Podcast 074: Herbal Energetics: Tissue States

When choosing herbs for a health issue, herbalists like us use a system of organization called energetics. In this week’s podcast, we have an excerpt from our Energetics & Holistic Practice course about a key component of herbal energetics: tissue states. This term refers to the quality and activity present in a given organ or tissue of the body, and is based on three pairs of opposites: hot & cold, damp & dry, tense & lax.

When we have an injury or dysfunction somewhere in the body, herbalists ask: How much heat (or metabolic activity) is present in the area? How much moisture is flowing through (or stuck within) the tissue? How tight or loose is the organ, or muscle? These fundamental qualities are what help us match herbs to health problems more precisely – hot states call for cooling herbs, tense states need relaxing herbs, and so on. Learning to identify these states, and learning which herbs counterbalance which states, is an important part of your herbal education.

In these excerpts, we discuss each of the six primary tissue states, teaching you how to recognize them and how to understand what those observations mean. We also talk about the way these states can change from one into another, because in real life they’re moving targets – they change and shift as time passes. Knowing a bit about how one state is most likely to evolve into another makes you even better able to help with the right remedy at the right time.

If you’d like to get deeper into herbal energetics – going into details like individual constitutional types and herbal actions – then you should consider the complete course:


Join our newsletter for more herby goodness!

Get our newsletter delivered right to your inbox. You'll be first to hear about free mini-courses, podcast episodes, and other goodies about holistic herbalism.