Now that summer is officially here, we’re getting to enjoy more sun and warmer days. Generally, the summer heat is a welcome change from the chill of fall and winter (remember how much snow we had?), but if the warmth is excessive, it can be uncomfortable and even a health hazard.
It’s important to stay hydrated and cool when the mercury rises, but there are also Chinese herbal remedies that can help you beat the heat – in fact, you may have them in your refrigerator and your garden!
First, ju hua – commonly known here in the U.S. as chrysanthemum – is a pom-pom like flower that can also be used as a tea or herbal treatment for a wide range of ailments. Ju hua is made into a tea by steeping the flowers in hot water for about 10 minutes. This tea has been shown to be effective in helping the body clear heat and cool itself down naturally. It also is used to treat everything from fever to high blood pressure.
Ju hua’s beneficial effects have been long-known and celebrated. Ever since the earliest Daoist herbal medicine texts, the long-term consumption of ju hua was revered as a preventative against aging and a regimen that would bring you closer to immortality. Modern usage and proven effects are more modest, but ju hua still remains a very popular medicinal in Chinese herbal medicine, particularly in the specialty of ophthalmology in dealing with dry and irritated eyes.
Another favorite summer treat that is also an effective Chinese herbal medicine treatment is the watermelon! Known in Chinese herbal medicine as xi gua, watermelon also helps the body naturally cool itself down. Chinese herbal medicine practitioners will use everything from the hard green rind to the sweet pink melon to the black seeds to make remedies for patients. In addition to its cooling properties, xi gua is used to treat urinary tract infections and high blood pressure.
So, have fun this summer, but stay cool…and, if you need help clearing your body’s heat, think about the natural way to do it with ju hua and xi gua.