|photo by Alvesgaspar|
Summer Solstice is on June 21. This officially represents the beginning of Summer, a time for being outdoors, picnics and barbecues, swimming, vacation, laughing and soaking up the sun. So what does Summer mean in Oriental medicine? To stay healthy we must make the same transitions that nature makes. Spring was a season of beginning and sprouting; Summer is for growing and being prosperous. The Nei Jing, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, states that the energy of the sky merges with the energy of the Earth during the summer, thus yang (hot) energy grows rapidly in the universe while yin (cold) energy diminishes. Now is the season for getting up early, like the sun, and going to bed late to help yang energy to grow. It’s a time to consume more fluids by enjoying the yin cooling qi of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cook instinctively, choosing colorful food from a wide variety; prepare light foods, sauteing, steaming and simmering them as quickly as possible and eating raw salads. On a hot day add a touch of spice with hot peppers, fresh ginger, horseradish and black pepper to release excess body heat, providing a natural form of air conditioning. To be more comfortable, drink hot liquids and take warm showers to disperse the heat out of the body.