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  • Writer's pictureAmy Malone RN LAc DiplOM

TCM Tip of the Month: August 2019

cooling cucumbers for skin, inflammation and to beat summer heat

Cool as a cucumber....maybe, or maybe you're hot and struggling with this summer heat! Even though summer may be winding down, there's still plenty of hot days ahead. Here's how you can use cucumber to help you stay cool and hydrated.

In TCM, cucumbers (huang gua) are cool natured yin tonics. They are alkaline and moistening while also having a mild diuretic effect. This means that they promote urination without being too dying. Cucumbers are a source of vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and fiber. In terms of action, they help to reduce redness and puffiness in the eyes and face, promote systemic cool down, are anti-inflammatory and can be used topically to soothe bug bites and sunburn.

Here are some great ways to use cucumbers (which you may have in abundance in your garden anyway!)

- Add to a pitcher of water with lemon in the fridge to a cool refreshing summer sip

- Slice into ribbons and place of sunburn or slice into rounds for on top of bug bites

- Make cucumber salad

- Make a homemade cucumber face mask

- Enjoy a refreshing cucumber margarita

Here is a recipe for my favorite cucumber salad

Chinese Cucumber Salad

o 1 Cucumber (washed with tough skins peeled)

o 2 cloves minced garlic (or 3, because garlic)

o 1 tbsp rice vinegar

o 1 tbsp tamari

o 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

o 1 pinch brown sugar

o 1/2 tsp chili oil or paste (to taste, I add more, I like them spicy!)

Roll the cucumber to loosen the liquid and seeds, then slice into rounds. Combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together, pour over cucumbers. You can serve them immediately or let them marinate to soak up the flavor.

**All information and resources found on are based on the opinions, experience and research of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider...even if that provider may be the author ;)

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