What Is Body Dampness? These 3 Ingredients May Help Prevent It

Written by Claire Hannum

Updated on September 1, 2023

Does your gut, brain, or energy feel “off”?

The issue at hand may be something called dampness. And we’re not talking about clothes getting damp in the rain. We’re talking about dampness inside the body.

Read on to learn what it is, what causes it, and how to reverse it naturally...

Table Of Contents

What Does Dampness Mean?

The idea of “dampness” in the body originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and can result in digestive issues, a lack of energy, brain fog, and more (1).

Dampness arises when the body retains water. According to TCM, moisture and humidity can collect in the body and make you feel weighed down. It’s like experiencing the downsides of a hot, humid day, but within your body rather than outside.

This water retention happens for one of three reasons: 1) Being too sedentary, 2) Having digestive issues related to the spleen (which controls your body’s fluids), or 3) Eating too many foods that contribute to dampness.

Excess dampness in the body often results in the buildup of phlegm, mucus, and candida (a type of fungus). And when left untreated, physical ailments can arise (think: congestion, indigestion, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, leaky gut, and more).

Symptoms of Body Dampness

The symptoms of dampness are similar to symptoms of exhaustion, burnout, and other lifestyle stressors:

  • Achy joints
  • Brain fog
  • Changes to your weight
  • Digestive issues
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of motivation or vitality
  • Phlegm
  • Sinus pain or pressure
Brunette haired woman in bed suffering from brain fog and loss of motivation.

Foods That May Cause Dampness

Many of the foods that contribute to body dampness have a moist, phlegmy texture. Like…

  • Dairy (2)
  • Egg whites
  • Tofu
  • Oils
  • Fats
  • Bananas
  • Avocados

And other common foods like…

  • Fried or greasy food
  • Refined sugar (3)
  • Wheat products
  • White flour products
  • Dried fruit
  • Spicy peppers
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Raw vegetables and vegetable juices
  • Salads
  • Fermented foods, in excess
  • Pork
  • Cold beverages
  • Alcohol

Beyond these trigger foods, overeating can contribute to body dampness as well. Curbing overeating doesn’t mean trimming your meals to unsustainably small sizes. Instead, practice listening to your body, enjoying every bite of what you eat, and stopping when you’re full.

Foods That Help Reduce Dampness

The following list of foods helps manage dampness in the body…

  • Fruits like lemons, plums, pears, cherries, grapefruit, pumpkin, and squash
  • Vegetables like asparagus, celery, carrots, onions, and garlic
  • Root vegetables like radishes
  • Starchy vegetables like corn
  • Legumes like peas, chickpeas, and beans
  • Meats like pasture-raised chicken, grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and tuna
  • Bone broth
  • Grains like barley, rice, and oats
  • Nuts like walnuts

In addition to the foods above, the following herbs can ease body dampness, too…

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Orange peel
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

NativeTip: Opt for several small portions throughout the day rather than a few large meals (4). This may help your digestive system stay more regular and process moisture more easily.

Supplements to Help Fight Dampness in the Body

Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that when it comes to fighting dampness in the body, your diet makes a difference. There are certain foods that can help you tackle dampness, but the most powerful diet change you can make is adding certain supplements to your routine…

1. Probiotics

Probiotics consist of billions of tiny microorganisms or “good bacteria.” Probiotics help regulate the digestive system, which may help prevent moisture from accumulating in your gut (5). You can find probiotics in certain foods, but the easiest way to ensure that you’re getting enough is through a quality probiotic supplement.

A bottle of NativePath Probiotic with 3 capsules next to it.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is lauded for its benefits as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory—helping to aid in circulation while offering other health benefits (6). In the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, turmeric is considered a warming spice, which means that it’s believed to help clear dampness. If you take turmeric as a supplement, make sure the capsules also include black pepper to help activate the turmeric’s benefits.

Bottle of NativePath Total Turmeric with 3 capsules next to it

3. Protein

Protein plays dozens of important roles in the body, including balancing fluids and aiding in digestion (789). This may help keep food and energy moving throughout your digestive system, which could help ward off stagnant moisture in the body. One great way to ensure you’re getting enough protein daily is with a supplement like NativePath Collagen Powder. In addition to the basic proteins you need, you’ll be getting a daily dose of collagen to support healthy skin, hair, and joints!

Hand stirring a scoop of NativePath Grass-Fed Collagen Powder into a cup of black coffee.

The Bottom Line

Dampness in the body doesn’t need to slow you down for long. A combination of healthy eating, purposeful exercise, and supplementing with healthy natural ingredients can get you on the right track to a balanced body. Try adding probioticsturmeric, and collagen protein powder to your daily routine to swiftly and simply reduce body dampness.

Claire Hannum
Article by

Claire Hannum

Claire Hannum is a New York City-based writer, editor, wellness seeker, and reiki practitioner. Her writing has appeared in Self, Health, Prevention, and over a dozen other publications.

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NativePath has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

    Medical Disclaimer

    This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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