A simple treat for summer health

While I love being available to offer acupuncture, herbs and other remedial aspects of Eastern medicine to people who are suffering with injury, illness or other dysfunction, what I really try to do as an Eastern practitioner is teach people simple little things they can do to take care of their own health. Nothing makes me happier than when a client tells me they’re good and don’t need to see me for awhile.  In this week’s post I get to do two things. I get to introduce you to some timely Chinese herbal medicine, and I get to give you an extremely simple and enjoyable  way to take care of yourself this summer.

Here it is.  Eat Watermelon.

Watermelon is the number one herbal remedy for treating a disharmony that we call Summer Heat. Summer Heat is a combination of heat and dampness that we get from our environment.  A good friend of mine went to enjoy the Pride festivities last June. It was a classic summer day in Illinois, 90 degrees and a bazillion percent humidity. By the time my friend walked from her car to the parade she was at a point of collapse. She had stopped sweating, her cheeks were flushed and she was on the brink of fainting. She was too hot and with the help of the humidity was not able to sweat to release the heat in her body...summer heat. What would have been perfect for her at that time would have been a juice made from the rind of watermelon. Understandably, most of us don’t carry portable juicers, so she could have eaten the white part of the rind of the watermelon to cool herself down. Watermelon, is a sweet and cold food that has a unique ability to promote urination to rid our body of the excess dampness, and to clear heat. This is watermelon as an herb.

Watermelon as a food, the yummy sweet red flesh, has the same ability as the rind. Its just not as strong as the rind. So when its hot and humid out you can eat watermelon and its milder ability to promote urination and clear heat should offer you some protection from summer heat. It is still considered a cold food so too much can interfere with your digestion but adding a cup or two to your daily diet, especially when you will be out in the heat and humidity is just good self care! Enjoy!

Lisa C. Decatorsmith, L.Ac., MSOM
Practitioner of Eastern Medicine at Exhale Sinus, TMJ, Headache & Sleep