Summer and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Summer is normally the time of year that is most yang. High yang means heat, maximum activity, and moving outward with our lives and into nature. In Chicago we’re still waiting for our ‘high yang’ summer, as it’s been quite rainy and cool. However it’s June! So I’m going to write a bit about how this season is perceived in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In TCM, every season has an element associated with it. Fire is the element of summer.
This includes many other connections to Summer, the fire element and Chinese medicine:
*The color red
*The emotion of joy
*Bitter tasting foods
*The body organs are the heart, small intestine and it relates to the tongue.
When the fire element is in balance, your heart is strong and healthy, your mind is calm and your sleep is sound. On the other hand, when the fire element is not balanced, you may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (mania).
Because summer is the hottest season, to balance the heat, you need a diet that is cooling. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great choices.
Examples of cooling foods include: watermelon, strawberries, asparagus, sprouts, corn, cucumber, spinach, and mint. Summer is a poor time to overdo spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine because all of these foods heat you up rather than cool you down.