Chinese medicine tips for Summer

Summer is here!

Sharon Chinese Medicine

According to our calendar, today is the first day of summer! All things beach, long days and the great Australian Christmas holiday are just around the corner. And here in Perth? Hot days, lots of hot days. The truth is though, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, summer already started last month, on Friday 8th November. That’s when things really began to feel like summer!

As I mentioned once before, I believe the Farmer’s Almanac is a day out here in Perth – and if you look back on our weather, you will see that Saturday 9th November was our first really hot day (39c) of the season.

Chinese medicine and the summer months

Every season has it’s own unique qualities according to Chinese medicine, which provide guidelines for exercise, food and lifestyle choices. In summer, the particular colour to take note of is red, the organ involved is the heart and the taste associated with summer is bitterness. If your emotions are balanced, this is a time for joy and love, however an imbalanced Heart organ will show up in summer with increased anxiety and despair.

What sort of foods should I be eating?

Given that red and bitterness are the colour and taste for summer, start there. For example, most red foods are good in summer – watermelons, capsicums, tomatoes, strawberries. Double points for strawberries, they are red and in the shape of a heart! In order to make sure you clear off heat and any chance of damp building up, also eat spicy things, chillies are good.

Bitter foods are important here also; think rhubarb, dark chocolate, coffee – yes, just a little bit of coffee is ok – add bitters into soda water for a nice refreshing drink in summer.

It is also important to remember that consuming cold foods can be detrimental to your digestive health. Drinking an icy cold drink damages your digestion and may cause more heat – the very thing you want to avoid in summer. If you like salads in summer, eat them sparingly and try to add cooked foods to the salad, or have it warm.

What sort of exercise should I be doing?

Shake and clap your hands. This sounds odd, but work with me here. In summer, the organ involved is the Heart, which is also paired with the Small Intestine channel, the Pericardium channel and the San Jiao channel. These channels all start or end on the hands, so vigorous shaking and clapping for a little minute or so really gets things flowing!

Summer is the time to play, laugh and enjoy life. Take things a little more easy, stay up a little later, enjoy the company of friends and play outside with the kids for just that little bit longer.