Tips For Staying Healthy in Summer

Author:Dr. Park Chan-joo Source:

Even though the summer vacation season is coming to an end, the hot weather may not go away until we’re totally exhausted. Many of you are probably suffering from the heat. Symptoms can include an overall lack of energy, thirst, loss of appetite, a summer cold, diarrhea and food poisoning.

In spite of the heat, there are people who are catching catch summer colds due to the excessive exposure to air conditioning. In general, it’s recommended to keep the room temperature between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius and the temperature gap between outdoors and indoors should be within 5 degrees. However, if the temperature of your working environment feels too low, taking a long-sleeve shirt to work or having some tea, such as ginseng, cinnamon and citron tea can prove helpful.

The summer months will have you sweating a great deal, causing extreme thirst. This can eventually lead to a lack of ``ki’’ or energy. There’s an old prescription called ``saengmaeksan (which means a powdered medicine to recover your pulse)’’ from ``Tonguibogam,’’ a prestigious book dealing with oriental medicine. The recipe consists of only three kinds of herbs _ ginseng, ``maekmundong’’ and ``omija’’ _ so you can easily get them in any herbal market and make tea from them.

In order to prevent dehydration, lack of appetite and fatigue in summer, you should ingest a variety of summer vegetables and fruits, such as watermelons, grapes, cucumbers and eggplant. Rich in water, vitamins and minerals, they are like the gifts from nature to get over the summer heat. They can help you get your appetite back, quench your thirst and give you the energy to overcome this weather.

As excess is worse than shortage, immoderate ingestion of fruits and vegetables can create other problems. When you have cold drinks or ice cream too often or have too many cold fruits and vegetables, you can experience some digestive problems including stomachache and diarrhea.

In addition, since hot and humid weather is the perfect environment for viruses and germs to flourish and foods can easily go bad, you should pay particular attention to hygiene. Remember that you should drink boiled or clean water, avoid raw foods and junk foods on the street, keep the foods in the fridge and wash your hands after returning home.

As for food poisoning, the most important thing is to complement water and electrolyte that you lose from diarrhea and vomiting. If the symptom is not serious and you keep replacing water and electrolytes through porridge and sports drinks, you’ll get better in a few days. Also, some oriental medical treatments including acupuncture and moxibustion can be helpful get rid of the toxic materials and stop diarrhea.

In order to get over the ``aftermath of summer vacation,’’ and adjust yourself to your daily routine, you should try to maintain a regular lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise with stretching, enough rest and avoid fatigue and alcohol.

Dr.Park Chan-Joo is the chief doctor at Tara Acupuncture & Oriental medicine ( in Seoul.