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Days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler. Late summer is here.

Also known as Indian summer, late summer traditionally starts around the 3rd week in February and lasts around 4-6 weeks in the southern hemisphere. Late summer is when the earth is starting to cool down, and there are occasional hot days mixed with cooler days or nights.

This season transitions from yang (outward, hot, extraverted energy) seasons of spring and summer, moving into yin (internal, cooling, introverted energies) seasons of autumn and winter. In late summer, nature is ripening and nurturing itself before traditional harvest time of autumn, so too we need to do this with our bodies. It is vital that now is the time to nourish and nurture your body, in preparation for the cooler months to come.

In Chinese medicine late summer is part of the earth element, and the organs associated with it are stomach and spleen. Their role is to transform and transport the food and liquid we eat and drink into valuable qi (energy), and distribute it to the right areas of the body. Therefore nurturing our digestion is vital this time of year.

Psycho-emotionally. Earth is associated with how we digest our ideas and thoughts. If it is out of balance, then worry, over thinking, loneliness and compulsive thoughts can dominate.

Physically. If your earth energy is out of balance, you will begin to notice issues with your digestion more now. These issues will include craving for sweet, abdominal bloating or pain, constipation or diarrhoea, nausea, low concentration, oedema, foggy head or heavy body.

What to eat. Ideally the foods to eat during late summer are ripe or over ripe fruits in season. Pumpkin, sweet potato, apples, almonds are all sweet in flavour, but not overly sweet. As the weather starts to cool, it’s also time to incorporate more warmer and cooked foods, and avoid foods like, sugar, processed foods, greasy, fried, raw, and too much dairy.

Even though this season is so short, it is an important time to nurture and nourish our bodies for the upcoming cooler months.

Come and see me if you would like to discuss any issues you may be having.

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