The end of summer is in full swing and we are at a place of late summer heat. I wanted to offer our followers some seasonal maintenance tips to ensure the highest level of functionality during these later summer days where the humidity and heat of summer can be over bearing. Without further a due, here are four ways to extinguish summer heat.
1. Slice up some organic lemons or limes and place them in your water bottle. Add a few pinches of high quality sea salt, and some trace mineral drops. To make a powerfully detoxing and delicious lemonade add some organic liquid stevia or xylitol. Drink this all throughout the day in regular intervals.
Why this is useful: Salt is associated with and hones to the kidney channel in Chinese medicine. Adding sea salt not only ionically restructures your water to be more hydrating so you retain more of it, instead of urinating it out, but it also helps maintain regular bowel movements and adrenal function which equates to a cleaner system, more energy, and higher functioning metabolism! Dehydration stresses the heart and impairs the kidneys ability to maintain the correct level of fluids and balance of electrolytes due to the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS), which also influences blood pressure regulation. Electrolytes are charged elements that are present in the minerals potassium, sodium, phosphorous and chloride, essential for the normal function of every cell in the body. By salting your water you are meeting your body’s electrolyte needs, replacing anything that is lost during sweating and also encouraging the prevention of junk food cravings.
2. Reishi Spore Oil is the quintessential herb to nourish the heart qi and blood, as well as support the lung qi which is tremendously taxed during the late summer season due to sweat and exertion. Because blood is considered the most yin substance in the body a deficiency of blood can exacerbate or invoke yin deficiency. Spore oil capsules are ideal because they are quick and easy and can be taken with morning coffee or tea while invoking maximum potency. Although not commonly spoken of as a yin substance, due to it’s categorization of calm the spirit (AKA chill the F*CK out!) The fatty lipid oils of the Reishi mushroom are some of the most yin nourishing substances on the planet.
Why this is useful: Spore oil will regulate the immune system which should always be a top priority during any season and also combats allergies, fatigue, insomnia, and emotional distress. Health is about happiness. Every pathology or symptom is somewhat experienced through the heart on an emotional level. Reishi spore oil targets the heart, and the heart channel, providing emotional stability, a calmer more relaxed nervous system and therefore, a much stronger ability to hold a stronger frame and handle challenges which arise throughout the day. Because of the sweating involved during this time of year, and tendency of heat to rise commonly associated with “harassing the heart” in TCM, Reishi spore oil is an ensured way to prolong the health of the heart and therefore the mind. Lastly, Reishi nourishes three yin channels in total including the heart, lung, and liver and is timelessly and continuously referenced both in medicinal texts and modern times as an intelligence enhancer. Because of the peak yang activity and heat happening during this summer season, using a substance which encourages a calmer yin energy to be present such as Reishi spore oil, perfectly counter balances the body on an energetic level.
3. Traditionally in Chinese medicine, watermelon, known as “Xi Gua” was used as an herb to combat the symptoms of summer heat. Summer heat symptoms, which include thirst without desire to drink, band-like headache, nausea, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, low motivation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature, sticky sweat, surging pulse, and red tongue with thick white or yellow coating. Its mechanism of action was to drain heat through urination connecting with the heart, stomach and bladder channels, while nourishing the yin through replenishment of fluids.
If you have access to seeded watermelons which are grown through organic or natural means eating some of this during this time is extremely nourishing to the yin energy while being cooling and draining of excess heat via urination.
Unfortunately, due to the large amount of GMO watermelon and non seeded watermelons, which are essentially sugar filled chemical sacs, it may be better in most cases to get a cucumber/celery juice and add apple or pear if you want some extra sweetness, which will accomplish a similar medicinal effect.
Why this is useful: In Chinese medicine symptoms are viewed as an imbalance between yin/yang, hot/cold, excess/deficiency, and interior versus exterior factors. Summer heat is an obvious imbalance of interior, excess heat, categorized as a yang pathogen, which, due to its yang nature consumes fluids damaging or depleting the yin. High watery fruits and vegetables especially cucumbers, watermelons, and citrus fruits, drain excess heat through urination. They are also naturally hydrating and come with their own selection of minerals and vitamins. These are very “yin type” foods which we are trying to nourish while also draining heat which may have accumulated in the body.
4. During the evening, get a large bowl and soak your feet in warm water with epsom salt up to the level of the acupuncture point Spleen 6. This is roughly 3 inches or thumb widths above your medial malleolus (the boney most prominent, protruding aspect of your inner ankle)
Why this is useful: This nourishes the yin energy, and reverses the natural tendency of yang to rise to the head pulling it back into the feet, thus, preventing insomnia, manic behavior, irritability, red/dry eyes and headaches. Spleen 6 is the meeting point of the three yin channels of the leg, (Spleen, Liver, Kidney.) Thus, it is considered one of the most yin nourishing points on the entire body! The yin energy roots the yang, whereas the yang moves the yin. Therefore, when our yin energy is burned due to excessive activity without adequate rest and hotter weather, we are at a higher likelihood for burnout phenomenon. In addition, this is incredibly relaxing and soothing. An optional addition to this would be to add some lavender essential oil drops and chamomile tea to the foot soak, which would only further enhance its relaxation and therapeutic qualities.
Stay cool and enjoy the rest of summer!