Eagles: Constitutionally Hotter & Dryer

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nosce te ipsum - know thyself

Food matters

Food is incredibly important to the health of all kinds of people and Eagles are no exceptions to this.

High energy food

The kind of food that people prefer is another fascinating reflection of their constitution and it is noticeable that the constitutionally hotter and dryer Eagle will typically much prefer foods that are lighter and faster to metabolise than heavier and denser alternatives. For example, many Eagles, especially when young, like to eat plenty of high-energy foods that can fuel their fast metabolisms but then as they get older may take in little more than tea or coffee, maybe along with some high-carbohydrate snacks, until they finally get to the end of their working day and are then ready to feast, a habit which tends to have the consequence of finally bringing them back down to earth to stop and rest!

I also notice that many Eagles start to become highly conscious of the quality of their diet as they get older and, whilst they might have had a high-sugar & starchy carbohydrate diet in their past, they often gravitate towards a much more natural and whole foods diet for the simple reason of how much better they feel when they do!


It is if and when a person gets a health problem that is not resolving by itself that we may need to question the vital matter of diet and in this regard there are two issues that Eagles can be especially prone to; excess sugars and food allergies or intolerances.

Excess sugars

Eagles can be particularly prone to diabetes because, in running a faster than average metabolism in their early years, they managed to work through a lot of sugars but have then kept those habits up in later years when they were less physically active! Diabetes is a disease that is 100 times easier to prevent that it is to cure so, if an Eagle constitution gets such warning signs as a higher than ideal reading on blood-sugar testing, or they start getting thicker around their middle, or they start getting higher blood pressure or cholesterol levels, then they should definitely question whether they are on that slippery slope. If so then the detailed write up on how to cure the metabolic syndrome will be entirely appropriate to carefully study and put into practice - it's here.

Allergies or intolerances

The other major food matter that often comes up with Eagle constitutions relates to how many of them develop highly active immune systems which sees them become prone to allergies, both from the environment but also quite frequently from their food. Food allergy is obviously a key issue with problems such as eczema, asthma or hay fever but in other cases it can be a core underlying issue in more complex problems that stem from an overactive or imbalanced immunity.

I use the simple but practical analogy of a bucket when I talk about allergies, the key point being that there is always more than one thing that fills the 'allergy bucket'. A genetic (constitutional) disposition puts it there in the first place but what then fills the bucket to the point of overflowing symptoms and is always a combination of such things as pollens, pollution, stress, overwork, and then typically at least part of the bucket is filling up from adverse reactions to certain foods. It can be of much help to investigate this possibility because what we eat is something we can significantly control. If this is an issue that could be affecting you then have a close read of the article here.


Moving Well

On average, the issue of people not exercising and being unfit comes up less with Eagles than other constitutional types. Eagles are people who naturally like to keep busy and active, many instinctively become very good at working with their body at some kind of skilled task or developing a sporting or athletic ability to a high level.


I mentioned just above how in practice you typically don't have to worry about Eagles being unfit, on the contrary what does come up with Eagles more than others is the tendency to overtrain in exercise or overdo their activities in general. The nature of the Eagle constitution to be very goal-oriented can lead them to become single-mindedly focused on their pursuits to the point of excluding other things that are necessary to keep their life in balance. The classic symptoms that show up when this is the case are fatigue and/or an immune imbalance that is shown by them getting recurrent infections or injuries that take too long to heal. If these signs are showing in an Eagle constitution there is a strong possibility that the root cause of the trouble is they are over-cooking it. In such cases as much as, at least at first, it might be the last piece of advice they want to hear, what has to be done is to 'cool the jets' and give the body that which we all know can be its best medicine- rest.

Shifting goal-posts

Unless they have insomnia, an immune imbalance or an injury that's not healing you may not meet an Eagle in practice until they reach a certain age (50s-60s maybe) whereupon they start to feel something must be badly wrong with them because they can't achieve what they used to be able to do and the feeling of 'tiredness' they are getting is seriously weirding them out! Sometimes there really is some essential housekeeping to take care of and they are back to flying high in no time, but sometimes they just haven't shifted the goal-posts for what makes for a good day since they were in their 20s or 30s. Eagle constitutions need to have a clear sense of direction for their day to day life to take a positive shape. In other words, they need to see the point of something for it to make sense. It's ok if what seemed important in your 20s is not the same as what matters in later life. After all they're your goal-posts, put them where you want.


Getting Good Sleep

Along with diet and exercise, one of the greatest determinants of health and happiness is how well people are able to rest, relax and get good sleep. I haven't been keeping an exact score but I think I have seen about as many Eagle people with troubles in this area than all the other constitutions put together! As a consequence, what follows is from my detailed article on insomnia because these steps are the ones I have had the most success with in many hundreds of real-life cases. If you want to read that article in full by itself, it's here.

First step - Nature

Whatever the cause of the sleeping problems and whatever else you do I think the first thing I would say is to let Nature take the first step and the first thing to get right with letting Nature take the first step generally has to do with dose! Herbs are basically natural drugs. They are not vitamins, they are not foods, they are a complex array of chemicals that we have worked with for at least 40, 000 years to find out what works, along with the crucial knowledge of how much to take for it to work. I say this because a lot of people have tried some kind of natural herbal sleeping aid only to find it of little value simply because they took a dose that is so much lower than what we would traditionally use.

Typical commercial preparation of herbs might use as little as a quarter, or an eighth, or even a tenth of the amount that we would use in traditional herbal practice. This is partly due to the economics of more herb costing more but it is also a lot to do with safety. If you give a small dose it is much less likely people will react badly to your product and the fact is that herbs are highly potent, especially when used in the kinds of doses we have learned to use over many millennia. Think of taking a quarter or even an eighth of an aspirin to cure a headache and you will get the idea...

I personally consider the following herbs to be the best allies in helping people re-establish good sleep patterns. At this point I should mention that, whilst of course you can obtain all the herbs I mention here online etc. that there may be a great deal of benefit to you going to some trouble to find a good herbalist to a) obtain the best quality herbs and b) consult with for your general health as well as your sleeping. I have a short write-up to suggest how you might go about finding such a person here.

Second step - worry!

Remember to let Nature take the first step i.e. take strong herbs in strong doses. What follows, for many, is an effective second step and we are now getting into treating what may be at least a part of 'the cause' of the problem.

Many people who have trouble falling asleep have too much in their mental 'in-box'. They have not had time to think about their problems and their worries through the day so when they finally get to lay their head on the pillow, even if they are exhausted, they start to think. Another version of the same problem is falling asleep for just a few hours and waking up with an active mind which is already starting to chew over the problems of today, yesterday, or tomorrow.

The simply reality in the modern world is that many people do not have enough time to even simply think and as a result the mind finds the one piece of free time available to it to do what it has to do, and that is the night-time. Of course this has a disastrous effect on your health but such is the importance of being able to sufficiently work through that 'inbox' that your subconscious being will sacrifice the health of your body in order to try to achieve the peace of mind it so deeply craves.

Move, and chew!

The only real solution that I see working for this in any kind of lasting manner is to make 'worry-time' during the day. Ideally this will be a time when you are moving your body in a way that does not require thought or attention. Walking works perfectly for many people in this regard but so does any kind of house-work or craft-work when you don't have to concentrate on what you are doing but you are free to think. The main thing is that you don't try to sit or lie still while you do the worry time!

When we actually work through the 'inbox' of all the things that are worrying us we do not turn into neurotic wrecks, quite the opposite. An inner calm and quiet comes to us when we work through the worst case scenarios one at a time. Our worst fears very rarely come to fruition but they are there nevertheless. It is far better to look at them when you are awake and alert than during the night when you need to sleep and relax. Moving your body helps you to not become stuck in an anxious frame of mind, you can move through the problems just as you are literally moving with your body.

The method of what you actually do in the worry time is simple, and powerful. Take any subject at all and start thinking 'what is the worst thing that could happen?' Don't just pretend to do this exercise, really do it. Imagine the worst, of anything and everything, and then work through it, chew it thoroughly! I generally suggest you start with whatever is bothering you the most right now and go from there.

Ask yourself 'what would I do about that?' How would I deal with it, who might I ask for help if I really needed it, how would I survive... what would I do?'

Anxiety has an extremely important use to us and it has served us well throughout our evolutionary biology. Worrying about things helps us to prepare for the worst and so therefore we can generally avoid those things. The problem with worrying about things when you should be sleeping is that you get all of the emotional content (tension, agitation, sleeplessness) and none of the intellectual value (problem-solving, logical-thinking, resolution!)

At first I advise my patients to set 'worry-time' aside every day, at least until they are sleeping better and regularly. By then it is usually a good habit that they just use when they need and that sees them in much better mental health for the long term.



The personality of the typical Eagle is much too complex to easily summarise but there are several qualities that come through over and again and two of the most obvious are their vitality and their need for freedom.


Unless they have gotten into really bad health an Eagle will usually have plenty of natural vitality. I don't believe that any one constitution is given a greater 'store' of energy than another so why is that Eagle often seem to have more energy that others? Firstly, this is because cool constitutions tend to turn their energy inwards (not always a comfortable process!) whereas hot constitutions more naturally channel their energy outwards. Secondly is the quality of dryness that, in the Eagle, gives them a kind of lightness and vibrancy. The combination of being hotter and dryer typically translates into a life path with plenty going on!

Eagles need to find a way to express their energy that makes sense to them - and by that I mean that they enjoy or see a point to it. For some that expression may be in their work but it can equally be with a matter of true personal interest...


Vitality is something that you sorely miss when it is gone (and it is not uncommon for people around an Eagle to compare their own energy levels and feel some portion of jealousy) however too much energy can be just as uncomfortable as too little and Eagle vitality can turn into a formidable amount of Eagle tension if they do not have the freedom to channel their energy in a positive direction. Eagles need freedom to move and express themselves or they can show such signs as a constantly bouncing leg or some other kind of fidgeting or cramping. Deeper in this kind of repressed movement may manifest as pain in the chest or upper back.

Many children have a lot of the hot, dry Eagle energy in their nature (even if they go on to become cooler or damper later on) and a young such person, especially a boy, may have a terribly hard time sitting still for hours a day doing things that frankly don't excite him that much. ADD 'Attention deficit disorder' in a boy could be better described as 'schoolboy boredom disorder' It is a travesty that such children are given psychoactive medications so that they can fit the system rather than recognising how the system fails to fit them.

Eagles are people for whom it can be especially important to feel that they are the master of their own destinies and not be overly beholden to others for their happiness. At the same time as this need for freedom an Eagle, like any other human being who has ever lived no matter what their constitution, need love and connection with others to be whole and happy. I have found many Eagles to have a kind of ongoing conflict between their need for freedom and their desire to have a 'nest' to return to where there will be people who love them enough to be always be happy to see them again. The need for open sky and a nest (rather than choosing one or the other) can be a theme that plays out in many ways over many years. To not become a loner, or leave a trail of broken nests, an Eagle needs to learn how to meet their need to fly free, and have a nest to return to, not one or the other, but both.



Another particularly noticeable aspect of the Eagle personality is that of vision. This trait can translate in different ways according to the individual (e.g. they often literally have good eyesight or remarkably prescient dreams/insights) but it is usually most obvious in an Eagle's clarity of purpose. These are people who typically have strongly defined goals and a clear sense of their life-plan, even from an early age. What's more they may well have the vitality to achieve it so every Eagle needs to be aware of the old saying 'be careful what you wish for!'

An Eagle who doesn't know where they are going or cannot see the point of what they are doing can become an unhappy, even destructive creature. If I am talking with an Eagle who has become sick and they are not clear about what they want from life, then I know that here is someone who may first need to clear their vision for them to be getting well as soon as possible.


I have noticed that many Eagles tend to have a particularly keen sense of justice and can be drawn to paths in life where they can put wrongs to right. Eagles can get very upset, even to feeling personally offended, when they see unfairness around them. With their strong sense of right and wrong, their vision and their energy, Eagles may achieve a very high standard in whatever is their chosen pursuit. However, they must careful of developing a certain amount of perfectionism because it can be terribly stressful to hold one's self, or others, up to levels that are not sustainable over the long term. Imperfections are not always a call to beat your wings harder against the wind...

If you are an Eagle or if you care for one then it may be as simple as looking in the mirror or having a frank look at your partner, friend etc. to see how they really are. An Eagle in good mental and physical health maintains an impressive demeanour and takes considerable care of their appearance. However, if their physical or emotional health becomes imbalanced they can swing to other side of that pendulum and become rather dishevelled and unkempt! Some people can unravel as they age with some degree of grace -- not so much Eagles, generally speaking they look great or they don't! The actual physical process of cleaning up, getting preened and presentable can be more therapeutic than you might think. Fixing up the outside does wonders for the inside - and vice versa.



Eagles tend to bring great passion and intensity into their relationships. They can be quick to fall in love, to make new friends, to join a cause, to become a part of something. Communication is incredibly important for Eagles to get right -- their happiness and indeed even their health itself may depend on it!

An Eagle needs to take the long view when it comes to their relationships, not to rely on passion as their only guide but rather to learn to trust a deeper and quieter voice from the heart that says this is who you can nest with, this is who you can trust. Eagles are often such strong personalities with such clear personal direction that they tend to be rather excellent speakers, talkers, leaders, motivators, bosses, teachers, parents etc.... but all of this can be a rather 'one-way' street. To have a truly rich and balanced life they must also learn to be good listeners -- to allow another to have their space and their say. This is the secret of good communication, to be able to freely express but also to openly listen.

An Eagle that flies solo for too long can forget that all relationships require compromises to survive. However much our egos might like to disagree, none of us are actually any more important than each other. This understanding opens the doorway to love; which is that which makes life worth living and gives us the wings that do not tire. I would warmly encourage any Eagle or any person who is close to one to practice the great art of reflective listening. I talk about this in more depth in an article that is actually about how to express anger safely here but in a nutshell this is a truly simple process where, when someone is expressing something that is obviously important to them, you say back in a few words what it is you hear them saying... 'so what I hear you saying is...'.

The effects of reflective listening on both parties is quite marvellous to observe but you will have to try it for yourself to see what I mean... Anyone who is in love with an Eagle needs to know one critically important fact about them. You have to be prepared to let them go, often more than once 'Let them go -- If they come back to you then you know they truly love you, if they don't then they never really did'. Either way you are better off. Eagles need time alone, it's just part of their nature; it is not that they lack loyalty, they just need to spread their proverbial wings and feel the freedom that is as vital to their soul as air is to their body. Let them go and there is a very strong probability that they will come back to you with the love and passion that you will have been missing if they have been feeling tethered.


Problems & Solutions

Eagles have robust constitutions but there will be times in the lives of most where they are troubled by some highly unpleasant health problems. These are not creatures that tend to do things by halves and when they get sick it can be dramatic, sometimes it can be rather severe.

Eagle health

Eagles have robust constitutions but there will be times in the lives of most where they are troubled by some highly unpleasant health problems. These are not creatures that tend to do things by halves and when they get sick it can be dramatic, sometimes it can be rather severe.

It's hard to make generalisations here without missing out more than I can put in but one of the things that comes up the most with Eagles are problems with sleeping. I mentioned this earlier but it bears repetition - getting enough rest for the body to self-repair is just so vital and again the detailed article on this subject is found here.

Eagles have to be especially careful of accumulating too much nervous tension - A person can be highly wired for so long that it just feels natural to them but a good sign that things have gone too far is when anxiety has crept up to levels that are too high (detailed discussion on this subject here) Another area that comes up a great deal in practice with Eagles is in relation to their immune systems and the things that can go wrong with them. The general subject of immune health is discussed here. Other fairly common immune issues to affect Eagles include hives (info here) and bad hay fever (info here).

A less obvious immune issue is an imbalanced thyroid function - something I have treated in many Eagle people (more info here). Excess heat and dryness in the skin can turn into eczema and this is also quite common in this constitution (more here). As Eagles get older you have to be especially careful about their heart health - two common issues being high blood pressure (info here) and arrhythmias (more here). Eagles can be such high-energy people that their heart simply starts to wear out too soon! This might not be the only step to take but I cannot speak too highly of the great heart herb Hawthorn in such instances - it has literally been a life-saver (a detailed article on it is found here).


Eagle medicine

None of what follows can take the place of a one to one consultation but I want to give you some examples of constitutional medicine in action by describing some of the medicines I typically give to Eagles.

I have found the herb St John's wort to be especially helpful to many Eagles. St Johns has been popularised and proven as a natural anti-depressant but in most instances I use it as a kind of nerve food that gives many Eagles exactly the nourishment they need (more info on it here). Likewise, especially if my Eagle patient has been unwell for a while and their natural vitality has become depleted I have seen the great tonic herbs Withania (info here) and Panax Ginseng (more here) to have been of tremendous support in restoring natural energy levels over time.

Another great Eagle herb is the evocatively named Skullcap which can have a remarkably calming action on an overactive mind (more info here). Skullcap is often paired with Passionflower - also a herb that works to relax the physical nervous system (more here). For an imbalanced or overactive immune system, the mushroom-medicine Reishi (info here) and the American Indian remedy Echinacea (info here) have been seen to help many Eagles. I mentioned Hawthorn for the heart earlier - another two Heart herbs that have been seen to help Eagles are Motherwort (info here) and Limeflowers (info here). Some Eagles with bad tension and/or insomnia also respond especially and exceptionally well to Kava so long as it used wisely (more here).

'Cycle of healing

When a problem is not getting better by itself then it always means that some part of the cycle of healing has become stuck. There are four key phases in the cycle of healing and note that the one that can need the primary attention can be any of the four in any of the constitutions but, that said, it is a noticeable pattern in Eagles that the 'activation' phase of the cycle is the one that most often needs the most care. For those who want to delve more deeply into this subject and learn more about what herbs may best help them with their health there is a chart that gives an overview of the healing cycle here and a supportive article that talks about the subject in more depth here.

~ Tigers: Hotter & Damper

~ Eagles: Hotter & Dryer

~ Elephant/Butterfly: Cooler & Dryer

~ Bears: Cooler & Damper

~ Back to Constitutional Medicine Introduction

~ Working our your Constitution

~ Origins & Adaptations of Constitutional Medicine

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd