Elements: Air, Water

Increase: Kapha, Vata

Decrease: Pitta

Found in the Bitter, Astringent and Sweet tastes

Balanced by Hot, Pungent, Sour, Salty

Action: slows down digestion and secretions, decreases movement

Positive effect: cold is pleasant, relieves thirst, burning and unconsciousness, endows sturdiness, prolongs life and is nourishing

In excess: creates numbness, contraction, stagnation, poor blood circulation, insensitivity physically and emotionally, hinders awareness, promotes depression and fear. Diminishes digestion, causes phlegm to accumulate in the body, hinders immunity and makes the body more vulnerable to colds and flues, hence the phenomenon of the common cold.

It takes work to keep your body warm. Under-dressing for winter leaks your vital energy. A recurring and continues condition of a cold body temperature stresses your organs and leads to energy loss that can contribute to early aging. The best way to age healthy is to preserve energy; this includes keeping warm as needed, and keeping your vitality intact.

Cold and circulation

Cold restricts all fluid motion, slowing the body’s digestive juices and blocking up sweat glands. Contact with a very cold temperature, such as ice cubes, constricts blood flow even to the point of numbness. Cold stiffens muscles, condenses, and compacts. Cold stimulates the nervous system. The cold weather in autumn stimulates fat storage and creates a protective layer of fat in the skin.

Some people get cold feet even with two pairs of socks. When your body is cold, it constricts blood vessels and pulls blood into core, to warm and protect your vital organs, leaving your extremities blood deficient and cold.  The solution to cold extremities is to warm your core with some vigorous exercise, that will eventually circulate your blood all over. Warming your core with cloths may not be enough, but with enough movement the heat will spread. Oiling your skin helps hold the heat in, as long as you wipe off all the excess before going outside. Herbs that induce circulation such as Ginger and Turmeric can be used to improve circulation and heat dispersion.

Effects of Cold Food & Drinks on Digestion

Since cold restricts circulation, drinking or eating cold foods such as ice cream or ice water effectively shuts down digestive function the moment we need it most to digest. If your stomach is cold it will feel heavy. For this reason, cold foods are contraindicated for practically anyone. If you are about to eat ice cream, make sure your stomach is empty, so it will not interfere with the digestion of any other food. This means that ice cream as desert is highly inadvisable.  Although cold food is harmful for digestion, cooling foods may be very desirable, as long as they are not cold in temperature. For example, a hot cup of mint tea will still have a cooling effect, since mint is cooling for the body. When you eat cooling foods your eyes will feel refreshed, your forehead will feel cool, and your emotions will feel calm.

Cold and constitution

Kapha people can feel cold from slow metabolism. Vata people feel cold because they lack fat insulation and may be deficient in blood and/or exhausted. Pitta people are usually warm all year round!

Cold Blood Pressure

Cold causes a slow heartbeat and pale skin. Cold causes constriction of blood vessels, hampering circulation and causing obstruction and phlegm buildup. Constricted vessels lead to a rise in blood pressure. The kidneys compensate by filtering water from the blood which causes dryness, a process called cold diuresis in Western medicine. Cold also causes weakness and loss of coordination, shivering, goose bumps, and slurred speech.

Causes of Cold

Cold can be caused by improper clothing, insufficient food, climate, dryness (lack of fat tissue), lack of exercise, anemia, slow metabolism, blood stagnation, and drinking or eating cold water or food.

Treatment of Cold

Nourishment, warm spices (like cinnamon and ginger), sesame oil, extra layers of clothing, and exercise all help warm the body. Hot showers heat the skin but are insufficient to heat the core of the body. One of the best home remedies for cold is giving yourself a warm oil massage followed by a hot bath. Limited short exposure to cold, such as ending your warm shower with 2-3 minutes ofcool water current can help to build resistance to cold and will create an overall warmth sensation throughout the body. 

Ingredients that are Cold


Barley, Basmati Rice, Bulgur, Corn, Cuscus, Poha, Quinoa, Rice Flour, Rice Milk, Risotto, Semolina, Spelt Flour, Tapioca, White Flour (wheat), Wild Rice


Alfalfa Sprouts, Black Beans, Black-eyed Peas, Brown Lentil, Butter Bean, Cannelini, Chick Pea (Garbanzo), Edamame, Fava Beans, Green Beans, Kidney Beans, Lima Beans, Mung Bean, peas, Pinto Beans, Red Lentils, Soy Beans, Soy Milk, Split Peas, Sweet Peas, White Navy Bean, Yellow Lentil


Acorn Squash, Aloe Vera Gel, Aloe Vera Juice, Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Bottle Gourd, Butternut Squash, Celery stalk, Cucumber, Fennel Stalk, Okra, Peas, Pumpkin, String Beans, Summer Squash, Sweet Potato, Zucchini


Bean Sprouts, Cabbage, Celery stalks, Chard, Chickweed, Chicory Lettuce, Endive, Grape Leaves, Kale, Purslane, Red Leaf Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce


Buffalo Milk, Butter, Cream, Cheese (soft, spread, white), Condensed Milk, Milk


Almond Milk, Almonds, Coconut Butter, Coconut Cream, Coconut Flakes, Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, Hemp Seed


Coconut Oil, Ghee, Sunflower Oil


Apple (raw), Banana, Dates, Figs, Grape, Green Plantain, Guava, Honey Dew, Lime, Melon, Mulberry, Papaya, Pears, Persimmons, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Strawberries, Watermelon


Agave Nectar, Brown Rice Syrup, Date Sugar, Fructose, Raw Sugar, Sucanat, Turbinado




Clove, Coriander, Fennel Seeds, Poppy Seed


Hibiscus, Lavender, Rose Petals, Rose Water


Ice cube, Water


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