Join the mailing list to get newsletters from Moon Hill Acupuncture. I send one with each new blog post!
It's been a looooong Spring and Summer for my family. We have been going through the process of moving, and even though we are only a jaunt away from our old place, it has been a whirlwind. We are getting nicely settled in our new home and slowly enjoying the pace of Summer after a crazy busy move. One of the ways we've been passing the days at home with both kids out of school and no one wanting to go to camps is by recognizing some of the National Holidays - you know, the ones that are totally obscure and oddly focused on food items....most of them sweets. If you're interested in looking up the calendar, here's the link. And, no, I didn't come up with this fun idea all on my own. It was a suggestion from one of my favorite parenting experts, Marcy Axness. She's a wonderful resource for parenting peacefully and I highly recommend getting on her newsletter.
Well, today, August 3rd, is National Watermelon Day! Watermelon, or Xi Gua, happens to be one of the herbs in the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica. It is a prized herb for this time of year - the Dog Days of Summer. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, late summer has its own energy, separate from the warmth of the beginning of summer. In the ancient text, the Su Wen, it is described like this: "When in the skies there is heat, and on the earth there is fire...its nature is summerheat." Late Summer is governed by the Earth element, which in our bodies is our digestive energy. When exposed to an excess of the heat of the summer, called Summerheat in TCM, our digestion is injured. We've all experienced a form of this, I'm sure. Have you ever been outside all day at the beach with the sun beating down on you and the heat from the sand emanating upward, and you've just lost all appetite? Have you ever experienced heat-stroke, thrown up from the heat, or passed out? This is the Summerheat pathogen in TCM. And one of the best ways to combat the effects of Summerheat, is to eat WATERMELON!
"When in the skies there is heat, and on the earth there is fire...its nature is summerheat." ~Su Wen
Xi Gua is the red fruit of the watermelon plant. It is sweet and cold and goes to the heart, stomach, and urinary bladder organ systems. It cools the body, generates internal fluids to combat dehydration and the unfortunate event of dry heaving. It also facilitates urination in cases of jaundice from excess heat in the summer. Or for a mild case, it can help resolve irritability due to the heat. One caution though: this fruit may very well be the coldest food of all, which if your digestion is already weak, can cause too much cold. If you're skeptical about this, here's a weird video of some guys testing out the theory - although they don't even know they're doing so.
So, as the weekend reaches temperatures in the 90's or above, the skies have heat, and the earth has fire, make sure to add Xi Gua to your meals, or drink the juice to ward off the ill effects of Summerheat. And remember, that FOOD IS MEDICINE and Your Health Is Yours.
#Moonhillacupuncture #YourHealthIsYours #FoodIsMedicine #TraditionalEastAsianMedicine #Acupuncture
Ashlie Martin is an acupuncturist and lover of nature - and loves connecting the patterns of nature and theories of Traditional East Asian Medicine.