Summer has arrived! This season is a natural time for expansion, growth and creativity. As the days lengthen and the sun strengthens, the luxurious bounties of the world enter and enliven us!

Just as in nature, summer is a time to express our yang qualities through self-expression, joyfulness and outward activities.

However, too much heat, sun and joy can also be harmful. Heat and sun burn & scorch and can be drying. In high humidity, we are also open to pathogens such as damp heat.

Symptoms of pathogenic damp heat:

feelings of heaviness
dizziness
stifling sensation in the chest
nausea
poor appetite
loose stools
general lassitude
fever
restlessness
thirst

Damp heat disease states:

inflammation
allergies (especially food allergies)
high blood sugar
weight gain
urinary tract infections
bowel disorders
eczema
and more...

"When the heart is serene, pain is negligible"
~Inner Classic

In Chinese Medicine, summer is a time to support our heart and small intestines. The heart governs the blood and houses the mind. Thus it is a time to clarify the spirit and a establish a strong, calm and clear mind, which promotes more efficient healing of all organ systems.

Calming and focusing the mind and balancing the spirit is essential to all of life and health. Practices such as meditation, awareness exercises, prayer, affirmations, silent contemplation, creativity and a balanced diet with light fasting can help us achieve deep inner peace - a good basis for health.

cooling summer recipes

Enjoy these delicious, fresh, cooling summer delights!
Chilled Cucumber Soup
Chilled Watermelon & Cilantro Soup
Mung Bean Soup
Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Kamut Salad with Apples and Mint
Baked Tofu with Lemon Sauce
 

Chill out!

In Summer there is expansion, growth, lightness, outward energies, brightness, and creativity. To be in harmony with the season here are some ideas:
laugh
awaken early morning
work, play
be creative
travel
be joyful
eat lightly

Summer: a TCM view

Summer is the ideal time for mental clarity, spiritual balance and creative energies.
Element: Fire
Organs: Heart/Small Intestine
Color: Red/Pink
Nature: Yang
Emotion: Joy
Tastes: Bitter

Don't get burned!

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General symptoms of a Heart-Mind Imbalance

scattered & confused mind
excess or no laughter
ruddy or very pale face
speech problems
depression
mental illness
loss of memory
poor circulation
weak spirit
aversion to heat
Seasonal acupuncture treatments 4 times/yr can serve to tonify inner organ systems to can correct minor annoyances before they become serious issues.

Summer foods

Diet is key for good health. Here are some healthful foods for the summer season:
watermelon
mung beans
tofu, sprouts
mint, chamomile
catnip, skullcap
chrysanthemum tea
cooled beverages
dill, basil
seaweeds
seasonal fruits
salads
cucumbers
apples, limes, lemons

A Heated Discussion

Cancerous kebabs?
Just what is lurking in your shipudim?

Tips on safe summer grilling

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