In last week’s blog post, we discussed the transition from summer to fall and the importance of safeguarding our lungs. This week in Autumn Health Part Two, we look at the foods all around in fall that can combat autumn’s dryness, helping us fight the season’s challenges. Nature provides the solution to the very problem that it brings!
Immune System Health
Our immune system often becomes weakened during season changes. Any transition from one season to the next is a vulnerable time. We get used to living in a pattern, whether it be the warmth of summer or the cold of winter. When change occurs, it throws our immune system into confusion. During these transition changes, it is essential to be mindful of what’s coming next, prepare ourselves for the challenges each coming season brings, and be ready.
Each season has its predominant energy theme, and autumn’s theme is dryness. In Autumn Health Part Two, it’s crucial to know that dryness most often affects the lungs and large intestine. The five-element theory of Chinese medicine associates dryness with the element metal. Signs of dryness include dry skin, itchiness, dry lips, dry throat, constipation, and a dry cough.
A good fruit to eat during autumn is pears. They nourish the lungs and rid dryness, soothe a cough and ease dry throat. Pears come into their full ripeness in the fall and are plentiful and inexpensive to buy. It’s incredible how nature provides the right foods for us to eat at just the right time.
Another good fall food is tahini, made from sesame seeds. You can use it to season soups and stews or spread on toast and sandwiches. Tahini is gentle on the digestive system and provides many nutritional benefits. It builds yin and tonifies the liver and kidneys. Other moistening foods include tofu, soy milk, spinach, barley, millet, apples, mushrooms, almonds, peanuts, eggs, and pork.
Combating Dryness In Fall
A dry, harsh cough accompanied by a dry throat requires cooling your Lungs with foods such as cooked apples and pears, roast duck, persimmon, celery, or nori (seaweed). A simple and effective way to combat a dry, lingering cough is to add some of the following foods into your diet for a week or two:
pears with applesauce
limited amounts of dairy (for example, some yogurt with honey)
yams or eggs
As a final note in Autumn Health Part Two, honey is an excellent tonic for stopping coughs. A teaspoon of honey is often more effective than a cough suppressant!
If you develop a cough this fall and test negative for Covid-19, give us a call, and we will prescribe Chinese herbs. Most coughs that develop in autumn are due to dryness associated with the season. Of course, the current pandemic is throwing a wrench in the works, making usual care impossible. But we will overcome it.
In Autumn Health Part Two, we’ve discussed how dryness plays a big part in our health in fall, and how the foods we eat can help address and correct the imbalances caused by dryness.