Living in harmony with the seasons and aligning ourselves with nature and our environment is central to the philosophy of Chinese medicine.
Summer is the most yang time of year, reflected in the long days and heat of the sun. As yang energy is at its height in summertime we naturally need less sleep, going to bed later and rising earlier.
The summer season is linked to the fire element, the emotion of joy and our heart and small intestines. As the heart is seen to house our mind and spirit, emotionally it is associated with our mental stability. The hearts highest expression is love, enthusiasm, warmth in human relationships and our conscious awareness.
To counteract the inherently hot and yang nature of the summer months we need plenty of fluids to keep cool and hydrated. In TCM terms all foods have a temperature and energetic properties so in summer we eat cool, yin foods that are moistening and help to balance the heat.
Summertime is all about abundance as fruits and vegetables abound and crops are harvested during these months. Generally most fruits and vegetables are cooling in nature and eating them raw makes them cooler still. They tend towards the green end of the spectrum – lettuce, cucumbers and watercress being some of the coolest. Eating seasonal, organic foods means we are in sync with the energy of the season – so enjoy some these plus apricots, strawberries, cantaloupes, watermelon, lemons, peaches and oranges while you soak up some sunshine.
Have a great summer x