Watermelon also known as “Xi Gua” in Chinese is classified as an herb in Chinese herbal medicine. Both the flesh and rind (white part) of the watermelon can be used medicinally. The medicinal properties of Xi Gua according to the Materia Medica of Chinese herbal medicine include sweet and cold. Xi Gua’s general actions include clear summer heat, generate fluids, promote urination, and expel jaundice. This means that watermelon when eaten during the hot summer months can help prevent or treat heat exhaustion and heat stroke (“sunstroke”).
Heat exhaustion, a less serious form of heat stroke, exhibits symptoms and signs such as confusion, dark urine, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, pale skin, profuse sweating, and rapid heart rate; where heat stroke can have all of these symptoms and signs plus rapid shallow breathing, seizures, unconsciousness, and lack of sweating despite the intense body temperature of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eating watermelon is a great way to stay cool and hydrated during the summer. Even though watermelon is so refreshing in the summer, be careful not to over dose on it either! Signs and symptoms of an overdose include stomach ache or cramps, vomiting of liquids, and diarrhea or loose stools. Like all things in life, too much of a good thing can also be bad for you.