With heat and more heat on the way due to climate change, this will undoubtedly bring about more cases of people suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So what can we do to prevent it from an oriental medicine perspective? Food is always the first line of defense, so let’s take a look at some yang reducing foods in summer.
For protection against, and for treatment of summer heat symptoms use: lemon, apple, watermelon, cantaloupe melon, papaya, pineapple, mung beans, summer squash, zucchini and cucumber.
For heat stroke use radish juice, bitter melon soup, or watermelon juice.
Mung beans are particularly beneficial in the heat of summer as they are cooling in energy, produce yin fluids, in particular for the liver, and reduce damp heat signs. Sweet in flavor, mung beans detoxify the body, are a diuretic and reduce swelling. Mung bean soup may be consumed for treating inflamed skin outbreaks, thirst, restlessness, high blood pressure and urinary problems accompanied by excess heat signs. Mung beans originate from India but have become a part of Chinese therapeutic cuisine, as well as being commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. They can be cooked with Indian spices, with basmati rice in the form of a kichadee, in soup, cooked or sprouted in salads, and are now available from Chinese grocers and some Western supermarkets in the form of noodles.
Although dry ginger in excess can add heat to the body, it is a popular first-aid remedy in Ayurveda for heat stroke when combined with lime juice and sugar, or salt, according to ayurvedic Dr Robert E Svoboda.
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