April 20, 2015, today is Grain Rain (谷雨 Gǔyǔ), the last solar term of the spring, according to Chinese 24 terms. The term “Grain Rain” is originated from a folk story. When Cangjie, an official from the Yellow Emperor period, created writing characters, grain came down from sky like rainfall. The Yellow Emperor thus named this day as the “grain rain”. The meaning of the Grain Rain (谷雨) is “spring rain that nurtures grains”. During this period, water begins to evaporate and as a result, humidity and rainfall increase. The main characteristic of Grain Rain is the warming and moistening of the earth, which primes the ground for planting.
Due to this distinctive characteristic of Grain Rain, mix of heat and dampness, neuropathic pain, such as intercostal neuralgia, sciatica, trigeminal neuralgia may happen more often. We should also pay attention to allergies, such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, etc. Sudden temperature change during this season is normal, it is important to wear enough cloths not to catch cold, but also not to wear too much cloths as it may bring up the “spring heat” from liver.
Synchronize daily activities with qualities of the season is always key to maintain good health. As we enter the last phase of spring, Grain Rain is the time when we are encouraged to take actions that lead to greater stability, security, and peace of mind.
For the diet, we should reduce the high-protein and high-calorie food intake. Eat more food that help enhance Qi and blood during this season is ideal, as they will not only improve our physical fitness, but also build a good foundation preparing our body into the summer. Spinach is one of the best food for this period. It nourishes and balance the liver, and also help cleanse the bad heat in our digestive systems. It is also suitable for food that are rich in Vitamin B, such as wheat, oat, millet, barley, soybeans, black sesame seeds and lean meat–they have significant effect in reducing mood swing and depressing. Additionally, alkaline food, like shellfish, shrimp, fish, seaweed and kelp, can also alleviate irritability and manic symptoms.
This is the time we may feel more sleepy, depressed, impatient, or have increasing sexual desire. Healthy diet, meditation and exercise regularly will help raise your energy level, calm your mind and help you achieve more concrete results.
Have a happy end of spring!