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The autumn season belongs to the metal element. Lung and Large Intestine qi are the meridians within metal. This involves the dryness of the season, and our defenses against contagious colds and illnesses. It involves the energy field called “Wei Qi” and the skin. The large intestine releases what is no longer needed. Think spiritually, emotionally and physiologically. Balance requires adding moisture. Balance requires a strong digestive function or the byproduct of phlegm will assault the Lung Meridian and proper elimination from the colon.  Also a focus on foods that give us energy and substance in preparation for the cooler weather to come.

To balance dryness, add foods that moisten. A little salt will also moisten dryness. (Not too much, that would add to imbalance. Seaweed is a very neutral way to add salt into the diet. Reference the miso soup above… ingredients can be purchased at an Asian grocery or ethnic grocery like Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati). Other food sources that specifically moisten are: soy, spinach, barley, millet, pear, apple, persimmon, seaweeds, black and white mushrooms, almonds, pine nut, peanut, sesame seed, cooked honey, barley malt, rice syrup, milk and dairy, eggs, clam, crab, oyster, mussel, herring, and pork. (Don’t forget to stick to your paleo friendly list that optimizes the adrenal gland function when you consider your choices. The choice is yours!)

If you’re experiencing dryness, then use bitter, aromatic, and warming foods with caution.

Internal heat is a sign of inflammation and infection. (Please check out blog entry: Cold and Flu Season!Cupping is also great with the onset of internal heat. If you’re experiencing internal heat with a red tongue or yellow coating, constipation, sore throat, nosebleeds, etc. use: *watercress, cantaloupe, apple, persimmon, peach, pear, strawberry, citrus, seaweeds, *mushroom, daikon radish, radish, carrot, pumpkin, cabbage, boo chou, cauliflower, chard, papaya… Eat mostly soups and congees.

If you have an imbalance of phlegm, it’s likely due to weak digestion. Or eating foods like dairy that are very difficult to digest. To resolve phlegm use: flaxseed, mushroom and turnip. For yellow phlegm use: watercress, radish, daikon radish, cereal grass, seaweeds, nettles, and mullein leaf.

Emphasize foods with fiber to cleanse the Lung and Large Intestine qi. Turbid emotions and thoughts can be cleansed by long, deep breathing.

Fall is a great time to mindfully start a diet that’s seasonally based, something we humans have done for millenniums until the fairly recent advent of refrigeration and transportation. As the long summer days shorten, autumn bring with it not just the drier and cooler conditions but also bountiful harvests. This is the time of year where, if we listen to our bodies, we notice the desire for less cooling foods. To balance the change of weather, the following foods and cooking techniques are usually part taken in many cultures…
Seasonal Foods
· Squashes
· Beans
· Radishes
· Peppers
· Mustard Greens
· Chinese Mustards
· Chinese Cabbages
· Chinese Broccolis
· Chives
· Bok Choys
· Sweet potatoes
· Cabbages
· Broccolis
· Apples
· Pears
· Apricots
· Olives
· Grapes
· Nuts
Spices that help add some warmth
· Ginger
· Garlic
· Chili
· Cinnamon
· Cardamom

Cooking methods should involve more focused preparation to supply more energy required by the oncoming cool season. The appetite is stimulated by the fragrance of the baked and sautéed food. (Sense of smell belongs to the Lung qi because the Lung qi opens into the nose.) Cooking techniques include:
· Stewing
· Braising
· Curing
· Sautéing
· Roasting
· Baking

And… don’t forget to wear a scarf. Protect your head and the nape of your neck. This is the area that is sensitive to energetic invasion related to a weakening of your defenses against contagious diseases. Keep up your energy and immune system with a tune up! Click here to schedule an appointment.

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Sources:

Albert, Steve. “Chinese Vegetables: Cool Season Varieties.”Best Bet Varieties, How to Grow.” Harvest to Table, 2016. Web. 17 October, 2016.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods. North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Suttie, Emma DAc. “Autumn/Fall.” Chinese Medicine Living. WordPress. Web. 17 Oct. 2017.

 

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