Da Shu (大暑) Solar Terms – Diet and General Wellness Guidelines

We will be going into the Da Shu (大暑) solar term (节气) starting from 22 Jul to 6 Aug 2024. Da Shu is the 12th solar term out of the entire 24. In the coming two weeks, rainfall will be less frequent as we’ll be moving into the Autumn season come August. Typically, the Autumn season brings drier air and lesser rainfall. Coming back to Da Shu, these two weeks will be very, if not, the most humid period of the year. The temperature will be higher than other solar terms and it will also be accompanied by some rain, which will make the environment very humid and affect many people’s spleen and digestive health. The dietary direction for these two weeks is 健脾护胃 – which means strengthening the spleen, getting rid of dampness, and protecting the stomach. To prevent further worsening of the spleen’s health, I suggest adopting a light diet (reduce or eliminate oily, processed foods, sweet desserts, etc). The following foods are recommended to be consumed during the Da Shu solar term: Watermelon – For most people, watermelon is a great fruit to eat during summertime because watermelon has a strong property of clearing summer heat and quenching thirst. But please take note that people who have sticky stools and/or experience stomach discomfort after eating watermelon should avoid it. This could mean that these people have a significant amount of dampness in their spleen and can’t take watermelon yet. Adzuki beans (赤小豆) – Adzuki beans are good for clearing summer heatiness as well as helping to remove dampness from our body. It is one of the best foods to be consumed during this solar term. Chinese Yam (山药) –  Chinese yam is very suitable for this period because it can help to strengthen our spleen and improve its ability to get rid of accumulated dampness in our body. Winter Melon (冬瓜) – Winter melon is a recommended food for this solar term because it can help to remove the dampness in the body through urination. It can also reduce body heatiness due to the summer heat. Mung Beans (绿豆) – Also known as green beans. You can easily prepare a mung bean drink in 5 minutes, which helps to clear summer heat in the body. It also has the property of quenching thirst, detoxing and reducing dampness. This makes it an ideal drink during this period. General Wellness Recommendation During these two weeks, there will be an increase in cases of 暑湿感冒 (summer flu) as compared to the usual wind heat flu (风热感冒) or wind cold flu (风寒感冒). The characteristics of summer flu are high and persistent fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and/or skin rashes.  Unlike wind heat and wind cold flu, people with summer flu will not find relief after sweating. Thus, some people may suspect it is dengue fever. The following are some suggestions to avoid getting summer flu in the next 4 weeks: Avoid entering an air-conditioned room immediately after sweating from the heat. Instead, find a sheltered place to cool down and let the sweating subside before entering the air-conditioned area. Avoid consuming cold drinks especially when you are feeling very warm and hot. It is best to drink room temperature water in this case so that it won’t hurt your spleen. This is the most common reason why people get summer flu. Avoid consuming oily and sweet foods as they will burden and weaken your spleen and increase your vulnerability to summer flu. Consume foods that help to strengthen your spleen and clear dampness in the body (such as those mentioned earlier in this post). For someone who has gotten the summer flu (with the above mentioned symptoms), he/she can try to take 藿香正气丸. This is a proven TCM formula for summer flu that you can purchase in any TCM retail shop. Have a healthy Da Shu solar term!

Xiao Shu (小暑) Solar Terms – Diet and General Wellness Guidelines

xiao shu solar term

We will be going into the Xiao Shu (小暑) solar term (节气) starting from 6 to 21 Jul 2024. Xiao Shu is the 11th solar term out of the entire 24. With the arrival of Xiao Shu, we are about two weeks away from the most humid time of the year, Da Shu (大暑). In these two weeks, some people may experience weaker digestion and/or poor appetite due to the humidity.  The dietary direction for this solar term is 消暑健脾, 养阴生津. This means reducing summer heatiness, strengthening the spleen, as well as nourishing the Yin to encourage the production of fluids in the body. The following are foods you can consider to consume more often during this period: Adzuki beans (赤小豆) – Adzuki beans are good for clearing summer heatiness as well as helping to remove dampness in our body. It is one of the best foods to be consumed during this solar term. Chinese Yam (山药) –  Chinese yam is very suitable for this period because it can help to strengthen our spleen and improve its ability to get rid of accumulated dampness in our body. Winter Melon (冬瓜) – Winter melon is a recommended food for this solar term because it can help to remove the dampness in the body through urination. It can also reduce body heatiness due to the summer heat. Lotus Seeds (Chinese name: 莲子) – Lotus seed is good for calming the mind. Heart fire can disrupt the mind and affect sleep quality. Lotus seed is a natural remedy to counter this. General Wellness Recommendation In the next 4 weeks (2 solar terms), there will be an increase in cases of 暑湿感冒 (summer flu) as compared to the usual wind heat flu (风热感冒) or wind cold flu (风寒感冒). The characteristics of summer flu are high and persistent fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and/or skin rashes.  Unlike wind heat and wind cold flu, people with summer flu will not find relief after sweating. Thus, some people may suspect it is dengue fever. The following are some suggestions to avoid getting summer flu in the next 4 weeks: Avoid entering an air-conditioned room immediately after sweating from the heat. Instead, find a sheltered place to cool down and let the sweating subside before entering the air-conditioned area. Avoid consuming cold drinks especially when you are feeling very warm and hot. It is best to drink room temperature water in this case so that it won’t hurt your spleen. This is the most common reason why people get summer flu. Avoid consuming oily and sweet foods as they will burden and weaken your spleen and increase your vulnerability to summer flu. Consume foods that help to strengthen your spleen and clear dampness in the body (such as those mentioned earlier in this post). For someone who has gotten the summer flu (with the above mentioned symptoms), he/she can try to take 藿香正气丸. This is a proven TCM formula for summer flu that you can purchase in any TCM retail shop.

iHerb Promo Code SG (Updated: Jul 2024)

iherb discount codes

I have been a iHerb customer since 2011 (more than 10 years ago!) and I highly recommend their products not only because the price there is cheaper but also their range of products are organic as compared to the common brands we found in local department stores. I always update this page with the latest iHerb promo code for Singapore customers. The code for current month is: ZIM276. You can enter this code every time you buy from iherb, you will save 5 to 10% depending on the products you purchase. The following are some of my favorite products just to share with you in case you want to hit the minimum spending for free shipping. African Black Soap Bar – This help me save tons of money! Being one of the highly rated products on iHerb, I use this soap to clean my face twice a day. It helps to calm my skin and reduce acne problems. You can read the reviews here. This soap only costs SG$5 and can be used for months! XyliWhite Toothpaste – A lot of the toothpaste in the market contains SLS (Sodium Lauryl sulfate) and paraben which are not good for our gums. I use this brand for several years already and like it very much. This product also has one of the highest reviews in iHerb. MegaFood Multi-vitamins – The only brand I buy nowadays for multi-vitamins is MegaFood. Click here to see a range of products they carry. Coromega Omega-3 Orange Squeeze – This is a unique product. I don’t like to swallow big fish oil capsule so I prefer this brand where it is in gel form that I can easily squeeze it into my mouth and swallow it. This is my way of getting my omega 3 daily intake. Do you have any iHerb products to recommend? You can share with me in the comments section =) Just a reminder, the iherb promo code for Singapore is: ZIM276. P.S. If you are located in other countries, you can also use the same code above to get the same discount. This code is universal =) 

Fresh Lychee Season

fresh lychee tcm

Recently, you might see quite a lot of fresh lychee selling in the markets. Do you know that lychee also has healing properties in TCM? In《全国中草药汇编》, it is stated that lychee has the property of 益气补血. This means that lychee can help to strengthen Qi flow in the body (improving energy and immunity) and act as a blood tonic (suitable for people with blood deficiency). Given that lychee has a warm thermal nature, do note that it can cause heatiness. Thus for people who are Yin deficient and people who are having sore throat or flu, it is better not to consume lychee for the time being. If you’re unable to find fresh lychee in your area, you can also purchase dried lychee as an alternative (see image below). Dried lychee has the same health benefits as fresh lychee (strengthening Qi and blood). In fact, dried lychee has the added benefit of being less heaty than fresh lychee. For hundreds of years, dried lychee has been used to treat children’s bedwetting and chronic diarrhea conditions (that often occur in seniors between 3 to 5am). For treatment of chronic diarrhea in this case, the dried lychee has to be cooked with rice and served as porridge.