Tigers: Constitutionally Hotter & Damper

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nosce te ipsum - know thyself

One of the most extraordinary things about life is its ability to be endlessly creative. We can see this all around us, including in how every human being that has ever lived is completely unique! You who are reading this are one of a kind and so, of course, is each of your friends, your family, and everyone you know. The complexity within life, and each one of us, that allows for such individuality is something truly incredible, it is unlimited.

We set about categorising each other, therefore, at the peril of losing sight of this everyday wonder. Just as soon as we divide each other by age, race, nationality etc. we can lose the awareness of what matters most; namely that the endless creativity of life is equally expressed in the indivduality of every single one of our lives, that no one person is better or worse than another, and that we are all the same in being different.

So, why bring constitutions into the picture? It is to better understand, and work with, the inherent nature that underlies that individuality. Throughout history, all cultures have come to a similar recognition that, despite the obvious evidence of our differences, there are still recurring themes that show how we tend to be relatively hotter or cooler and, at the same time, relatively dryer or damper than one another.

The value of this understanding is that it gives such useful insights, including into what kinds of foods, habits and, when needed, medicines can form the surest foundation for our most precious possession of all; our health...

The Tiger Personality

I begin by focusing on just a few personality traits that have been chosen to demonstrate some key themes that manifest in the Tiger constitution however, it must be understood that these are only a small part of the whole and that none of this is meant to take anything away from your own, unlimited individuality. So long as we understand each other on that crucial point, do read on...


Passion is one of the most interesting, endearing and potentially challenging of the Tiger's many qualities. However, I am afraid that, like so many of words that were used to denote something great, it has become somewhat overused and diluted so I want to be very clear in what I mean by it here.

Passion is not half-hearted, it is not mild enthusiasm or passing interest, it is the quality of making a whole-being commitment to something; for example a path, a project, or a person. By no means must it be limited to one things and also by no means do all Tigers engage with their capacity for passion, more about that in a moment, but the capacity is always there nonetheless, waiting to be expressed.

It is most notable in practice what a profound difference to the Tiger's health, or their recovery from illness when their passion is or isn't in the picture. The qualities of higher than usual heat and dampness that form the Tiger constitution create a kind of energetic 'steam' and if that energy, that 'steam' is moving things forwards, making things happen, then all obstacles may be overcome, but if it is stuck and only creating pressure internally, all klinds of hell can break lose!

Like the other hotter constitution, the Eagle, the Tiger should have plenty of natural energy to express out into the world but in their case it very much depends on their finding and working with something that gives them a sense of meaning about what they are doing, or, if you like, a sense of purpose


'For their natural passion to find expression, the Tiger must have a sense of purpose and 'Purpose',big, loaded word that it is, also needs careful clarification. First of all, whatever it is for you, it is not likely to be what other people tell you it is! In a world in which we are more connected and aware of each other's lives and thoughts than ever before, it is all too easy to become overly influenced by what others consider important and lose sight of the things that actually matter to us the most.

The second great mistake to make about purpose is to think that it must be something larger than life to be worthwhile. Amongst other things, an excess of 'save the world' Hollywood plot-lines has given the impression that 'purpose' should involve heroics, dramatics or a vast number of approving followers on social media in order to be worthwhile! Fame does not fulfill people, generally it ruins them. To find a true sense of purpose you must look within your heart to see what makes it leap!

Most people, after enough soul-searching, find that they are seeking much the same things; peace, love, happiness. How we then find our way towards what we want is as varied as life itself. I, and would argue, no-one else either, can tell you what your purpose is, but I can share that, if you as a Tiger have the experience of plenty of passion in your life right now, then you are already on to it. If not, then as much as you can and as quickly as you can, just stop whatever it is that you are doing and be ready to reconsider everything. It's your life, if you are a Tiger then you should be in charge of it.

'Hunting & Connecting

With respect to some of the key last points, that no-one can say what the Tiger 'should' be hunting for and that it doesn't need to be earth-shattering to be worthwhile, I just want to share my observation of many Tiger constitutions that they nearly like to make meaningful connections with others in their lives and that they really do like to make a difference in people's lives!

Many are drawn into life-paths where they are helping, teaching or leading others.Tigers tend to have a natural optimism, they see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Many instinctively want to inspire and encourage others along the way and, because of their inclination to not be detached but rather to get busy and get involved, some will have had some bad experiences of being burnt by someone who has opposed them, let them down, or simply been on an entirely different page. In such cases, the Tiger must be careful not to hold on to grudges and to find a way to clear the air because resentment can fester, consciously or subconscious, and sow the seeds for real problems in later life.

Aside from that, I see one of the greatest potential challenges for the Tiger constitution being when they achieve what they set out to do. The children have grown, the business was successful, the marathon is run or the holiday is over because... now what? If the Tiger understands that it is in their nature to keep hunting, to keep seeking meaningful connections, then it is simply a matter of being flexible, of staying open to the only true constant in life, that it always changes, so we must change with it too.


Tiger Nutrition

Food is incredibly important to the health of all kinds of people and Tigers are no exceptions to this. The kinds of food that people prefer is another fascinating reflection of their constitution and it is noticeable that most Tigers prefer foods that are denser, richer and moister than dryer, cooler or more raw alternatives. For example, it is quite rare to find a vegetarian Tiger, they usually like to eat plenty of protein in the form of meat, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, milk & cheeses etc.

There is nothing wrong with following your nature and, so long as the Tiger is in good health, they should certainly follow their instincts and eat what they most enjoy. That said, it must be acknowledged that many Tigers can grow to develop problems in their health that are directly related to their diet:

'Metabolic Syndrome

If they get excess weight around their middle and tend to high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels then there is a very high chance that they have the metabolic syndrome; more common in the Tiger constitution than anyone else. The good news is that it is entirely curable if the person is ready to do the work, more here


Tiger Fitness

There is a notable and consistent pattern between the general health and happiness of the Tiger constitution and their ability to maintain good amounts of physical activity or exercise. If not in a job where they need to use their bodies, it can be seen that a Tiger who doesn't do something to work-out is likely to eventually become irritable or out of sorts. It's as if they get a kind of caged-up tension if they don't regularly blow off some steam.

This is a constitution that can be particularly well suited to short periods of high-intensity exercise but really it is whatever the person enjoys the most that will be the best routine to maintain.

For most people, their health and fitness are a gift for the first half of their lives, and then they have to start earning it! In this regard, mental fitness is no different, or less important, than physical fitness, and finding the best ways to keep our minds active and engaged clearly makes an enormous difference to our quality of life as we age.

For any constitution, depending on their case and individual challenges, I sometimes ask the question "what have you been studying or learning about lately?" If a person's mind becomes 'set' in its thinking and manner of experiencing the world, the result is no different than if they were to stop moving or stretching their body; there is a stiffness, a rigidity, a hardness that can develop.

People can keep vibrantly good mental health into great old age, but only if they maintain their mental fitness. There is no one right way to do this anymore than there is one right way to exercise the body. The only real danger, once again, is to be in denial of this being an issue if it really is a problem because, if there is a conscious choice to remain open to a journey that has no final destination, then the means to remaining young and alive in spirit are as many and varied as the unlimited creativity of life itself!


Tiger Rest & Relaxation

Along with diet and exercise, one of the greatest determinants of health and happiness is how well people are able to rest, relax and sleep.

Tigers do few things by halves, if they're good at rest and sleep then they can be very good, capable of long catch-ups when needed, able to take naps and recharge their batteries at will.

However, if relaxing and sleeping becomes a problem then it tends to be a bad one. They can become dedicated insomniacs and then no amount of natural optimism in the world is going to save them from starting to feel strung out beyond anything remotely reasonable.

The answer for a problem in this area is usually going to be twofold; firstly, get some sure support from Nature as written up in detail here, secondly recognise that the Tiger nature is one that unwinds the internal coil by doing things, not letting it sit there and hoping for the best by bedtime. There is no one right activity that will best help to unwind that tension, each person must find that for themselves, the common ground is that it must be at least somewhat enjoyable i.e. it should feel natural! If anxiety has crept into the picture and is making it simply too difficult to relax, then there are some certain strategies to help that are described in detail here


Tiger Health & Medicine

Health really is our most valuable possession. However, hardly anyone gets the truth of that until they've lost it, at least for a while. Hopefully, what is lost can always be found and, unless a person is born with a problem, then there is every chance they can find a solution for it. Which can happen so long as they see and treat the cause.

This can be the great value of recognising the patterns of our differences via the constitutional approach, which in turn equally ties in with another way of seeing what can help, or obstruct, the self- healing process by understanding that each and every one of us has within us a 'healing cycle' that we move through in the course of our daily lives and that it is always when one part of that cycle is repeatedly blocked or out of balance that we become unable to self-correct what's gone wrong.

The above discussions on nutrition, fitness and rest/relaxation have already gone into material that affects 3 of the 4 stages of the healing cycle, the 4th is about 'cleansing', and it is this area that most often needs some initial attention in a person who has become chronically unwell. Tigers are no exception to this and, even though they may have maintained a clean diet and environment, many show the classic signs of 'encumbrance' when first met. However, with the aid of some sure remedies from Nature, they almost always begin to make rapid progress when this essential part of the healing cycle is given the attention it needs.

If you personally need to delve into this subject further, then the subject of internal cleansing is discussed in more detail here. Likewise, the fascinating and vital subject of the healing cycle is introduced and described further here

I don't want to describe the potential health problems that Tigers are particularly prone to, it would make for a most gloomy list and none of it may ever be personally relevant to you! However, if there is something you are troubled by now, or want to know more about, you can see the health problems I've had positive experience with treating in the A-Z of health conditions found here

On the other hand, I do want to highlight some of the tried and true remedies from Nature that can be of particular help to Tigers if used wisely and when needed.

Many people from the Tiger constitution people can get a great deal of benefit from a course of herbs that treat their liver, in which case such herbs as St Mary's thistle, Celandine and Dandelion can be amongst the best remedies in all of Nature.

When digestion or general health needs an overhaul, they usually respond particularly well to a course of bitter herbs such as Gentian and if things have gone bad in bowel health, then the herb Wormwood has consistently been seen to help.

Remedies such as Chamomile and St John's wort can be of great benefit for their nerves when needed, and when they get health conditions that show a need for systemic tissue cleansing, herbs like Clivers and Red Clover can be invaluable.

Those are just a few examples, so long as it is clearly understood that, at different times and with different problems, any herb may potentially be of help to any constitution, to see what else is particularly well-suited to Tigers there are further patterns shown in the chart on constitutional medicines found here.

Chelidonium majus (Celandine)

~ Tigers: Hotter & Damper

~ Eagles: Hotter & Dryer

~ Elephant/Butterfly: Cooler & Dryer

~ Bears: Cooler & Damper

~ Back to Constitutional Medicine Introduction

~ Working out 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