How to Cleanse for the Season
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the third week of August marks the start of the fifth season. Known as Late Summer, this is the time of year to cleanse in preparation for Fall. It’s as spiritual as it is practical: as the weather shifts and the northern hemisphere approaches cooler, colder temperatures, a Late Summer detox helps strengthen the body against illnesses. To cleanse is to prepare your defenses and protect the immune system against vulnerabilities.
It’s important to note that in TCM, each season is ruled by a specific element and centers around key organs. Summer, for example, was characterized by Fire, the energy of the heart and small intestine. Come Late Summer, we shift into grounding Earth energy and focus on the stomach. The goal is to support the digestive system because of its link to the lungs and large intestine—two parts of the body that represent the metal element and energy of the Fall season to come.
Even more important, though, is using this time to reframe our assumptions about cleansing. Unlearn everything you associate with pop culture-induced detoxification, and approach it through the lens of full-body healing. It’s about restoration, not deprivation; a reset—but not without nutrient replenishment.
Here’s how to cleanse for the season:
Start by clearing negative energy
Though Palo Santo (also known as “Holy Wood”) isn’t part of TCM—but rather, an integral practice rooted in South America—we find that the ritual of burning Palo Santo helps set the intention for peace and mental clarity. Burn to meditate, manifest, and destress your space (including your kitchen!) to welcome Late Summer.
Cleanse your digestive system
Once you’ve cleansed your physical space, cleanse your body, too. Clean Slate helps support the liver and colon, of course, but also works to help improve digestion using an herbal blend that includes Organic Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Triphala by eliminating toxins.*
Nourish your body
Feed your body, mind, soul. By enriching your diet with nutrient-dense foods—Late Summer is the season of harvest, after all—you’re able to center yourself and restore balance to the gut. Do so by slowly swapping out your cooling, Summer fruits and vegetables for cooked, whole foods. Lentils, legumes, root vegetables (like beets, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin) and seasonal fruits (like peach which is considered warming) will help provide your body with the sustenance it craves. Create simple stews and soups packed with grounding grains; avoid seasoning and instead, let the full-bodied flavor of these in-season vegetables (typically sweet in flavor and golden or orange in color) satiate your hunger.
Use these next few weeks before Fall for pause and recalibration. Reset your mind, body, qi; set forth your intentions for manifestation. Reflect and digest, literally, because Late Summer is a season of transition. Growth lies ahead as we shift into Fall.
Share your Late Summer reflections with us @wthn.
What are you satisfied with? What foods, practices, or intentions leave you feeling wholly nurtured?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.