Ditch the Icy Drinks! Cool Down with TCM This Summer

Summer’s fiery heat can leave us feeling sluggish, irritable, and even dehydrated.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a refreshing approach to navigate these hot months through the power of food.

TCM categorizes foods based on their energetic properties – not just temperature – as cooling, warming, or neutral.

During summer, the focus is on “cooling” foods to balance the body’s internal heat, keeping you feeling energized and healthy.

Hydration Heroes

  • Watermelon, Grapes, and Berries: These juicy delights are nature’s water bombs, replenishing fluids and keeping you cool from the inside out.
  • Leafy Greens and Cucumbers: Packed with water and essential vitamins, these cooling veggies are a refreshing addition to any summer meal.
  • Cooling Teas: To quench your thirst and invigorate your spirit, TCM offers a variety of cooling teas:
  • Lotus Leaf Tea: This tea is known for its ability to calm restlessness and alleviate summer heat.
  • Tulsi Tea: Brewed from the sweet and aromatic Tulsi herb, this tea helps reduce anxiety, insomnia, and supports a healthy immune system.
  • Mint and Licorice Root Tea: This soothing tea promotes healthy digestion and can ease a sore throat.
  • Ginger and Lime Tea: For those who tend to feel colder (with symptoms like cold hands and feet, poor digestion, or loose stools), this balancing tisane can help ease bloating, stimulate appetite, and improve circulation.

Cooling All-Stars

  • Apples and Grapefruit: These tangy fruits are naturally cooling and help reduce inflammation.
  • Mint and Green Tea: Cooling herbs and teas like mint and green tea aid digestion and leave you feeling refreshed.
  • Bitter Greens: Don’t be surprised! Dandelion greens, asparagus, and arugula have a bitter taste that helps clear heat from the body, according to TCM principles.

TCM Tips:

  • Go Lightly Cooked: Steaming and sautéing preserve nutrients and prevent excessive heat from cooking methods like frying.
  • Limit Raw Foods: While salads are great, TCM suggests incorporating lightly cooked vegetables for better digestion.
  • Spice it Up (a little): Surprisingly, some spices like ginger can be helpful in small amounts to aid digestion during the hot summer months.
  • Ditch the Icy Cold: TCM advises against icy cold drinks and foods, as they can disrupt digestion and lead to bloating. Opt for room temperature or lukewarm beverages.

Embrace a Holistic Lifestyle:

Food is just one piece of the TCM puzzle.

Consider these additional practices for a truly holistic summer:

  • Get Moving: Gentle exercises like yoga or tai chi can help balance your energy.
  • Prioritize Sleep: Adequate rest keeps you refreshed and combats the draining effects of summer heat.
  • Manage Stress: Meditation or spending time in nature can help you stay calm and centered.

By incorporating TCM principles and cooling foods into your summer routine, you can navigate the heat with ease and feel your best all season long.

So, embrace a holistic approach, fuel your body wisely, and enjoy a vibrant summer!


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