Summer is my favorite season – farmers markets, warm weather, swimming, and everyone is just happier (I think it’s all of the festivals and sun – wakes us up from the chill of winter). According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Summer is the season of energy and life. It is associated with the Fire element, which is associated with the heart, small intestines, and tongue. As much as I love summer, this season can also come with health concerns, such as excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation, and heart palpitations. What can you do to help with these summer health concerns? Eat cool foods, of course.
Cooling foods, like lettuce, cucumbers, and strawberries, clear heat and toxins in the body; thus, cooling and calming the blood and nourishing your yin. If you know me, then you’ve heard me say, “Eat according to the season.” One of the easiest ways to do that is to belong to a coop or shop at your local farmers market. Sourcing your food locally is excellent for your health and supports your local environment.
Keep in mind: though raw foods, like salads, are good for cooling down your body, they take more energy for your body to process. Hence, if you have digestion problems, slightly stir-fry or sauté your veggies. Balancing raw foods with hot foods is a good way to follow a moderate eating plan and is good for your well-being.
Another function of Fire is to circulate oxygen-rich blood to your whole body. Hence, getting your heart pumping keeps it strong. Take advantage of the Summer – be active outside! But, remember to have fun doing so!
Happy July 4th, everyone!
One last thought: when you do get hot this summer, try these great drinks.
Cucumber Water (good for your skin)
1 cucumber sliced
4 stalks of celery
1 lime, sliced
Watermelon rind (a few if you can get some)
Soak all of the ingredients overnight in a pitcher of water in the fridge, and enjoy! You can eat the ingredients or toss them. Do not leave the veggies and fruits in the water too long; it will make the water a bit bitter.
Cold Chrysanthemum Tea (helps prevent sunstroke and clears heat from your body, which is great for alleviating urinary tract infections)
60 - 80 White Chrysanthemum Flowers (http://www.enjoyingtea.com/imwhitchryst.html or https://www.mayway.com/store/product.do?productId=1079)
Rock sugar (candy) or honey (if you want it sweetened) (no sweeteners if you are using for UTI issues)
4 liters of water
1. Wash the chrysanthemum
2. Pour in 4 liters of water and bring it to boiling
3. Reduce heat and add chrysanthemum into a cooking pot
4. Continue to cook for 10 minutes and add in rock sugar or honey
5. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to seep for another ten
6. Remove pot from the heat and let tea cool to room temperature
7. Strain the tea and refrigerator
8. Serve the tea chilled