In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the summer season is associated with the fire element and represents a season of growth. The summer is considered the season with the maximum amount of Yang. In TCM, climates can be the cause of disease when one’s body has a weakened Qi, or when exposed to excessive climatic elements. Two conditions the body is more susceptible to in the summer season is heat, damp or when combined damp-heat. One herb that is used frequently to reduce dampness within the body is Yi Yi Ren, also known as coix seed or Job’s tears. Yi Yi Ren is categorized as sweet, bland, and slightly cold, and enters the spleen, stomach, lung, and kidney meridians. Yi Yi Ren has the ability to drain dampness, clear damp-heat and even expel pus from carbuncles. I decided to grow them from seed to help me connect with them on a more personal level. Yi Yi Ren is used in many formulas prescribed during the summer season.
On another note, guess who is back?! I took a walk around the clinic, and I saw that an American robin couple selected that empty bird’s nest that I’ve been watching from a far. It appears that she has already laid her eggs, because the female bird is firmly seated and not budging. Here on campus, it is week 9 of the term, which means midterm exams. Make sure you include movement and rest into your schedule as self-care is integral in your long-term health and success.