- Gordon Dumoulin
Sanfu 三伏, China's dog days and health preparation for coming winter.....
July 16 marked the start of the Sanfu (三伏) this year, China’s hottest period in the lunar calendar. Divided in three phases; Toufu (头伏), Zhongfu (中伏) and Mofu (末伏), Sanfu usually lasts 30-40 days.
Sanfu is a period in which people are advised to remain calm and relaxed for example in the coolness of parks. Sanfu is considered the optimum period for your metabolism to treat and prevent upcoming winter illnesses such as coughs, asthmas or arthritis. Sanfutie (三伏贴) are medicinal herbal paste patches which people can get in hospitals to stick on specific body parts to improve and prepare immunity and strength for upcoming winter.
This TCM practice has first been recorded more than 2,000 years ago and has been very popular in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and still in valuable practice for many people today. It is based on the principle 冬病夏治, literally “winter disease, summer cure”.
This period is full of traditions, especially for eating. Dumplings, noodles, mung bean soup, meat broth, egg pancakes, chrysanthemum or jasmine tea, or water melon are popular and traditional foods during China’s dog days. Food is your medicine…..
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