August 22, 2021
End of Heat or Chù Shǔ (Chinese: 处暑 ) is the fourteenth of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and traditionally marks the time of year when the hottest days are over and the harvest lies ahead. Locally we have noticed the arrival of cooler weather in the mornings and nighttime, though the afternoons remain warm.
August 22, 2021 also marks the Hungry Ghost Festival observed in many East Asian countries. The Ghost Festival, also known as the Zhongyuan Festival(中元节) in Taoism and Yulanpen Festival (盂兰盆节) in Buddhism. According to legend, during this time of year, the gates of the underworld are opened and hungry ghosts are free to roam the earth, seeking food and taking revenge on those who have behaved badly. It is also a time to in Taoist, Buddhist, and Chinese Folk traditions to remember our beloved deceased.
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for End of Heat (Chù Shǔ):
1. During this time of year, consume foods that are gently moistening and supplement Qi. Lychee, pear, apple, and grape cool and moisten the body and are appropriate to the season. Gentle nourishment is the key to avoiding excess and stagnation in the body during this time of the year.
2. Avoid spicy foods as they can have a drying effect and increase sweating. Sour foods such as vinegar, pickled vegetables, and plums help astringe and minimize fluid loss through sweating.
3. Food-Herbs that are useful during this season include Yu Zhu (Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati), Bai He (Lily Buds / Bulbus Lilii), Lian Zi (Lotus Seed / Semen Nelumbinis) and Sha Shen (Radix Adenophorae/Glehniae).
4. Incorporate duck into your diet. Not only is it delicious but according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, duck has a “cooling” nature and nourishes Yin. Across China, it is a folk tradition to consume duck during the End of Heat solar term. There are many recipes for cooking duck such as roast duck, cooked duck with lemon, smoked duck with walnut dressing and sautéed duck with ginger shoots. Moreover, duck meat can be beneficial for the skin during these dry autumn days.
5. During the End of Heat period, staying up late is strongly advised against. Take a nap if possible, and a bit of exercise will be very helpful. As the natural external environment transitions from Summer-Yang to Winter-Yin, it is important that the we are able to balance and complement our internal environment by mirroring this in our own bodies through more sleep.
For more information on seasonal health cultivation, schedule an appointment with one of our student interns or licensed practitioners at the Yo San University Blount Community Clinic. Tele-health consultations are also offered by our experienced senior practitioners. Call today. 310.577.3006.