Cool Down in the Summer with these Quick Tips

health tips for summer

In Chinese Medicine every season is related to an element and an organ system. The season of summer is related to the fire element and the heart and small intestine systems. The energy of the fire element is represented through the symbols of the glowing sun and the open flower. This season and element is related to growth, full expansion, and creativity.

In Chinese Medicine the main function of the heart and the fire element is to pump blood throughout the body and is related to mental activity, emotional well-being, and consciousness. If the fire element is out of balance we may have a scattered mind, depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor circulation, excess or no laughter, sweating issues, speech problems, palpitations or heartburn. When this element is balanced the heart is strong and the mind is calm.

The fire element inspires us to...

The fire element and its related organ systems are related to awareness, inspiration, insight and relationship issues. Use this time of year as an opportunity to connect with others while maintaining healthy boundaries in relationship. The summer and the fire element has powerful heightened energy available and so its a wonderful time to live in alignment with your true nature, expand your energy, and be creative. Summer is a time for expression and play - enjoy!

Food preparation:

Summer offers abundance when it comes to food choices. Choose a variety of colors and take joy in preparing meals. Eating lighter foods and adding more water is appropriate as well. Over-eating can lead to an especially congested system in the summer months so limit heavy or salty foods such as meats, eggs, excess nuts, seeds, and too many grains.

During this season add pungent foods and cooling fresh foods such as salads, sprouts, tofu, cucumber, flower teas (chrysanthemum), mint, chamomile, apples, watermelon, lemons, limes, most vegetables, and most fish and seafood. But be careful not to use too much raw or cold food. This will actually "cool" your digestion especially if you have weak digestion and/or bowel inflammation.

You can also add more dispersing foods such as red and green peppers, cayenne, black pepper, fresh ginger, and horseradish. These foods help to cool us down even though they are actually considered "hot" if used in moderation.