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Tibb Principle: Qualities

Principles in Tibb

The principles in Tibb are an assimilation of the philosophies of Hippocrates, Galen and Ibn Sina. These concepts not only allow for a comprehensive understanding of health promotion, but also provide valuable insights into the causes, pathological processes, management and treatment of illness conditions.


Tibb Principle: Qualities

As previously mentioned in the Tibb principle of “Creation” – everything in the universe is made-up from elements, with corresponding qualities: Earth (Cold & Dry), Water (Cold & Moist), Air (Hot & Moist) and Fire (Hot & Dry). The effect of qualities on human beings, as well as on all living organisms, is an important consideration in the philosophy of Tibb.

According to Tibb philosophy the qualities of heat and coldness are active qualities whereas moistness and dryness have passive qualities. To understand the influence that these qualities have on us it is necessary to understand the interaction of qualities in nature.

Their interaction in nature is shown below, where the quality of heat is opposite to the quality of coldness and moistness opposite to the quality of dryness:

Tibb Principle: Qualities 1 tibb principle: qualities - Chart cross - Tibb Principle: Qualities
Opposing qualities cannot exist simultaneously.
Nothing can be Hot & Cold at the same time, nor Moist & Dry at the same time.

There is always a gradual transition between opposing qualities – there is no rapid change from one extreme to another. For example, the cold of winter is never followed by the heat of summer. Nature ensures a gradual transition between opposite qualities, so minimising the negative effects of sudden change to plants, animal and man.

This results in intermediate states of Hot & Moist, Cold & Moist, Cold & Dry, Hot & Dry. 

Tibb Principle: Qualities 2 tibb principle: qualities - chart 4 - Tibb Principle: Qualities

Without the technology of today Tibb philosophers devised imaginative ways of interpreting information in a rationale, logical and systematic way. As qualities is used to describe the Tibb principles of Creation/Temperament, Humours, Lifestyle Factors and Illness Conditions, qualities enabled Tibb philosophers to understand and interpret health and disease in a simple and effective manner for thousands of years. In Tibb philosophy qualities form the basis of interpreting aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment.

This is elaborated on in the Tibb principles of Temperament, Humours, Lifestyle Factors and Illness Conditions.