning of the word “rheuma”, i.e flux. This flux from the head arrives to the lungs, kidneys, bowels, lymphatic system, articulations, skin.
Diseases of these parts of body are generally diseases due to a bad Phlegm, which is too much cold or too much hot, because of the organs where it is produced or because of the weather, the habitat or the quality of food.
Obviously in winter the problem is a production of a too cold phlegm, very gluey and obstructive, so the main treatment consists of hot herbs able to warm the stomach: aromatic, stomachic and fluidifying herbs.
The first step consists in warming the stomach. Proper herbs are lemon balm, cinnamon and ginger.
An useful tea can be obtained mixing the same quantity of lemon balm, vervain, mallow, liquorice and anise.
The second step is fluidifying iced phlegm. This can be obtained with teas of:
– marsh mallow, sarsaparilla (smilax officinalis), liquorice, curcuma.
– china, starthistle, artichoke. (for fevers)
Lastly, we should not forget honey, because “ it calms thirst, helps in Cold diseases, especially in the ones of brain, nerves and articulations. If consumed at meals,instead of wine, cleanses chest from moistness and calms cough. It sweeps from bronchi purulent mucus and thick phlegm.” (8th century)