Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about simple, natural self-care for you and your family. Here are a few tips from the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective for staying cool and healthy during the Summer months.
- Peppermint and Chrysanthemum iced tea. Both are cooling. One opens up the nose and benefits digestion, the other clears heat from the eyes and is a home remedy for stress and high blood pressure. Combining both, over ice, is a perfect Summer treat.
- Cool water and lemongrass essential oil. Fill a mister/ sprayer with ice water and add a drop of lemongrass oil. Use the same mixture to wet a bandana and tie it around your neck. Spray yourself and your kids. Keep a stack of frozen bananas in your freezer or cooler when camping. Lemongrass is a refreshing and cooling oil that is traditionally used in Asia to relax the neck and shoulders. It feels and smells AMAZING.
- Massage your “Four Gates”. Rub the area between your thumb and 2nd finger, and between your big toe and second toe. These 4 points are acupuncture/ acupressure points collectively referred to as the “Four Gates”. They are used to increase circulation and blood flow throughout the body. In Summer, rubbing these points can help clear hand and foot swelling when the weather heats up.
- Take a Nap. Summer mornings and nights are equally inviting and naturally the best times for activity in Summer. Since we can’t be everywhere all the time, and we particularly shouldn’t be out at noon getting heatstroke, Traditional Chinese medicine recommends rising early, sleeping late and taking a nap in Summer. Preferably in a hammock. Actually, that last one is just my recommendation.
- Bao He Wan and Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Formula. Summer can be full of BBQs, chips, ice cream, rose and beer. As tasty as these are, they can also lead to hangovers and indigestion. My two favorite herbal remedies for these “too much of a good thing” ailments are Bao He Wan and Long Dan Xie Gan Tang. I recommend having a bottle of each on hand as part of your Herbal Medicine Cabinet.
If you need help sourcing any of the above ingredients, feel free to let me know. If you are a regular patient, I can have them shipped to you. If you are a new patient, then a brief consult can get you in good shape for getting the most out of your Summer.
Giulietta Octavio is a doctor of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, and has been helping adults and families discover natural, effective healthcare alternatives since 2002.