THE SEVEN NATURAL FACTORS
Standards of Health
Before we can begin to understand and treat disease, which is a deviation from the normal, healthy state of the body, we must first have a clear and definite picture of exactly what constitutes its healthy, normal state. And so, Greek Medicine begins with a study of the Seven Natural Factors, which constitute the standards of health and normalcy for the human organism.
The Four Elements - what the body is made of.
The Four Humors - the metabolic agents of the Four Elements, the proper balance and confluence of which constitutes health, and the imbalance of which constitutes disease.
The Four Temperaments - the qualitative yardsticks by which health and homeostasis, or deviation therefrom, are measured; the basis of constitutional medicine.
The Four Faculties - the basic functions of the organism, and the essential functions of Life.
The Vital Principles - the energies and essences that give life to the organism.
The Organs and Parts - the basic units or components of the body, and how they function.
The Forces, or Administering Virtues - the four principal vectors of all bodily functions.
When all the Seven Natural Factors are working together in a balanced, harmonious manner, there is health and homeostasis. When they aren't working together properly, there is dysfunction and disease. When any one of these Seven Natural Factors or their essential components ceases to function, there is death.