Dampness has both an physical presence and an emotional counterpart. Dampness can refer to being slightly wet, moist, or saturated with water of fluid. Dampness can refer to the weather. It is a precipitation due to moisture, humidity, moist air or also refers to a noxious or stifling vapor or gas, especially in a mine. It is also described as a “wetness or feeling” that goes right through your warmest clothes.

Emotionally, it is related to being unenthusiastic, dejected, or depressed. Dampness can cause a depression of spirit or a feeling of being dejection.

The Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine Paradigm

Dampness is associated with the element earth and is most active in late summer. Ailments of excessive dampness can be induced by sudden exposure to fog or mist, immersion in water or exposure to rain, and living in excessively damp locations or climates.

The surface pores on the body are open. Because summer is humid, the pathogenic factors, which cause diseases in this season always mix with dampness. The symptoms include excessive fluids in the body with symptoms of abdominal bloating, abdominal pains, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, intestinal spasms, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of thirst, feeling of heaviness, heaviness in the chest or being sluggish and stiff, aching or sore joints – are characteristically heavy and sluggish in nature and tend to block the flow of energy throughout the body.

Damp Heat is a condition of dampness and heat combined with symptoms of thick yellow secretions and phlegm such as jaundice, hepatitis, urinary problems, or eczema.

“Inner-dampness” is caused by excess cold consumption of liquor, tea, cold melons, and sweet, greasy foods. These impede spleen functions.

In Chinese Medicine, the spleen and stomach are associated with Late Summer. They belong to the element of Earth. The stomach’s function is to rot and ripen food and break it down for transportation. The spleen’s functions: transform and transport foods and body fluids to make ready for absorption. The spleen raises our (Qi) energy up. The spleen controls the blood and keeps it in the vessels. The spleen also nourishes the muscles.

Signs and symptoms of poor spleen function include dizziness, pale complexion, low energy, prolapse of organs such as the rectum (hemmorhoids) and uterus. Spontaneous bleeding, muscle weakness and muscle atrophy can all be due to problems with the spleen.

Signs and symptoms of poor stomach function are numerous. Stomach heat manifests as too much heat in the stomach and is represented by bad breath, bleeding or swollen gums, burning sensation in the stomach, extreme thirst, frontal headaches and/or mouth ulcers.

The element, Earth is associated with the Late Summer season and with dampness.  The element is associated with the spleen (pancreas) and stomach and related to the mouth.

The Earth is the source and provider of all our needs. The earth represents sensations, patience, stability, strength, health, grounding and centering of energies, promoting peace, fertility, money, business success, stability, warmth, comfort and physical labor. Earth is the element we are closest to home with, since it is our home. Earth doesn’t necessarily represent the physical earth, but that part of it which is stable, solid and dependable. Earth is the realm of abundance, prosperity and wealth.