Have you ever wondered this before? Both your & your friend went to KFC and had the same amount of fried chicken but your friend ended up with a sore throat almost immediately (or within a few hours) after eating KFC, while you felt fine. My colleague, R, talked about a similar incident that happened to her & bf a few days ago. R & her bf went for some spicy noodles and after finishing the meal, her bf immediately complain of itchy/sore throat but R felt absolutely fine herself. What is the cause for this?

The simple explanation is that R’s bf is weaker than R. But this is too simplistic and there is a better way to explain this. The best explanation that I could think of is using the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) concept of human internal heat storage. Think of it like this. Every human has an internal heat storage tank within them. If you can imagine, think of everyone having a bowl within their body (in the stomach, a place we call dan tian). However, this bowl comes with a different size for everyone. Some people has a bigger bowl (a soup bowl), while others has a medium size bowl (a rice bowl) and some has only a tiny cup, instead of a bowl. The idea is, everytime you eat something ‘heaty’, the heat will be stored into this bowl. And when the bowl (or cup) is filled up to the brim, any additional heat you put in will spill out into the body causing symptoms that we termed “heaty symptoms”. Heaty symptoms includes sore throat, acne break-out, skin rashes, neck pain, nerve pain, nose bleed, chest pain, heart palpitation, mouth ulcer, lip swelling causing you to bite them accidentally, etc. Basically, the extra ‘heat’ that you have cannot be stored anywhere in your ‘bowl’ causing it to run amok & tries to ‘get-out’ from your body. These heats will usually go into your nerve stream causing stiffness (chest pain, neck pain, nerve pain, etc) or into your blood stream causing swelling to your blood vessel (lip swelling, nose bleed, acne break-out, heart palpitation, mouth ulcer, etc).

Now, the next question you might have is, why do some people have a bigger bowl size than others? To be honest, I am not sure of this myself but from my observation of those close to me, I do notice one thing. Those who have a bigger heat-bowl size tend to be ‘healthier’ than those who have a smaller heat-bowl size. When I say ‘healthier’, it’s because I noticed they tend not to easily fall sick to minor infection such as fever, seasonal flu, sore throat, etc. When they do get sick, you know that it is a major infection caused by a strong bug. Typically, these are the people that you rarely hear of them complaining “o, I have fever today but I still come to work” and when they do fall sick, it will be a major one (they can’t work), happens very rarely, perhaps only once a year. I think as with our general knowledge of health & immunity, the heat-bowl size has got to do with a couple of reasons below:-

–          DNA. We are born with it.

–          Exercise and a good lifestyle habit (sleeping early, avoiding bad food, no smoking, etc)

–          Building up a tolerance towards good ‘heaty’ food which includes ginger, spices, chilly, herbs, ginseng, etc. And that’s why ancient Chinese & Indian texts advocate the frequent consumption of spices & certain herbs, supposedly to build up our health. On this same reason, I do notice that community that frequently eat chilly (Indonesians) & spices (Indians), somewhat has a bigger heat-bowl than others. And I do believe that generally, they are healthier than Chinese, for example.

I do hope this makes sense to you & helps to explain why seemingly the same amount of ‘heaty’ food (fried chicken, satay, fried rice, durian, potato chips, Chinese heaty herbal soup, etc) affects two people differently. And btw, enough of this crap about the other guy could have had bacteria/pathogen infection while eating the fried chicken, while the bacteria didn’t attack you. I don’t subscribe to this bullshit given by any typical clinic doctor. To them, the only logical explanation to sore throat is bacteria/pathogen infection. How naïve. If you are a doctor & you are reading this, I suggest you build up your knowledge in TCM and incorporate it into the medicine science that you have been taught.