As summer heat flairs and afternoon rains bring alternating heat and cool, this can disturb the 3 humors and the 5 elements. Tibetan Medicine pays a great deal of attention to how the external elements, seasons and climate effect our internal environment.
Summer can be especially tricky because we are accumulating heat from the external environment, the sun is literally closer to us in the northern hemisphere, but if there is a high amount of rain, like a monsoon or simply daily or frequent afternoon showers this can also increase and give rise to the wind. As in all Tibetan medicine we seek to balance the elements accumulating before they become excessive. The accumulation of heat will continue until the autumn when it manifests and is pacified. I understood this process very well when I lived through several monsoon seasons in Darjeeling. The wind and rain mixed made you chilled to the bone, restless and edgy. But if I came down to the planes of India even for a day the heat was so unbearable you would get feverish and desire cold iced drinks immediately and all too happy to return to the howling raging rains of the hills as soon as you could.
One tip to maintain body temperature against this wide fluctuation of temperatures and influence of the wind and bile humor in the summer is to drink water which has been previously boiled, then cooled to room temperature. This method changes the very nature of water.
The nature of water is heavy, cool, smooth and thus a bit hard to digest. Ever down a big amount of water when you feel overheated and feel like it is sitting in your stomach like a lead weight? This is due to the nature of water. So by the simple act of heating up the water and bringing to a boil we make it lighter, warmer and easier to digest. When it cools back to room temperature it can help pull out excessive heat in the body. This is far superior to iced drinks when you really want to cool off.
Likewise, while it is excellent at eliminating excessive trapped heat, it also protects the digestive fires. No other beverage can do all that while supporting healthy renal function and flushing. I am often asked should you boil it for a long time and the answer is no, just bring it to a boil and shut it off, cool it and drink.
If there is a extreme heat condition and less wind, fenugreek seed can be soaked and boiled and drunk as a tea. However, it acts as a mild diuretic, so this should be done for only higher heat conditions and in the morning.
Many people who have complained to me over the years that water just doesn’t feel good and thus are severely hemo-concentrated because their dehydration is so severe from not consuming the bare minimum water daily needed and also have resulting sluggish stools, poor digestion and bloating are pleasantly surprised to find that by simply boiling water, cooling it, then adding only a few grains of sea salt (also an antidote to the rising wind) allows them to drink 16 ounces of water at a time with no discomfort or feeling of fullness. Nothing can hamper digestion quicker than ice or carbonated beverages, and so it is best to avoid those altogether.
NOTE: Don’t keep this water past 24 hrs maximum, as according to Tibetan Medicine this becomes like a poison. In my house we boil water in a pan on the stove first thing in the morning most summer days. We let it sit, then place in our water bottles to drink throughout the day. If it has sat overnight it is always tossed because the nature has changed once, and it should not be consumed after sitting 15-24 hrs.
So give it a try, see how good you feel and get hydrated – we are 90% water after all! When were in balance with the normal and healthy amount of water we feel so much better! If you feel you have to urinate frequently when you first start to consume the water, don’t worry, It takes awhile for the bladder, kidneys and cells to learn that its OK to absorb the much needed nectar of water into our cells. The solution to that is to make an electrolyte mix.
My personal electrolyte formula is 1 quart boiled water, 4 TBS unsweetened orange juice, and 1/4 tsp sea salt or a healthy pinch.
Cheers, here’s to your cellular and energetic health!