Teachings on Tibetan Medicine, Dr. Pasang Y. Arya
Seasonal advice according to Tibetan Medicine part II
Summer and autumn
Tibetan month: Yarka 5-6, Western calendar: mid 6-7
Time of heat and evaporation: humidity and monsoon
The spring season heats the earth and oceans, and a great deal of steam evaporates and rises to the sky to form clouds that make summer. The same phenomenon appears in the human body: The spring heat warms up or melts the body’s Phlegm and the blood and water then begin to circulate more actively throughout the whole body in the summer. The body cells and organs awaken from the long winter sleep and regain life.
Therefore summer season corresponds to the adult stage of life in relation to the human life season clock. In the summer, energy increases, flowers blossom and the world smiles.
This season produces two important phenomena in Asia and Europe.
In Asia: this season is hot and humid and the monsoon climate begins. There are heavy clouds in the sky, and the rains make the earth wet and humid. The cold wind and monsoon rains attack aggressively and increase the bad quality of rivers and springs waters. Consumption of these waters may produce the decline of medrod (metabolic forces), which could give a chance to some founding phlegm disorders to arise in the deep and profound level of the body, and to wind disorders to manifest. Therefore Tibetan medical literature describes summer as the wind manifestation season.
In Europe, summer is the hottest and driest season. The sun dries the earth up very powerfully and warms oceans. It is contrary to the Asian climate. There are few rains in Europe during these months. Due to the summer heat, people are used to drink cold drinks and wear thin cloths. Hot and cold drinks and lots of sweating reduce the body minerals quantity and push out the body medrod (metabolic force) everyday. People feel fresh although losing a lot of body energy, which becomes the cause of phlegmatic disorders such as obesity, blood circulation, arthrosis, arthritis and chronic bad digestion etc.
Either monsoon or dry climate, these two different aspects of the climate eventually show external heat, but bring internal cold that becomes the cause of indigestion and chronic phlegm disorders.
The ideal nutrition and behavior
Two different kinds of nutrition could be followed during this season:
In Asia, people should consume sweet, sour and salty food (bile balancing tastes) in order to keep medrod strong and sustain the loss of minerals due to sweating. The quality of the food should be light, warming, little oily, e.g. dry land grains, rice, chicken, sea food, dry fruits, cooked vegetables, etc.
In Europe, it is a bit different; to compensate the loss of body energy and medrod decline due to the dry and hot season, one needs to consume, as counterbalancing diet and behavior, food and drinks with mild cooling and fresh qualities that reduce the external sun heat but protect the internal digestion. For example, one should consume cooked vegetables, salad, fresh fruits, rice, pasta like spaghetti, bread, a little bit of goat meat and beef. Dry fruits and olive oils are also good.
One should drink cool water or at room temperature, sparkling drinks, fruit juices, hot or warm boiled tea, and warm boiled water at breakfast. Generally one should drink enough water to sustain the body, and one may drink a little amount of light wine or alcohol from dry lands.
During this season, one should avoid an excessive consumption of alcohol, sweet and ice creams, and especially the cold drinks or food kept during a long time in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
During this season, it is also better to avoid strong spicy food and glutamate, strong alcohol, milk and milky products, dry meat and sausages, overcooked or baked food.
One should avoid the excess of cold water from the refrigerator or drinks with much ice. Consuming too cold drinks when one feels hot is dangerous as it freezes the throat and stomach. It could lead to bad digestion, gastric problems, breathing difficulties, cold and flu, sinusitis, etc.
The excess of cold drinks and cold foods is not good in this season, even if the weather is hot. Taking them cool or at room temperature is safer and helps soothing the organs and body.
People having a bile constitution and its tendency symptoms should not expose themselves too much to the sun, because the sun heat easily penetrates and burn them and make them get irritations, headaches, lowering blood pressure etc. One should avoid staying in the underground floor of the house because of humidity. It is better to stay in higher places of the house. The body temperature should be kept slightly warm by thin cloths like cotton. It is preferable not to use synthetic cloths too much if the temperature is too hot.
In both east and west, the rainy and hot season makes decline medrod and strongly expels it out of the body therefore nutrition and behavior concern is to keep and sustain the digestion in order to have a healthy and strong immune system that prevents from the post-seasonal imbalances.
Consequences of a wrong nutrition and behavior during summer
The external heat joined with an unfavorable food and behavior could turn into powerful conditions or factors that increase the bile disorders, especially for people who have a bile or bile+wind constitution.
Tibetan month: Tonkha 7-8, Western calendar 8-9
Hot and sharp sun energy season
Autumn is the season where food and body qualities become oily and sharp. Not only the external conditions, food and beverages promote bile, but also the body nature becomes of bile quality and gains a hot and sharp energy. Even if the external summer heat strength begins to reduce, sunrays concentrate more like a laser to the earth. Therefore the quality of the seasonal energy becomes similar to bile and fever. In a prevention point of view, the danger of this season is to increase bile that might, if strongly accumulated during the summer by wrong diet and behavior, manifest bile pathologies such as bad digestion, gastric disorders, headaches, nauseas, etc.
As prevention measures, one should eat more sweet like fresh fruits, sugar, soft drinks, rice, bread, pasta (but not fatty sweets like milk and chocolates), bitter and astringent food (bile and wind balancing taste) for example chicory, ruccola, Belgian endives and astringent food such as banana, beans and lentils, artichokes, etc in order to balance the bile and wind humors.
One should drink jasmine tea, light black tea, green tea, fruit juice, mineral water and mountain cold and fresh spring water.
To be avoided
Strong alcohols, fatty milk and milky products, meat in excess, sharp and strong spicy food, glutamate, oily and fatty fried food etc.
During these months, one should take baths and use natural perfumes or essence oils produced from white sandal oils, camphor, Dendrobium nobile (Ushir) that are excellent to calm the bile. Sprinkling essence oils on cloths and in rooms may also help balance it. One should wear light cloths and stay in the cool breeze and shadow of a beautiful garden near a water fountain, river, or spring. The pleasant and harmonious atmosphere and the beauties of the autumn season enrich the quality of the nature energy that is assimilated by the body/mind and that rejuvenates the life and harmonizes the humors.