Dryness & Aging
Dryness is the measure of ‘wear and tear’ on the body and a cardinal sign of aging. “Dry is old, oily is young.” Baby fat is the plump picture of youth, but dryness shrinks tissues as in a ‘shriveled raisin.’ Dryness highlights wrinkles and effects of aging on the skin. Chronic dryness is irritating to tissues causing heat and inflammation. Although dryness can come from dehydration and astringency, classic dryness refers to the roughness associated from lack of fats. Fats are essential to health, especially Omega3 Fatty Acids, because they are the basic building block of all cell membranes.
Dryness & Emotions
‘Snehana’, meaning oil, is also the word for love in sanskrit. Oil is pleasing and attractive but dryness creates separation. Healthy dryness can be carefree and cheerful but pathological dryness creates lack of interest, fear, loneliness, and isolation. Pain is dry. Oil is the picture of affluence but dryness is the symbol of poverty, frailty, and depletion.
Digesting Dry Fruits & Granola Bars
Dry foods, including dense foods such as nuts, absorb moisture. The body hydrates dry, dense food with saliva and secretions from the stomach to make a sauce. The source of these secretions is the blood. The loss of fluids to digestion in dry Vata individuals can be significant and lead to dehydration of organs. Soak dried or dense foods before eating them, including granola bars, and take sips of warm water between bites. Some foods, like dry fruits, are dry due to lack of water. Other foods, soaked or not, are dry due to diuretic quality. High potassium foods like potatoes, dandelions and beans are diuretics. Popcorn is highly drying because it both lacks water and corn is high in potassium. Adding electrolytes such as a pinch of salt balances the effect of diuretics. Salt added to water increases water retention in the kidneys.
Causes of Dryness
Bitter greens like Kale scrape fats from tissues, aid weight loss, and increase dryness. Dried fruits, dense nuts, and diuretics are drying. Exercise, sweating, fasting, skipping meals, lack of sleep, lack of routine, thinking, vomiting, and diarrhea all create dryness.
Development of Dryness
Skipping meals makes the “blood dry.” Specifically, dry blood means that blood is thin and lacking juiciness, sweetness, and emolliency. Fasting and skipping meals is the quickest way to make the blood dry. Dry blood is therapeutic for high kapha and is especially useful in the spring season. Skin is generally high in fats and the first organ to suffer when blood becomes pathologically dry. Some symptoms of dry blood and dehydration include dry skin, dry mouth, chapped lips, increased heart rate, headaches, and dark colored urine. The coating on the tongue is digested and becomes clear. The eyes, nasal passages, sweat glands, and all mucosal and glandular secretions begin to dry up.
Dry glands leads to poor digestion and the inability to absorb nutrients from food, further aggravating the condition of dryness. Downstream in the small intestine undigested food begins to ferment, turning gasey and toxic. Dryness of the colon causes constipation progressing to more serious bowel conditions.
The liver stores glucose, the energy currency of the body, much as a potato stores nutrients for the rest of the plant. Dry blood creates a dry liver deficient of glucose leading to hypoglycemia. Poor circulation and toxicity associated with chronic dry blood leads to dry, cracking joints, rough skin, and inflammation. Pathological dryness also creates brittle hair and nails, dry wheezing, tissue depletion and impotence.
Oil, electrolytes especially mineral salt, and sugar solutions help rebuild fluids and juiciness. Oil massage, one teaspons of coconut oil with meals, stress management and routine are several treatments to balance dryness.
*Source from Joyfulbelly*