Jun 25, 2013

Summer Notes

South / Fire / Heart / Red / Circulation / Joy / Bitter Foods / Laughter/ Ultimate Yang

The days grow longer accompanied by golden light, maybe you spend some of your days at the lake with a picnic, or gathering with friends to feast in your backyard with meals supplemented with vegetables from your garden. Camping under the stars, paddling around in a canoe to explore alpine lakes, time at the coast exploring tide pools, picking wild berries until your fingers are stained, so many beautiful images come to mind when we think of Summer. Summer conjures up feelings of ultimate health & adventure; it is the time of the year when Yang is at its peak and becomes evident in the way we begin to move through the world. We’re more social, more active, and there’s a physicality to Summer that is embodied by the concept of Yang. Nature mirrors our activity; plants are growing rapidly in their race to fruit and seed. Activity is all around us; winter slumber is far from our thoughts at this point.

There are some health considerations to take into place at this time of year as always though. Summer is the time to focus on your heart in both its physical and emotional realms. Moving your body will enhance your circulation, allowing the heart to pump oxygen rich blood throughout the body, and we’ve included in this Share a Hawthorne Elixir to promote its vitality and strength. The heart, mind and spirit belong to the Fire Element of Summer and increased activities should ideally be accompanied by the creation of intentions of how you would like to embody the realms of the heart. How you love, whom you love, what brings joy and calm to your heart, and what lifts your spirit, are important points of focus right now. Identifying them, and trying to bring more of those aspects and experiences into your life is supported by the energy and momentum of Summer.  Summer is a time of realizing potential. In all of its forms.

Health Considerations for Summer:

>>> Awaken earlier with the sun, and go to bed later as the sun sets. During the height of the heat of the day enjoy an afternoon nap if possible to restore yourself. 20 minutes will do it.  Alternatively just set some time aside to be still, be productive by being unproductive for a spell.

>>>Incorporate cool, yin foods into your diet to help clear heat, reduce toxins and help to stay hydrated. A partial list of Yin foods includes: Melons, Cantaloupe, Lemons, Peaches, Sprouts, Bamboo Shoots, Cucumbers, Watercress, Seaweed, Mung beans, Mint and Dill.

 >>>Hydrate! Don’t let yourself get to the point where you feel like you are thirsty because that indicates that you are already dehydrated. Keep a large jar, pitcher or water bottle near you throughout the day so water is easily accessible. Adding sliced citrus, cucumber, lemongrass or mint leaves to your water can be refreshing and make it easier for those of you who don’t love drinking water.

>>>Eat lighter meals. The fresh vegetables and fruits of the season are naturally sweet and delicious to consume without the addition of heavy oils or sweeteners. It’s time to cut back on damp producing foods like dairy, greasy and/or fried food and processed sugar. The seasonal harvest is perfect for your body, take full advantage of the abundance!

>>>Bring your furoshiki from this Share to a nearby store, market or garden and wrap up a watermelon to bring home with you! Watermelon juice and seeds are a great remedy for dehydration, headaches, nausea, and decreased appetite due to high temperatures. Watermelon cools and cleanses the body and helps with any edema you might experience. Watermelon slices will taste great with a little of our Douglas Fir Tip Finishing Salt.

>>>If you overheat easily take preventative measures. Keep our toner in the refrigerator and mist yourself with it, keep washcloths in the freezer and apply them to pulse points at your wrists and the inside of your ankles or drape them across the back of your neck or forehead. A sun tea made of chrysanthemum flowers and mint can bring your temperature down, as can eating more pungent spicy foods.

>>>Be aware that the energy of the season moves upward. Emotions are quick to joy, but also quick to anger or agitation. If you feel increasingly agitated or frustrated take a moment to remind yourself that it could be environmental. Cool off, literally and figuratively. Yang is a great motivator and energetic force, but the flip side of it should also be considered, and steps made to keep your self calm and collected.

Thank you for your support and encouragement in creating this Summer Share. Portland Apothecary has now completed one full year of Seasonal CSH Shares and we’ve learned and grown so much, thanks to all of your words and insight. Your participation in the Community Supported Herbalism model, and its system of pre-ordering your share, allows us the financial support to bring you exactly the high quality herbal medicines & remedies that we want to. We would appreciate any feedback you have about this Summer Share!

As always we are so lucky to have some amazing collaborations with this Share. We’d like to welcome back Coach Sara Seinberg who has been with us providing her recipes for an entire year. We’re already hooked on her recipes for Summer. DYELAB is with us again tying and dying up a storm to create the beautiful furoshiki that is included with your Share. Furoshiki are popular in Japan and are used as an alternative to bags for carrying all means of things from lunches, to groceries, to a couple of bottles to bring to a party or to use to wrap a gift. DYELAB has used madder root for this Share’s dye process. We’d like to welcome Fortress Letterpress & Design to this Share, Bruce’s work is stellar, literally, and we are so happy to be sharing his work with you. We’d also like to welcome Cheryl Mulholland, and would like to thank her for her interpretations of our Summer Sky. And of course we’d like to thank Morgan Reedy for designing all of our labels and branding. 

Have a wonderful Summer full of adventure!

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