Herbal Formulas for Summer

Summer. The word alone stirs up thoughts of campfires, flip flops, popsicles, swimming and long sunny days. However, for many people it also means sunburns, mosquito bites and excessive sweating. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to deal with all of these issues. Sipping on some refreshing lemonade or munching on a slice of watermelon are some traditional ways to cool off. But Traditional Chinese Medicine has some other less common ways of treating summer ailments.

TCM utilizes a methodology based on the five elements. Summer is ruled by the fire element. The summer months are a time of growth, joy and spiritual awareness. Something commonly seen by TCM practitioners during the summer season is a phenomenon called summer heat. The symptoms of summer heat include excessive body heat, sweating, constipation, dry mouth and heart palpitations. Despite the fact summer is a season of warmth, the body still needs to be prepped for the seasonal changes. Any transition from one season to another should include the boosting of the body’s immune system. Therefore, herbal formulas that strengthen the essence and nourish the body are very important to have on hand as summer rushes in.

Herbal formulas are an integral part of TCM. In fact, most scholars believe herbal formulas preceded the development of acupuncture, another vital modality utilized by TCM. One herbal formula that is a must must-have for somebody showing signs of summer heat, is known as Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang. This formula will clear away summer heat, promote bodily fluids and benefit the Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is the energy or life force that keeps all living things alive. When Qi becomes deficient or depleted, the body shows signs of disease.

Another herbal formula that can be beneficial during the summer months is known as Liu Yi San. This formula clears summer heat, resolves dampness and tonifies Qii. This particular formula can be used in severe cases of summer heat or heat stroke, as it can help stop any nausea or vomiting associated with heat exhaustion.

Not all herbal formulas are comprised of multiple herbs. There are some individual herbs that can be very helpful to have around in case somebody becomes stricken with summer heat. For instance, chrysanthemum flowers (Ju Hua) are frequently steeped into a refreshing tea during the warm summer months. Ju Hua clears heat from the lungs and is cooling to the body.

Mung beans can also be used to fight off summer heat and heat exhaustion. Mung beans can be steeped into a tea and sipped during an attack of summer heat. This tea can prevent and decrease the symptoms of dehydration, headaches, abdominal bloating and decreased urination.

There are also many other herbs that can be added to food or steeped into teas or used topically that can help with summertime ailments. Lavender is good for stress relief, as well as skin problems. Got a bug bite? Try applying some diluted tea tree oil. Elder flowers can assist with upper respiratory congestion that is sometimes common. Dandelions can be steeped into a tea that will help reduce a fever.

There are many ways herbs and herbal formulas can help during the warm summer months. Many of the single herbs can be found already made in teabags at the local grocery store. For the herbal formulations, you should check with a licensed TCM practitioner or herbalist in your area. So raise a glass of lemonade or iced tea to the season of summer. And don’t forget to add the Ju Hua.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Acupuncture and Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a collective group of disorders that plague nearly 50 million people in the United States today. When a person suffers from an autoimmune disease it means their own immune system is attacking the body and...

CM and Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that disrupts normal function of the epithelial cells in the body. Epithelial cells line the passageways of many of our vital organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive system and the skin.

Healthy Foods for Fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and...

Five Self Care Tips for Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The weather starts getting a little cooler, things are beginning to slow down and preparations for the holidays are in full swing. For many others, fall is not so festive.

3 Reasons Acupuncture Supports Couples Facing Infertility

When you consider all the changes in our agricultural practices, the increased number of medications we take, as well as our dependence on plastic and technology that is constantly emitting low-grade radiation, it’s no surprise more couples are ...

Acupuncture for Kids

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children ...