Embrace the Power of Summer with TCM Tips

by Stephanie Hannington-Suen

Summer is the season we've all been waiting for, bringing a relaxed and carefree mood that's a welcome change after long, cold winters. Living in harmony with the changing seasons helps us stay healthy year-round, a core principle of Chinese Medicine. Here are some tips to help you make the most of Summer.

Summer is the most active time of the year, characterized by strong Yang energy. It's associated with:

Element: Fire
Flavor: Bitter
Emotion: Joy
Organ: Heart
Color: Red

Bitter flavors, which are linked to the Heart, help clear excess heat and fire from the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all foods have a temperature, and cooling foods are essential during the hot Summer months. These foods nourish Yin, generate body fluids, reduce toxins, and keep the body cool by clearing heat. This is the perfect (and only) time to incorporate raw and cold foods into your diet. Enjoy fresh fruits, veggies, salads, and smoothies, and make sure to stay hydrated. Adding fresh mint, cucumber, and lemon to your water can provide additional cooling and detoxifying benefits.

Joy is the emotion of Summer, and the color is Red. It's a time to embrace happiness, let go of grudges, and approach everything with laughter and joy. It's also an ideal time to heal emotional wounds.

In TCM, the Heart has crucial functions beyond pumping blood. One of the Heart's key roles is to "House the Shen," which can be thought of as your mind and spirit. The Heart needs a healthy balance of Yin to keep your Shen calm.

Since Summer is the peak of Yang energy, this intense heat and activity can overwhelm the body's Yin, leading to excess heat in the Heart. This can cause the Shen to become agitated, resulting in anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. To balance this hot and active Yang energy, nourish the Yin with our Water collection. With soothing notes of Neroli, Bergamot, and Cedarwood, it helps keep your Shen calm and your spirit at peace.