Beat the Heat: Smart Tips for a Heart-Happy Summer

Summertime is the perfect season to immerse yourself in outdoor activities, fresh air, and delight in longer days. However, don’t let these bright sunny days distract you from keeping your heart and cardiovascular well-being in check.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) associates summer with the fire element, which influences the health of your heart and circulatory system. The extended daylight prompts an increase in energy and activity, impacting circulation as your body tries to meet increased demands.

Stagnant blood generates heat in the form of inflammation, leading to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. This heat raises the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues—particularly with the additional risks of dehydration and heat stroke.

The best way to protect your health during summer is to keep chronic inflammation in check. Continuous overheating degrades your body through wear, tear, and oxidative stress, leading to degenerative diseases and aging.

Keep Your Cool

To ensure your heart remains strong and your body stays cool and hydrated during summer, follow these steps:

  1. Enjoy the abundance of fresh summer produce like leafy greens and hydrating fruits with high water and mineral content.
  2. Drink at least 64 ounces of fresh, filtered water every day.
  3. Replenish electrolytes with a healthy electrolyte and mineral supplement.
  4. Utilize cooling, anti-inflammatory supplements.
  5. Slow down and prevent overheating.
  6. Prioritize sleep for recovery and restoration.
  7. Engage in gentle, regular exercise, avoiding the midday sun, which may lead to overheating.
  8. Plan a vacation and recharge your batteries when possible.
  9. Practice meditation and relaxation to maintain overall health.

Permitting your body to cool down, regulate internal temperatures, and regenerate fluids is crucial for a long, healthy life—especially during extended periods of heat.

Botanicals and Nutrients

Prioritize cardiovascular and circulatory health with these botanicals and enzymes:

  • Hawthorn berry
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Chinese salvia
  • L-carnitine
  • Omega-3 oils
  • Enzymes such as nattokinase, lumbrokinase, and others

Repair Chronic Heat Damage

A fast-paced lifestyle can cause chronic heat damage that requires more than fluids and electrolytes to reverse. Fluid-generating herbs and botanicals can help hydrate and maintain moisture in tissues and organs. These “body fluid regenerators” or YIN regeneration herbs in TCM address different body parts:

  • Tian Men Dong (asparagus tuber) and Mai Men Dong (Ophipogon tuber) promote blood and fluids in the heart, lungs, and stomach.
  • Shu Hu (Dendrobium stem) maintains moisture in the lungs, stomach, and eyes.
  • Zhi Mu (Anemarrhenae root) is essential for the stomach if experiencing severe dryness.
  • Sheng Di Huang (Rehmmania) nourishes the blood to moisturize all organs.

Balancing between clearing heat and nourishing body fluids is important for addressing heat damage.

Reap the Rewards

A whole-food diet, abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and essential fatty acids (found in nuts and fish), is crucial for a healthy circulatory system. Antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3s work together to minimize the effects of free radicals, keep arteries healthy, and soothe excessive heat.

Summer offers increased vitality, new adventures, bountiful fresh produce, and numerous celebrations. By taking care of our health during this season, we can flourish instead of wilting away in the heat. For more information on health and wellness, visit