Summer is the season of the heart and small intestine (in Traditional Chinese Medicine on whose tenets we base our PHYTO5® skincare philosophy). Today, we're looking at how to keep our heart in tip top shape taking advantage of the Summer's energy...
In Western medicine, the heart does nothing more than pump blood. For the Chinese, the heart is so much more! In Chinese medicine, life is more than form just as are our lives which include relationships, career, emotions, traumas, education, finances, love, joy, etc.
FIRE ELEMENT 🔥 SUMMER SEASON 🌞 HEART ORGAN ❤️ In TCM, they are one and when aligned with each other, we live in harmony and our vitality results in every aspect of our lives.
When there is too much fire in any fire pile, heat blazes upwards. In the human, anger bubbles up, emotions get charged and the face and neck turn red.
When there is too little fire, warmth begins to dissipate and so does its light. In the human, necessary heat cannot reach the head as well and the face becomes pale and the person lethargic. Heart palpitations may occur intermittently.
With just the right amount of fire, all systems are go! The blood is circulating optimally and the human feels at ease, relaxed and happy. His or her facial complexion looks balanced and robust.
In TCM, the heart is the Emperor Fire, governing the blood and blood vessels and actually housing the mind which interprets our feelings and emotions. It is the king of all organs meaning all the other organs will sacrifice for the heart so that balance may be achieved.
The small intestine is partner to the heart and the liver is known as the mother of the heart. They both work to support the heart.
So how do we keep the heart in balance? Take care of the liver and the stomach! Let's begin with the liver. Here are several arenas to focus on for liver health:
- Consume bitters. They strengthen digestion by causing a reflexive secretion of gastric juices and they tone the muscles of the digestive tract.
- Take herbal purgatives, if necessary, to keep your bowels moving. There are tasty teas in the health food stores designed for this purpose.
- Take liver tonics such as what your Doctor of Oriental Medicine will prescribe for you. Or consume milk thistle, commonly found in health food stores.
- Do juice fasting. If the liver is burdened, fasting will assist it to bounce back resiliently.
- Eat high fiber foods and keep well hydrated. Both of these keep the bowels moving.
- Practice breathing. Stress can exacerbate liver congestion. Breathing is very calming.
- Avoid overeating and putting undue stress on the liver. We really don't need to eat as much as we do!
- Cut the chemicals. Chemicals can overload the liver especially if we've never done a liver cleanse or if we don't consciously read product labels and buy with discernment.