Living Harmoniously with Summer for Healthy Fertility

According to the five elements, each season is associated with a particular property, flavor, function, and season.

The spleen and digestive organs have an affinity for the season called Late Summer – which is the start of the transitional time between summer and fall. Issues involving the function of this organ can either be heightened during this time if not cared for properly, or issues involved with this organ can be addressed by living harmoniously with the seasons.  When the spleen and the digestive organs are not thriving and functioning at optimal levels, “dampness” can arise.

Spleen Qi Deficiency / Dampness

 Dampness is what Chinese medicine refers to when the body is unable to metabolize water and food properly. Over time, it accumulates becoming congealed.  This greatly impacts fertility in a number of ways. These congealed fluids then disrupt the normal flow of energy, thus impacting bodily functions such as ovulation, or the clear passage down the fallopian tubes.

Dampness can be seen as such disorders as:     

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Inflammatory conditions which block fallopian tubes or cervix
  • Heavy and aching joints – particularly of the lower body
  • Overweight
  • Issues with insulin metabolism
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reproductive tract infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Abnormal or excessive vaginal discharge
  • Bloating with ovulation
  • PMS – weight gain, water retention and breast tenderness
  • Endometriosis
  • Polyps, fibroids
  • Low libido

Foods that are great for drying dampness and supporting the metabolism of water:

  • Scallions
  • Rye
  • Turnips
  • Alfalfa
  • Basmati rice Celery
  • Citrus seed extract
  • Clams
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Job’s tears
  • Unrefined barley
  • Corn
  • Wild Rice
  • Dry roasted oats
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mackerel
  • Parsnip
  • Pumpkin
  • Mung bean
  • Dandelion
  • Cabbage
  • Summer melons
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Tea
  • Legumes

 Those presenting a damp condition should avoid:

  • Sugar, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices high in sugar
  • Refined wheat products
  • Refined card
  • Cow dairy
  • Raw diet
  • Soy, flaxseed, phytoestrogens
  • Chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Nuts
  • Large quantities of beer and alcohol
  • Rich and greasy meals
  • Overeating
  • Yeast, molds, fungi
  • Excessive salt intake
  • Rich and fatty meat
  • Non organic meats
  • Yams

Those presenting a damp condition should consider: 

  •  Sheep and goat’s milk for dairy consumption
  • Yogurt and probiotics. Stomach flora tends to be out of balance in women with damp conditions so supplementing with probiotics can help the balance, and aid in digestion. Women with damp tendencies are more susceptible to yeast infections so probiotic consumption can help combat and stave off over growth of yeast and candida.
  • Drink plenty of water to push out excess and retained fluids in the lower body.
  • High protein to help stabilize insulin.
  • Nuts and seeds in small quantities.
  • Avocado as a healthy fat. Avocados are high in protein and can supply lasting energy and other healthy fats such as butter and ghee in moderation
  • Cardio exercise is especially helpful in the aid of metabolizing water. Movement helps move body fluid and rid the body of excess water retention, while the act of raising our temperature through exercise helps to burn off damp conditions such as weight and phlegm.

For more information, please feel free to contact us. Enjoy your summer!

 

As always, the information above is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.

 

References:

Healing with whole foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, Paul Pitchford
The Tao of Nutrition, Maoshing NI, Ph.D., C.A. with Cathy McNease, B.S., M.H.
The Tao of Healthy Eating, Bob Flaws
The Tao of Fertility,  A Healing Medicine Program to Prepare Body, Mind, and Spirit for New Life, Daoshing NI, D.O.M., L.Ac., Ph.d. and Dana Herko

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