Let’s Talk About Cooling Down the TCM Way

Jun 27, 2022

Hot summer days are finally here. In Southern Ontario wait all year for summer and then when it arrives we are often overheated and overwhelmed with humidity. 

Before reaching for that iced coffee, caramel Frappuccino, blue raspberry slushy, ice cold beer or cocktail, take a moment to find out what the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine says about cooling down summer heat. 

The first thing of note is that icy-cold anything is generally considered damaging to the digestive system made up of the Stomach and Spleen organs. 

The Stomach is meant to be a hot soup pot in order for proper digestion to occur. By pouring in frozen drinks and foods the digestive fire (known as Agni in Ayurveda) is cooled and for some it is extinguished. This puts stress on the entire digestive system, leading to food stagnation (indigestion), poor absorption of nutrients and impaired bowel movements. 

Chinese Medicine wisdom instead recommends using foods/ herbs that clear heat without adding cold to the system. 

Some simple teas (prepared hot and consumed hot or cool -not iced) will cool you down during these sweltering hot days. 

Their medicinal properties are as follows:

Peppermint known as “Bo He” in Chinese pinyin 

•Disperses wind-heat, clears the head, improves eyesight, relieves sore throat, eases rashes and relieves itching. 

•Peppermint tea is a wonderful way to cool the body down in the summer but BONUS: use it to relieve fevers headaches and sore throats all year long! 

Chrysanthemum known as “Ju Hua”

•A tea made of this sweet coolint flower can help clear heat, calm the Liver to soothe you if you’re experiencing headaches, anger, irritability, red eyes. 

Other notable medicinal uses

Flu with fever and headache, blurry vision, dizziness, red and painful eyes, high blood pressure, anxiety, detoxifies the Kidneys and Liver, eases mouth sores, acne, brightens the eyes, reduces swelling, bloating, stomach cramping, tinnitus, swollen sore throat

Hibiscus known as “Mei Gui Qie”

•It is used to clear away summer heat, promote appetite and the production of body fluids. Hibiscus can counteract toxicity and promote urination. 

•It is used for the treatment of thirst due to summer heat and sun-stroke and can help mild hypertension. 

Try any of these herbs /flowers in a simple tisane/ infusion for 5-10min. Strain and enjoy warm or cooled down. 

Simple water can be enhanced with additional cooling properties by adding cucumber slices, mint, or watermelon. 

If drinking an infusion isn’t hitting the craving you’re having then try the watermelon cucumber slushy option. Make sure to grate some ginger the size of your thumb into the slushy to help support your Spleen! Be sure to follow Naheed Atcha on Instagram (@naheedatcha) for the recipes!

And don’t forget, combining these self-care tips with Acupuncture therapy will help you stay cool and feel great all summer long! 

Find Naheed at Thrive Wellness Burlington every Monday 4-8pm and Wednesday 2-8pm   

Book online to experience a more enjoyable summer!