The theory of constitutions is the basis on which homeopathic therapy rests, understood not only as a cure but also as a prevention
An adequate diet, therefore connected precisely to the constitutional characteristics of the subject under consideration, represents in this sense the best way for a serious health prevention intervention.
By constitution of a human being must be understood the set of morphological and metabolic-functional (physiological) characters, mainly linked to heredity, which differentiate from each other, mainly in the external appearance, the individual. The classification adopted in homeopathy is that of Nebel. It, at least initially, recognizes the existence of three main models (carbonic, phosphoric and fluoric) which later will approach a reference constitution (sulfuric). Let’s start talking about this.
The sulfuric constitution corresponds to the best metabolic-functional balance to which any individual can aspire, and so, even on the external level, and since childhood, the sulfuric subject will be characterized by an evident harmony of the individual parts of the body and the anatomical relationships between them.
The awareness of their own abilities, often compared to the indecision and indeterminacy of subjects belonging to the other constitutions, however, push the sulfuric subjects to appropriate prematurely what they feel instinctively attracted to, often pushing them towards an attitude led to prevaricate others and, consequently, marked by overcoming the healthy limits imposed on them by nature, behaviors that end up over time to make the sulfuric an impulsive and impatient, and for this reason often led to uncontrollable outbursts of anger.
From the pathological point of view, the first manifestations of the functional imbalance of this constitution have on the skin and on the most superficial emuntory organs (upper respiratory tract) their main localizations: the skin will therefore undergo reactive processes, almost always violent, characterized by periodic dermatitis (including different forms of urticaria), often also with a suppurative tendency (furunculosis and pustular acne), while extremely frequent, in this constitution will be allergic manifestations, and in particular those involving the most superficial mucous membranes (rhinoconjunctivitis), as well as spasmodic manifestations of the gastrointestinal tract.
In relation to the main hygienic-dietary measures to be followed, in order to delay the pathological progression of the subjects belonging to this constitution, the most important will be those aimed at encouraging first of all the performance of regular physical activity – possibly also of a competitive nature – and to pay particular attention, in the diet, to the restriction of foods (animals) with higher protein content, with the simultaneous limitation of simple sugars in favor of more complex ones (containing starch) and therefore slower absorption (also defined as low glycemic index).
For these subjects, in other words, the Mediterranean food model will certainly be the most suitable, as it is characterized by the frequent replacement of animal-derived fats with vegetable foods and fish, the latter (blue fish and salmonoids in particular), rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega 3 series; among foods containing sugars, on the other hand, whole grains (bread and pasta) will be preferred and, as already mentioned, all those with a lower glycemic index (among the complex carbohydrates legumes, among the simple ones skimmed milk and fruit, with the exception of bananas, figs, grapes and persimmons).
If followed correctly, and over time, this diet will be able to delay the appearance of those metabolic diseases (dyslipidemia, arterial hypertension on an arteriosclerotic basis and diabetes) to which the subjects of this constitution are more easily destined.
The external appearance and temperament of the carbonic subject are inevitably affected by the particular endocrine structure, characterized by a reduced thyroid and pituitary-genital function, the latter responsible for numerous cases of delayed pubertal growth typical of adolescence. To these glandular aspects, we add a prevalence of the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system (subjects tending to vagotonic) over the orthosympathetic one, able to justify, also, the particular temperament of the balanced carbonic, very different from that of the sulfuric biotype: since childhood, in fact, the carbonic subject appears calm and diligent, his lower efficiency and physical resourcefulness, however, compared to children of sulfuric constitution, it leads him to develop a certain insecurity, which will compensate with a greater attachment to parents, and a hypertrophy of the conservation instinct, mainly linked to nutrition.
The pathologies that most easily meet the subjects of this constitutional class will be, therefore, precisely those related to overeating: overweight and obesity, in particular, will often determine a resistance to the peripheral action of insulin, the hormone responsible for favoring the entry of sugar into the cells, with the consequent appearance of a progressive carbohydrate intolerance (elevation of blood glucose levels fasting and after meals) that over time may be able to hesitate in a frank diabetes; on the other hand, the low propensity to perform physical activity (which in itself has an insulin-like action, thus tending to lower blood glucose levels), will also facilitate the appearance of osteoarticular arthritic and / or osteoporotic manifestations.
In order to prevent the development of these diseases, the most important advice to be given to these subjects, on the food plans will be to limit the intake of foods with a high glycemic index and animal fats in particular, favoring a diet with a higher protein content, but where this nutrient principle comes mainly from vegetable foods (dried legumes and soy) and from animal foods with a lower content of cholesterol and saturated fats (white meat and fish).
The replacement of the common table salt with iodized salt is useful, both to keep thyroid function more active, and to prevent the risks of hypertension resulting from atherosclerosis.
Since it is not uncommon to associate high blood sugar with high levels of triglycerides in the blood, if there is actually this risk, it will be even more important to recommend extreme caution in the ingestion of soluble sugars, contained in particular in pastry products (cakes, candies, ice cream, etc.), to be consumed if anything, in moderate quantities, always at the end of a meal, and never dissolved in aqueous or hydroalcoholic liquid; it will also be necessary to exclude almost totally alcohol (wine, beer and aperitifs) and spirits in particular (digestives, liqueurs, etc.).
With regard to physical activity, it will be useful to encourage carbonic subjects towards an initially regular but moderate activity, which however provides for periodic exceedances of their limits, so as to progressively strengthen their degree of self-esteem. Only at a more advanced stage will it be useful to push the subjects belonging to this category also towards a competitive type of activity with third parties.
The inherited metabolic-functional structure, which supports the subjects of this constitution, is dominated by an evident neurodystonia, which conditions phases of sympathotonia, with a hyperthyroid and hypergenital attitude, alternating with phases of vagotonic prevalence, with depression of thyroid and genital function, and hypoadrenalism.
From the pathological point of view, the most recurrent aspects of this constitution are the tendency to slimming and demineralization, respiratory tract diseases, and a certain vulnerability of thyroid function. The metabolic-functional character, previously described, accounts for other aspects of this constitution, such as orthostatic hypotension which, associated with a certain degree of iron deficiency anemia – conditioned precisely by demineralization – gives an account of the recurrent feeling of fatigue typical of these subjects.
Precisely because of their underlying weakness, conditioned by the relative deficiency of mineral salts, the affections that affect phosphorics will never be extremely violent in their onset and in their manifestations, compared at least with those of sulfuric, but will present a torpid and prolonged trend, which will make these subjects count as perpetually sickly.
The dietary prophylaxis measures will be intended above all to restore, or preserve, an optimal level of mineral salts, through a diet where meat foods and fish predominate (due to the greater bioavailability of the ferrous element) all vegetables and fruits, particularly rich in trace elements, milk and dairy products, which still ensure the greatest organic intake of the phosphoric element.
If among the fruits, then, bananas are certainly not advisable to carbonic and sulfuric subjects, for their high content in soluble sugars, with a high glycemic index, they are instead to those who belong to this constitution, for the high content in phosphorus, iron, calcium and potassium; these last two trace elements are also present in other foods with a high caloric content – and therefore always indicated in this constitution – such as chestnuts, almonds and pistachios for potassium, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts for calcium.
The recommended physical activity must take into account on the one hand the bone, ligamentous and muscular scaffolding constitutionally deficient and, on the other hand, the ease of discouragement and introversion, typical of phosphorics: they will therefore find indication, at least initially, moderate activities or that exalt, in any case, the natural elegance in the posture (dance and rhythmic gymnastics in particular), supported by a pedagogical attitude that aims to encourage the subject and not to prick him brutally.