Five Elements: Late Summer

Chinese Medicine Tips for the Fifth Season – Late Summer

Late Summer, Fifth Season in TCMLate summer is a hot and humid rainy season. This transitional season frequently starts out quite warm in mid-July, but then becomes cooler in August. Late Summer is the energy of the Earth. It’s time when Earth’s fruits and vegetables are ripening and getting ready for harvest.

From TCM point of view dampness and heat are among six pathogenic factors that affect our bodies. As ‘dampness goes into Spleen’ minding Spleen during late summer is the priority.

The nature of dampness is sticky, heavy and turbid. It is difficult to eliminate.

Once dampness combines with the heat and enters Spleen it leads to many digestive problems such as:

  • Stuffy, distending feeling in the stomach area
  • Greasy mouth
  • Feeling of wanting to vomit
  • Feeling thirsty but without a desire to drink water
  • Pain in the lower belly
  • Loose stools
  • Less urination

As well as:

  • Heavy head with sluggish feeling
  • Heavy sensation in the limbs

Diet during late summer

Eating light food is the key during late summer.

Food that will help you diminish heat includes: winter melon, pak choi, green beans, tomato, pear, apple, banana, kiwi and peach.

Also, eat foods that are beneficial for stomach and spleen, like: lotus seeds, goji berry, dates, white lablab beans, hawthorn fruit, barley, tofu, celery, water bamboo, seaweed, radish and water melon.

Remember to eat less fatty food, and the food that causes too much heat in the body, like seafood or BBQ. Don’t overdo cold food (yeah! you guessed, I mean ice-cream!), which stimulates stomach and intestine excessively and can lead to digestive problems.

Exercise during the late summer

Similar as with the TCM summer season, avoid extreme exercise not to sweat excessively. Don’t exercise for longer than 1 hour. Try to exercise during early morning or early evening in an open space such as park.

 

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