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  • Dr. Jennifer Harris

The Summer Season in Chinese Medicine

It’s summertime, and boy did the heat come on quickly! The summer is the ruled by the fire element and is the most yang of the seasons, meaning the energy during the summer months has an active, expansive and outward energetic. Being linked to the fire element, the summer season is associated with the heart and small intestine. This is the time of year that our time should be filled with laughter, passion and joy, the emotion we correlate with the fire element.

We all know that the heart is responsible for the circulating blood through the body. According to TCM, the heart is also associated with memory, cognitive functioning and emotional wellbeing. This is a wonderful time of year to nourish the mind and spirit. It is also a good time to focus on healing old wounds. When the heart system is balanced, the mind is calm. When imbalanced, there can be restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, poor memory and speech problems. When the heart system is weak there can be a lack of joy, or depression. When there is excess in this system, there can be manic behavior.

Tips for the summer season:

  • Drink more water!

  • Wake up earlier and go to bed later.

  • Rest at midday.

  • Keep calm and refrain from anger.

  • Eat more raw foods. Most raw fruits and vegetables have a cooling energetic.

Since summer is the season of maximum yang, it is important to stay hydrated and cool. Foods that are moist and cooling help keep us in balance. Here is a list of foods that clear heat and generate fluids according to Chinese medicine:

  • Apricots, cantaloupe, lemon, peach, strawberries, tomato, watermelon

  • Asparagus, bamboo shoots, bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumber, mushrooms, sprouts, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, watercress

  • Cilantro, dill, mint

  • Mung beans, Job's tears

  • Fish, seaweed


Hydrating Watermelon Lemonade


  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • 1/4 of a medium watermelon

  • 4 cubes of ice

  • 1 Sprig of mint


  • Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

Watermelon is sweet and cold, enters the heart and stomach, and can generate fluids.

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