Beat the Heat with Chinese Medicine: Summer Wellness Tips

Beat the Heat with Chinese Medicine: Summer Wellness Tips

As the summer sun beats down, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers valuable insights into staying cool and healthy during the hottest months. In TCM, summer is associated with the Fire element and the Heart organ, requiring balance to maintain well-being. Here’s how you can beat the heat with TCM wisdom:

Cooling Foods to Balance Heat

During summer, TCM recommends consuming predominantly cooling and dampness-dispersing foods. These foods help to clear excess heat from the body and nourish fluids, keeping you hydrated and cool. Some recommended options include:

  • Fruits: Apple, lemon, kiwi, melon, orange, pear, pineapple, tangerine, watermelon.
  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, cilantro, salad greens, endives, spinach, tomatoes.
  • Herbs: Peppermint, spearmint.
  • Beverages: Green tea, mineral water, wheat beer.
  • Proteins: Light proteins like mussels and rabbit.

These foods are not only refreshing but also support the body’s natural cooling mechanisms, helping to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Avoid Heat-Inducing Foods

To maintain balance, it’s important to avoid foods that generate excessive heat within the body. In summer, TCM suggests limiting or avoiding:

  • Spicy and Acrid Foods: Such as cinnamon, pepper, lavender, and ginger, which can exacerbate internal heat.
  • Ice-Cold Foods and Beverages: While initially cooling, these can shock the stomach’s digestive energy, potentially leading to discomfort and imbalance.

By moderating intake of these foods, you can help your body maintain harmony and resilience against summer heat.

Understanding Summer Heat Symptoms

According to TCM, excessive exposure to heat during summer can lead to symptoms such as sudden diarrhea with vomiting, especially after activities like swimming in cold water or consuming cold treats. This imbalance, known as “summer heat syndrome,” emphasizes the importance of moderation in diet and activity during the hottest months.

Lifestyle Tips for Summer Wellness

In addition to dietary adjustments, TCM encourages lifestyle practices that support overall well-being in summer:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, preferably at room temperature or slightly cool, to maintain hydration without shocking the system.
  • Protect from Direct Sunlight: Use appropriate clothing and seek shade during peak sunlight hours to prevent overheating.
  • Mindful Rest: Adequate rest and relaxation help the body to conserve energy and maintain balance.

By incorporating these TCM principles into your summer routine, you can optimize your health and vitality while enjoying the season’s warmth. Embrace cooling foods, avoid heat-inducing substances, and listen to your body’s signals to beat the heat effectively. With these simple adjustments, you can stay cool, comfortable, and energized throughout the summer months.

Remember, TCM’s holistic approach offers valuable insights into seasonal wellness, ensuring harmony between your body and the environment.


We are in the clinic treating patients during normal business hours despite the heat and keeping it cool with a fully functioning AC. Please keep us in mind should you need a reason to escape the heat to take some time for healing. Appointments: call (503) 272-6646 or use our online appointment scheduler. 

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