Last week, I sent almost all of my patients home with the SAME herbal prescription. Not from my pharmacy but from the grocery store. Not a “special” grocery store, but a regular ole’ Idaho grocery store…
It was 95 degrees in Boise over the weekend and the whole town came to life–riding bikes, mowing lawns, golfing, and playing in the park. Where I live, we don’t take a beautiful day for granted. When it is nice outside–EVERYONE tries to take advantage because Idaho is definitely a four-season state. You have to enjoy great weather while you can!
I found an interesting correlation when I started treating patients after the weekend.
#1: Patients who normally do not have an issue with their spleen channel unanimously presented with excess.
#2: Almost everyone complained of edema.
In Chinese medicine, the Spleen is in charge of transformation and transportation.
- Transformation: It takes the food that we eat and transforms it into qi and blood.
- Transportation: The spleen is in charge of transporting fluids through the body and keeping the waterways working well.
When the spleen is functioning properly, it easily separates the pure and impure fluids in the digestive system. The pure (usable) fluids are sent to the lungs, and the impure (unusable) fluids are directed to the intestines. When there is dysfunction in the spleen channel, the fluids are not transformed and transported correctly, which leads to EDEMA.
Summerheat is a common condition in Chinese medicine which presents when someone has been overly exposed to the sun. Symptoms may include:
The Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine describes many degrees and variations of summerheat–each of which can cause extreme havoc on the body. In western medical thinking, an extreme case of summerheat, may be seen as sunstroke. The underlying cause is exposure to hot, summer weather.
So, you may be wondering what Chinese herb I prescribed to my patients? It was WATERMELON!
Xi gua, watermelon fruit, is listed in the Materia Medica as the best, single herb to relieve summerheat. Because watermelon is sweet, bland and cold, it clears heat from both the lung and stomach. Additionally, it resolves summerheat, relieves irritability, stops thirst, and increases urination. Most Chinese herbs are not pleasant tasting. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice cold piece of watermelon? This is one herb that tastes great and works BEST when eaten fresh or made into juice.
Now is the time to educate your patients. Teach them that eating watermelon all summer long is a PREVENTATIVE measure to avoid symptoms of summerheat. They will love you for sharing this great little ‘ancient Chinese secret.’ Your patients will love you AND you just might be the topic of conversation all around town as people sit around enjoying their WATERMELON.
Have a great day!