Digestive Health During Summer

In Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, the digestive system is of vital importance to good health. The Chinese feel that most, if not all illness originates in the gut.

The Chinese Calendar lists the time between July 12 – August 21 (for 2021) as Major Heat. This is the best time, according to TCM “to purge winter diseases from the body” and to prepare your body for good health during the cooler months of fall. Winter diseases usually involve trapped cold and dampness in the body. To heal this condition, we need to find a time when both our body and the environment are hot, and Major Heat is that time.

The recommendation for this time of year is to avoid cold foods and drinks, room temperature is fine. I know it sounds strange to us, but the internal temperature of our bodies is anywhere from 96- 98 degrees, and to break down our food during digestion our body needs to heat it up. If it must work harder to warm and break down the food, that extra heat will become inflammation inside the body. Inflammation can create a lot of problems from sore joints, to bloating, to stomach discomfort, to headaches.

Eating cold foods can also upset the balance of heat and cold in the body and weaken the digestive fire needed to break down and digest your food. If the digestive fire is weak then cold and damp conditions can take hold.

I have been following this protocol for months now. I’m working with an Ayurvedic Practitioner called Zhermen Roman and I’ve noticed miraculous results. One example of which is my right knee which no longer swells and is stronger. In western society, we don’t think of food as medicine but what we eat has a profound effect on our health.

People who have excess body heat can eat tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, and peach.

Epoch Times, July 21, Chinese Medicine Advises Not to Drink Iced Beverages or Chilled Food/Moreen Liao

Zhermen Roman, www.zayurveda.com

Feeling Stuck? Large Intestine Meridian Can Help

The fall season is the time of the metal element in Chinese Medicine which is associated with Lung and Large Intestine energy pathways. Large Intestine helps us to let go of that which is no longer needed physically, emotionally and spiritually. “Consciousness and meridian energy are deeply connected. The Large Intestine’s metal energy is concerned with matters of prosperity and self protection.” It also organizes the useful from the useless and governs discernment and discretion.

When our Large Intestine energy is strong and balanced, we are organized physically and clear headed. If the LI is unbalanced our thinking becomes clouded and our judgment is impaired. Physically you may become constipated which is associated with bottled up emotions. Two areas of life which may be affected are money and relationships.

To keep a healthy balance maintain proper nutrition (fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy protein and fats and plenty of water) and have your energy balanced. There are also deep breathing exercises that help to improve circulation, digestion and constipation. For more information on these exercises consult www.changeyourenergy.com.

Support for Spleen and Stomach Energy

We’ve been talking about Indian Summer and spleen and stomach meridians which are associated with it. To promote healthy spleen and stomach energy avoid chronic worrying and over thinking which can negatively impact stomach health. Our digestive systems process our internalized thoughts and emotions along with our food.

Foods to support stomach and spleen energy

  • Yellow or orange foods (sweet potatoes, yellow squash…)
  • Foods harvested in late summer
  • Root vegetables
  • Consume mostly warm or cooked foods and beverages
  • Eat dinner by 6 or 7 pm- this gives your body time to digest before retiring for the night.

Signs of possible spleen or stomach imbalance include:

  • Bleeding gums, bad breath
  • Muscles that cramp or tire easily
  • Craving sweets
  • Chronic over thinking, especially negative thoughts
  • Constant worrying and anxiety

Balancing your energy, staying hydrated, proper nutrition and exercise will go a long way to promoting health.