“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”
~ Roman Payne
However according to the East Asian lunisolar calendar, the beginning of summer, also known as Li Xia , happens 45 days before summer solstice.
SUMMER ACCORDING TO CHINESE MEDICINE
Fire represents a radiant, life-sustaining energy and is emotionally related to joy. When your fire is balanced, you feel a warm and joyous energy during summer.
A well-tended fire allows you to blossom and illuminate. However when you are out-of-sync with the energy of summer, this fire can take a wrong turn.
Too little or too much fire can manifest as depleted energy, anger, dehydration, disturbed spirits, increased infections, and sleeplessness. Seasonal affective disorder can also happen during summer.
The ancient Chinese observed and noted this seasonal phenomenon. They developed practical methods to counteract the negative effects of this seasonal transition. If your fire element is not burning right this summer, we have the tips to help.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CHAOTIC SUMMER FIRE
1. SLEEP IN A DARK SPACE
If your drapery in your bedroom is inadequate, consider a pair of silk eyeshades. It’s also good to take short naps during the longer days of summer, and rise earlier to catch the cool morning light.
2. WATCH OUT FOR EXCESSIVE SWEATING
Sweat belongs to the fluids of the heart according to Chinese Medicine theory and excessive sweating damages your heart's yin energy. How does this damage manifest? Other than dehydration, you might start feeling restless and have trouble getting a full night's rest. Workout to a mild sweat and make sure to hydrate adequately.
3. EAT LIGHT
This is the season to indulge in summer crops. Cool off from summer heat with melons and stone fruit that are packed with flavors and juice. If you have excessive heat going on (thirst, irritability), it might be a good idea to add bitter-tasting vegetables such as arugula, watercress, and bitter melon to your diet. Try a cucumber and herb sandwich to keep things light and fresh.
4. AVOID DRAFTS AND REDUCE USE OF AC
As much as the cool air feels so refreshing on a hot and muggy day, prolonged exposure to air-conditioning can lead to headaches, dry skin, respiratory issues and general malaise. If you are often indoors, ensure your carpeting and drapery is clean, and invite plenty of fresh air into the room.
5. REFRAIN FROM ANGER
Anger generates more heat, instead take the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and compassion towards yourself and others. If you encounter a situation where you’re likely to blow up when speaking up, say nothing at all. “Silence is sometimes the best answer.” - Dalai Lama. If mindfulness is not enough, try these 11 methods to deal with anger.
SUMMER FOODS TO EAT
In China it’s customary to celebrate summer with cooling foods such as cold noodles, wontons, rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and dishes made with summer produce such as lotus root, watermelon radishes, bitter melons, celery, plums, cucumbers, enoki mushrooms, wild rice, string beans, jicama, water chestnuts, and aromatic herbs.
COOLING TEAS FOR SUMMERHere are some of our favorite teas to invigorate your heart and spirits this summer:
Add a small handful of herbs as needed in hot water, steep for 5 minutes, take a deep breath, enjoy!
Mint + Licorice Root
Ginger + Lime
MUNG BEAN SOUP
We love mung beans as a simple medicinal food to quell summer heat. It’s packed with nutrients, great for detoxification, inexpensive, easy to find and make.
SAVORY MUNG BEAN SOUP
|Mung Beans (Soaked)||1 cup|
|Tumeric||¼ tsp (1 pinch)|
|Sea Salt||1 tsp (to taste)|
SWEET MUNG BEAN SOUP
|Mung Beans (Soaked)||1 cup|
|Lotus Seeds (Soaked)||¼ cup|
|Sucanat/ Coconut Sugar||2 tbsp (to taste)|
In addition to mung beans, this sweet recipe also calls for soaked lotus seeds. The ratio of lotus seeds to mung beans should be 1:4. Be sure to remove the center sprout from lotus seeds after soaking, otherwise you will be eating bitter soup.
Place mung beans, lotus seeds, and water into a stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes or until beans are soft. Add sugar to taste, we prefer sucanat or coconut sugar for the minerals and micronutrients.
Chilled sweet mung bean soup is super delicious on a hot summer day. Soup will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.