Vaccinated and ready to make up for 2020, we’re on the cusp of the summer we’ve been waiting for. This year, summer officially starts on June 20, but it feels like it’s already here. The hot summer months can take a toll on our bodies so it's important to adapt our diet and lifestyle to stay healthy and emotionally balanced. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each season is associated with a color, element, bodily organ, emotion, and energy, which guide the recommendations for a healthy life. Follow the tips below to live in sync with the season of growth and joy.
Color: red | Element: fire
Summer's TCM color is red and the element is fire, symbolizing the hot weather, longer hours of daylight, and increased social and creative activities. TCM recommends modifying your lifestyle by waking up earlier when it’s cooler, resting at midday to avoid excessive heat, and going to bed later when your body temperature has naturally decreased. Black tea will support this adjustment as it provides a healthy and gentle amount of caffeine to energize you throughout the day without keeping you up at night.
In TCM, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element. Therefore, summer is the season to focus on uplifting your heart and mind. When the heart is healthy, blood circulation is improved and your small intestines are able to properly break down food. According to TCM, signs of an imbalanced heart include insomnia, excessive sweating, irritability, and anxiety. Drink oolong tea for your heart as it lowers cholesterol and it's also full of antioxidants that inhibit excess glucose absorption in the small intestines.
Image: instagram @josephinejeh
TCM defines joy as a healthy fire that nourishes the heart. Summer is naturally a great time to socialize and after a year of being stuck indoors, many of us are ready to play. But TCM stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy balance of joy through regular downtime and self-reflection. Baozhong tea is the perfect tea for both social and personal moments. Drink baozhong tea to balance blood sugar levels after meals with friends and family or drink it alone to cool down as baozhong tea can help disperse heat and expel toxins.
During the summer, the active yang energy is at its peak. This explains why we want to socialize, be creative, and spend more time outside. However, imbalanced yang energy can cause overexcitement, restlessness, insomnia, and headaches. TCM recommends foods and drinks with passive yin energy, like green tea, to avoid these symptoms. Jasmine tea is a great choice as it’s also a natural relaxant with aromatherapeutic properties that can relieve symptoms of imbalanced yang energy.
Image: instagram @taymidg
This summer will be full of excitement, but remember that too much of a good thing can harm your health. Embrace the season of joy, but also be mindful of these TCM tips to stay balanced in mind, body, and spirit. Steep a cup of tea as a daily reminder to check-in on yourself, stay hydrated, and care for your overall well-being. Have fun!