We are at the peak of the summer heat and we have to be careful not to overheat. In Chinese Medicine, Summer Heat Syndrome is a disorder associated with exposure to high temperatures and humidity. Symptoms of Summer Heat Syndrome are similar to the Western medical description of heat stroke – excess body heat, red face, profuse sweating, dry mouth and throat, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, or nausea/vomiting.
Your Chinese Medicine practitioner may prescribe new herbs or use a few extra needles to help relieve excess heat this time of year. Here are some tips to help you stay cool at home:
- Schedule your outdoor activities to avoid the hottest parts of the day. And remember, if you feel dizzy or a tingly sensation on your skin and/or stop sweating, discontinue all activity and get out of the sun immediately.
- Eat watermelon. Watermelon is one of the best remedies for dehydration and Summer Heat symptoms. Watermelon is 92 percent water and you can eat every part of it – rind, pulp, juice and seeds. Chinese Herbal Medicine uses the fruit (Xi Gua) and the seeds (Xi Gua Ren) to clear Summer Heat and generate body fluids.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and replace salts and minerals with electrolytes. Electrolytes are charged elements—like potassium, sodium, and phosphorous—essential for normal cell function in the body. Try Emergen-C Powder or mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per glass of water.
- Drink hot tea. It may sound crazy, but a cup of hot tea in the hot weather can actually cool you down. Drinking warmer fluids dilates the blood vessels which makes you sweat and the sweat evaporation cools you down. Drinking iced cold fluids only lowers the body temperature The stomach then has to work harder to produce heat needed for digestion, which makes you hotter and more thirsty.
- Try mint and chrysanthemum tea. Field mint – Herba Mentha Haplocalycis (Bo He) and chrysanthemum flowers – Chrysanthemum Moriflorii (Ju Hua) are both classified as cool, acrid herbs which relieve heat in the head and chest. They are beneficial to the Liver energy and are helpful for eye and skin conditions. Cooling Peppermint & Chrysanthemum Tea: 1 handful of dried mint, 1 small handful of dried chrysanthemum flowers. Put herbs and 3 quarts of water into a cooking pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add honey to taste. Strain out the herbs and refrigerate. Drink cooled or at room temperature. Enjoy!