May 21, 2022
Small Fullness or Xiǎo Mǎn (Chinese: 小满 ) is the eighth of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and the second solar term of summer. While in northern China, “small fullness” is interpreted as describing the ripening grains and crops, in southern China, it is taken to apply to the swelling lakes and rivers as the rainy season commences. The phenological pentads for Small Fullness are as follows: (1) Sow thistle blossom (苦菜秀 kǔ cài xiù), (2) Unbridled weeds perish (靡草死 mí cǎo sǐ) and (3) (Summer) wheat fully ripens (麦秋至 mài qiū zhì).
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Xiǎo Mǎn (Small Fullness):
1. During this time of year be sure to guard against wet and hot pathogenic energy. This can cause loss of appetite, thirst, and dizziness. In Traditional Chinese Medical terms, it is the spleen which can reduce wetness. Strengthen the spleen by consuming foods such as glutinous rice, red dates, lean meat, and Chinese yam. Herbal foods that help replenish Spleen qi includes American ginseng (Xi Yang Shen), Astragalus (Huang Qi), Atractylodes rhizome (Bai Zhu), and Jujube dates (Da Zao). These herbs are commonly served together in herbal chicken soup. There are many herbal formulas available through our Blount Community Clinic that are appropriate for whatever ails you during this time of year.
2. It is the fire element that dominates summer, and internal fire can be burdensome on the heart. Foods such as cucumbers, cherries, tomatoes, and celery have a mild character and nourish the heart.
3. This is also the season in China when the leaves of the common sow thistle are eaten. Often consumed like salad greens or cooked like spinach, it tastes somewhat tart and bitter, but also sweet. This herb cools the blood and detoxifies the body.
4. Do your best to maintain a neutral, stable mood. As the season of heat, Summer can give way to dramatic fluctuations in emotions. It’s important to keep a happy and stable state of mind and spirit through regular exercise and socializing.
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.