Late Summer in Chinese medicine is governed by the Earth element. In practical terms, this is the season when the earth offers us heaps of fresh, nutritious food and a general sense of abundance. Emotionally, this element is associated with nurturing, nourishing, and grounding. Late Summer is a good time for relaxing, eating fresh food, and being with family and friends.
The Spleen has an intimate relationship with humidity and dampness, conditions we often experience at this time of year. The Spleen’s functions are easily disrupted by excessive dampness, whether in our environment or within the body (internal conditions are often described in terms of weather in Chinese medicine).
Conversely, when the Spleen is taxed, symptoms of “internal dampness” are more likely to occur. These may include digestive symptoms, such as bloating, gas, decreased appetite, or loose stool; a feeling of lethargy, heaviness, or a foggy feeling in the head; or increased congestion, to name a few.
The digestive system is especially vulnerable this time of year. Many people experience an increase in bloating, nausea, poor digestion, reduced appetite, and diarrhea or loose stool. Chronic conditions, such as IBS, may be more difficult to manage. Changing a few eating habits can help enormously in supporting your digestive system to handle the humid weather better.