April Crowell, Dipl.ABT
The sun and warmth of summer allow for nature’s growth and maturation. Plants thrive and begin sharing their abundance with us. Longer, warmer days encourage us to be more active, spending greater time outdoors. This is a season of joy, health, vitality. A time when we are receptive and expansive like the earth around us.
The most ‘yang’ of all the seasons, summer relates to the fire element and the Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and the Triple Heater organ systems of the body. To harmonize with the season, enjoy the glorious array of fresh vegetables, greens and fruits that are available. Eat bright colors and quickly cooked foods. Raw foods are more appropriate this season–if your digestion is strong. Avoid heavy, greasy, fried foods that will burden the body during the heat of summer.
With the rising temperatures and our increased fervor, comes the possibility of invasion of Summer Heat (heat stroke, in western terms). Signs of Summer Heat include: sudden high fever with profuse or no sweat, nausea, headache, extreme thirst, shortness of breath, dizziness, irritability, anger and aversion to heat.
Fortunately, nature provides us with foods that help to counter or prevent the effects of Summer Heat. Use pungent herbs such as cayenne, mustard, cinnamon and pepper to help disperse excess heat from the body by promoting sweat. Hibiscus, chamomile and mint teas help replenish fluids and cool the body. Foods that specifically reduce Summer Heat include: zucchini, cucumber, pineapple, coconut, lemon, lime and seaweeds.