In Japan, a traditional summer illness is natsubate, summer fatigue, and the traditional way of relieving symptoms is to eat eel for "stamina". Is there any science behind this tradition?

  • 8
    Perhaps the first question should be "Is summer fatigue an illness recognised by the medical professional?" – Oddthinking Jul 17 '13 at 6:16
  • @Oddthinking It's probably a feeling kanannie.com/tag/natsubate – Dr. belisarius Jul 17 '13 at 21:57
  • I think it is a syndrome recognised by at least nutritionists. Searching Japanese academic online library catalogue, I found 178 matches, although the first page had a couple of false matches and general texts like cookery books along with perhaps relevant texts. I'm aware that katakori, stiff shoulders, is a real complaint but perhaps a learnt response to stress, the Japanese equivalent of a knotted stomach. – Ken Y-N Jul 18 '13 at 0:03
  • @KenY-N Asking whether katakori is real, and whether generally only Japanese people suffer from it, would be an interesting question for skeptics.SE. – Andrew Grimm Jul 18 '13 at 3:21
  • @AndrewGrimm, this paper describes katakori as a somatic response to depression (not stress as I mistakenly said above) - if you think it is insufficient, I could post a question, though. My own anecdote is taking the company (I live in Japan) annual check-up one year, which includes a neck and shoulder muscle check, and the doctor making a comment to me about being unable to find any knotted muscles, and he was quite surprised when I said I have never suffered from it. – Ken Y-N Jul 18 '13 at 4:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .