Xi Gua, known to most of us simply as watermelon, is a delicious fruit both adults and children love to eat. It is not coincidental that it is commonly eaten during the summer as it has great cooling properties.

In Chinese Medicine, the watermelon fruit clears heat, relieving both thirst and irritability. It is one of the few with the ability to help relieve heat exhaustion, also known as “summerheat”. To relieve heat exhaustion, the outermost layer of the rind is used as opposed to the sweet, juicy part of the fruit. In addition to clearing heat, watermelon promotes urination and reduces jaundice. In fact, it is currently being used as an assistant in the treatment of icteric hepatitis. 

Those with weakened digestive systems should be careful not to eat too much watermelon as it can create more damage since it is cold.

Da Zao, jujube or Chinese date, is not only a medicinal herb in Chinese medicine but also a tasty fruit. Its sweet and warm properties make it a favorite among many. The jujube can be consumed alone as a snack or added to foods. Be careful not to use too much though, as an excessive amount can bring about diarrhea and digestive discomfort.

Still, this herb is very special because it can replenish the substance that provides our bodies with warmth and energy (Qi). Thus it is used in cases of weakness, fatigue, and poor appetite. It builds blood and calms the spirit/mind, treating irritability and insomnia. Finally, Da Zao harmonizes formulas, reducing the undesired and harmful effects of harsh herbs and helping the herbs in a formula work together more effectively. It is often used as an alternative herb to Gan Cao (licorice root) to harmonize when licorice root is unavailable or when it is incompatible with the herbs being used.