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Summer Wellness: Chinese Medicine Foods to Keep You Cool and Balanced

Discover the Best Foods for Summer According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Principles


food chinese five element theory


Summer is a time when the weather is warm, and our bodies crave lighter, more refreshing foods. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), certain foods are believed to have specific properties that can help balance the body's energy and promote overall health during the summer months.


Understanding the Elements of Food in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, the elements of food play a crucial role in maintaining balance and promoting health. According to the Five Element Theory, which is a fundamental concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is categorized based on five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element corresponds to different organs in the body and has unique properties that influence overall wellness.


The Five Elements


The water element is associated with the kidney and bladder organs, and water-rich foods help cleanse the body and hydrate cells. In contrast, the wood element governs the liver and gall bladder, with foods like celery and lettuce supporting these organs.


The fire element relates to the small intestine and heart, where hot or spicy foods can boost circulation and metabolism.


The earth element is linked to the spleen and stomach, with foods like oatmeal and brown rice aiding in digestion.


The metal element corresponds to the lungs and large intestine, with foods such as almonds and pine nuts supporting these organs.


According to the Five Element Theory, summer is the season of the Fire element. This means that it's a time of maximum activity and growth, and it's important to eat foods that can help nourish the body and keep it cool.



a plate of salad

Here are some of the best foods to eat during the summer months, according to the Five Element Theory:


Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are considered to be "cooling" foods in TCM, and they're especially important to eat during the summer. Some of the best options include watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, cucumber, tomatoes, and leafy greens.


Bitter foods: Bitter foods are believed to help clear excess heat and fire from the body, which can be helpful during the summer. Some examples of bitter foods include dandelion greens, arugula, kale, and bitter melon.


Grains: Grains are considered to be neutral in TCM, which means that they can help balance out the body's energy. Some of the best options for summer include millet, quinoa, and brown rice.


Proteins: It's important to eat enough protein during the summer to support the body's increased activity and growth. Some of the best options include tofu, tempeh, beans, and fish.


Herbs and spices: Certain herbs and spices can be helpful for keeping the body cool and balanced during the summer. Some of the best options include mint, cilantro, dill, and chrysanthemum tea.


By understanding and incorporating foods aligned with these elements, you can optimise your diet to support specific organs and maintain overall balance and health according to Chinese medicine principles. If you're feeling overheated or depleted, try incorporating more cooling and nourishing foods into your diet. And if you have any specific health concerns or questions, consult with one of our qualified TCM practitioners.


Care Cure are Ireland's leading Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists. We have clinics in Dublin 4 and Dun Laoghaire.


Free consultations online and in all our clinics. Contact us today







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