July 6th, 2021
Minor Heat or Xiǎo Shǔ (Chinese: 小暑 ) is the eleventh of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and heralds the beginning of the hottest period of the year, which should come as no surprise to any of us, in particular for our friends in the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the country who are experiencing record high temperatures. This time of the year is also known as the San Fu (三伏) period, marking the hottest 40-day period in the traditional Chinese almanac. For 2021, the San Fu period is from July 11, 2021 to August 19, 2021.
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Minor Heat (Xiǎo Shǔ):
1. During this time of summer heat, it is more important than ever to care for the Heart. Pessimistic attitudes can lead to liver stagnation which turn into heat and agitate the Heart. Consider some Qigong exercises as a way to cultivate a calm and balanced state of mind and well-being.
2. Because the summer heat is very Yang, we should consume food that will help clear heat from the body. Foods to cool the body include leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and daikon radishes. A tea infusion of freshly picked (and crushed) mint leaves is both soothing and helps clear summer heat.
3. Melons, especially watermelons and bitter melons (also known as bitter gourd) are excellent food that will help clear heat and generate fluids.
4. Despite the temptation, avoid excessive air conditioning and consumption of cold items. Cultivate balance. Overexposure to cold can lead to damp accumulation and cause problems with the spleen. Summer colds can result from frequently alternating between very hot and very cold environments.
5. During this time of year, the lotus is in full bloom. Lotus has a cooling nature and is also somewhat bitter which helps to drain heat and dampness. Consider drinking some lotus leaf tea. It is custom in China to eat lotus root on Minor heat, often simmered, sliced and dressed with honey.
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.