Thursday, December 13, 2012

summer : notes from my naturopath

At the beginning of every season I drive over the hill to visit my naturopath. She lives in a country cottage that borders a small river; chooks, ducks and geese call the garden home. I usually spend an hour with her, sipping chamomile tea while she talks about a seasonal diet and nature's medicine.

Summer, she told me, is all about the heart - strengthening and protecting this vital organ. It's the season for laughter, the time where we dance to music and celebrate outdoors. Imbued with happiness, it's the season of love (no wonder so many babies are born in spring!). 

The sun is vibrant in summer, incredibly energising, but we must be wary of its bite. Our diet should include bitter foods to cool the blood and to ultimately cool our body. These include:
  • cucumbers, lettuce, pears, grapefruit, celery
  • dairy - especially fetta and yoghurt
  • coconut, in all its forms
Other seasonal suggestions for a delicious and healthy diet include:
  • stone fruits in their rich shades of crimson and orange - peaches, nectarines and apricots are tonics for the heart
  • a fresh fruit and vegie juice is always a good thing (I'm currently drinking cucumber, carrot, ginger, apple and celery)
  • meat eaters should gravitate towards more seafood in summer (there's a lovely recipe for wild snapper here)
  • to aid digestion at night I drink a pineapple, ginger and mint juice just before dinner - strong, sweet and spicy 
  • lemon tea is perfect for summer to refresh and to cool -  try lemon myrtle, lemongrass or lemon verbena. 
Of course, with the warm weather comes the mozzies and I'm all for using a natural repellent. Burning lavender, or even rubbing some lavender oil around your window frames, keeps the mozzies and flies away. But be mindful that rosemary attracts them. Did you know that rosemary should always be planted on the hottest side of the house? - when the sun hits the leaves an oil is released which produces a vapour that ultimately cools the area. A trick the Ancient Egyptians used, apparently.

For bug bites try a little calendula oil dabbed on the skin or ice and aloe vera gel to cool and soothe. 

spring : notes from my naturopath

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