The air conditioning is running all night, set to a frigid 64 degrees. While your spouse is bundled up with a down comforter, you kick off the sheets, tossing and turning and racing to the bathroom a few times during the night to splash water on your face.
Summertime is the mean season for experiencing hot flashes and night sweats! Men also can undergo a sensation of intense heat in the body. The heart of the summer can make life miserable if you have to be outside, even if it’s just for a couple minutes. For some people, just walking down the driveway to retrieve the mail can induce a puddle of sweat.
Thankfully, traditional Chinese medicine offers solutions for beating the heat and keeping cool, or at least a little cooler. Even feeling a degree or two cooler can make the difference between feeling miserable and being able to tolerate either the external heat, or the heat that’s generated in your body.
Let’s explore the root causes of feeling overheated and their respective remedies….
Hormone Imbalance In The West, Yin Deficiency in the East
Hot flashes and night sweats are blamed on hormonal changes, and the imbalances perimenopause and menopause cause. When a woman’s estrogen levels decline, the body’s master thermostat—the hypothalamus gland—becomes more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature. When this occurs, as counterintuitive as it may sound, the hypothalamus initiates a hot flash precisely to cool the body down.
One of the best ways to beat the heat is to clear your body’s excess internal heat and resolve Yin deficiency, thereby bringing the body back into balance.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, hormones and an oversensitive internal thermostat aren’t to blame for hot flashes and night sweats. Rather, the root cause of hormonal challenges is Yin deficiency, which can occur in men as well.
Yin energy is cooling in nature. So if you’re deficient in Yin, your body lacks sufficient Yin to cool Yang’s heat. And if you’re really Yin deficient, you may have what’s called in TCM theory, “pathogenic fire.” (Pathogenic fire can also be caused by Yang excess.)
Pathogenic heat not only prevents you from cooling down, it also makes you irritable and unable to calm down.
Yin deficiency, besides causing night sweats and hot flashes, can also lead to dry mouth, rosy-red, flushed cheeks, and sweaty palms and feet. Of course, if it’s 95 degrees and muggy outside, almost everybody is going to feel uncomfortable. However, some people can deal with the heat better than others. And one of the best ways to beat the heat is to clear your body’s excess internal heat and resolve Yin deficiency, thereby bringing the body back into balance.
Revive Your Yin To Keep Cool
In TCM theory, nutrition plays a critical role in Yin-Yang harmony. One could say that in a way, the ancient Chinese coined the proverb, “You are what you eat.” Eating and drinking certain foods can create Yin deficiency (see below in suggested reading). Other factors can cause Yin deficiency, particularly stress and lack of sleep. (Specifically, overwork and lack of sleep cause Kidney Yin deficiency).
But thanks to a 12th century Chinese medicine formula, you can nourish your Yin energy easily.
Liu Wei Di Huang Tang is the most respected and prescribed Yin tonics in Chinese medicine. Otherwise known as YinVive, the formula helps keep you cool by tonifying the Blood and the Kidney, which is the seat of the body’s life essence and the raw material needed to nourish Yin energy.
You can think of YinVive as an air conditioner for your internal body.
(Want the most potent Yin-nourishing formulas? Check out YinVive Plus and YinGreat.)
Cooling Summer Internal Fire
Yin deficiency can occur in the dead of winter, not just summer. YinGreat isn’t just for beating the heat in summer. But during the summer, more people are more prone to overheating for obvious reasons.
From a TCM perspective, when the weather is really hot, the heat can burn up your body’s internal fluids. That’s why it’s vital to stay hydrated. Watermelon and watermelon juice are favorites in China for hydration; the traditional Chinese Gatorade, if you will.
Supplementing with single herb extract granules such as dandelion root and rhubarb can also help cool internal fire.
Other ways to help keep cool include eating lots of fruits and vegetables and fish, instead of eating red meats and barbecued/grilled/blackened meats, which can lead to damp heat in the body. And if you love tossing a few back, bad news because drinking beer as well as soda and other cold beverages can also cause excess damp heat. You don’t have to totally give up your favorite barbecue foods and drinks, but do try and limit your consumption of them if you want to beat the heat this summer.
Suggested Reading From The ActiveHerb Blog:
Ditch the Damp-Heat: How TCM Nutrition Tips Can Help You Stay Cool During the Summer
Chinese herbs may reduce hot flashes