Chinese Twenty-Four Season White Dew–Bai Lu 白露
In Part one we talked about the names and timing of the Chinese twenty-four seasons Jie Qi节气. If you missed the first part of this article series, CLICK HERE to read it. In Living Well With The Seasons Part Two, I am going to talk about the season White Dew, pronounced in Chinese as Bai Lu 白露. The White Dew season runs from approximately September 8th to September 23rd, depending on the year.
White Dew–Bai Lu 白露
Let’s first discuss the meaning of this season’s name. Bai means white and lu means dew. This is the third season in Fall. At this time, the sun is at 165 degrees relates to the earth. The humidity in the air begins to condense due to the cooling temperature in the morning and night, forming white dew which can be observed in the morning on the grass.
There is a traditional Chinese saying, “At the time of Bai Lu and Qiu Fen, the nights are getting cooler and cooler with each passing night.” (Bai Lu Qiu Fen Ye, Yi Ye Leng Yi Ye — 白露秋分夜，一夜冷一夜“）
How To Dress Properly For Bai Lu 白露
The weather is getting cooler in both the morning and evening. In order to stay healthy, you should dress accordingly. The temperature difference is bigger at this time than it was during the summer. Therefore, you should always carry extra clothing with you for these new temperature changes. Knowing about White Dew season helps us be mindful – to take the light jacket from the closet before taking our evening walk, for example. We didn’t need it all summer, but now we do.
Awareness of the Seasons Prevents Illness
People with weakened immune function are prone to catching colds at this time, especially if they are not careful to dress properly. Catching a chill on a morning walk can lead to developing a cold, upset stomach, asthma flare or other sickness.
People with stronger underlying immune health also need to be mindful. If they ignore the season changes, they may not get sick right away, but can start harboring microbes. These microbes can develop into illness in the future when their immune system gets compromised from stressful events in life.
Awareness of the Seasons Prevents Pain
During this time of the year, I see many cases of neck, shoulder, back and elbow pain, as well as headaches and stomach aches, all caused by improper dressing. I cringe every time I see women wearing blouses that are too short to cover their stomach or wearing sandals when the weather is in the sixties and below in the morning or evening.
This is because the stomach and feet are areas where cold pathogens (disease) enters the body easiest and can directly lead to illness. There is a term in Chinese medicine called “Direct strike.” It means the cold pathogen directly gets into the body where it causes disease right away. For this example, exposing the stomach to cooler air in the morning or evening can directly lead to diarrhea, bloating and stomach pain.
Living In Balance With The Seasons
One should not over dress during Bai Lu either. If you are familiar with Chinese culture, you know that it is all about balance: not too hot, not too cold, just right. (Sounds like the Three Bears story!) Why is dressing too warm problematic? Because if you dress too warm, you will sweat when the sun is high and the temperature rises during the day. If you are sweaty and feel too hot, your pores are open. When the pores are open, you are most vulnerable to catching cold pathogens.
In Chinese medicine, pores are like doors to your body. If your door is wide open, then a thief can easily get in and cause you trouble. So it is when your pores are open. The cold pathogen can easily get in and cause disease. Therefore, in this season, wear layers and always carry extra clothing for the cooler mornings and evenings.
How To Eat Properly During Bai Lu 白露
Bai Lu 白露 is the third season in Autumn within the Chinese twenty-four seasons. During this time the weather turns cool and dry. Autumn precedes winter, therefore the weather is getting colder and colder. In Chinese culture, people should stop eating foods that are cold in nature like watermelon and other types of melon, cold raw salad, and cold beverages. In Chinese medicine, your digestive system prefers warm foods both in temperature and property. (For more information on the food properties, please visit JhealingSystem.com – coming soon)
During the grueling, hot, humid summer Chinese culture says we should eat light, easy to digest foods. Once autumn comes around we need to change our diet. We should now eat rich, dense foods to restore what body has lost during the summer. Remember, in summer we typically have less appetite and lose a significant amount of fluid due to sweating. Meats are an efficient source of dense nutrition to help replenish the body. Different meats have different characteristics. Here are some examples.
Lamb is warming in nature, nourishes the Liver channel and is tonifying. It is a good food for people who are weak in their underlying healing energy, tired all the time, and feel cold often. There is a famous dish for nourishing blood in Chinese medicine called “Dang Gui and Sheng Jiang Lamb soup.” which is used to tonify people who are deficient in blood. An example of this are women who are anemic from heavy bleeding. (To treat heavy menstrual issues, please visit: https://raleighacupunctureinc.com/womens-health/)
Beef is neutral in temperature, and tonifies the blood and Qi. It is good for people who have relative strong digestive systems, who want to further improve their digestion. (To treat weak digestive function, please visit: https://raleighacupunctureinc.com/digestive/)
Chicken is neutral in temperature, and tonifies blood and Qi. It is the easiest meat to digest in the meat category. It is good for all people, especially those with weak healing energy. This includes people who easily get colds, sinus infections, sore throats, whose wounds do not heal well, and who are tired all the time and lack of vitality. (To treat weak healing energy, please visit: https://raleighacupunctureinc.com/conditions-we-treat/)
Duck is cool in temperature. It is good for people who feel hot, feverish, have swelling, bloating, constipation and lack true hunger. Their stomach tends to growl and they have sugar and salt cravings. (For discussion about true hunger versus cravings visit: jhealingsystem.com – coming soon) This is common with women going through menopause or perimenopause. (To treat menopause/perimenopause, please visit: https://raleighacupunctureinc.com/raleigh-acupuncture-perimenopause-treatment/)
Pork is cold in temperature. It is good for people who feel hot. But because it is cold and sweet in taste, it can easily induce phlegm conditions, so be careful not to eat too much if your digestive system is not strong.
Other good foods to eat during this season include pears, oranges, corn, radishes, white wood ear (type of mushroom), and dates. If you suffer from diarrhea, you can eat apples and pomegranates, and avoid bananas, watermelon and pears.
There are exercises you can do to further improve your underlying healing energy. Please visit our website to sign up for blogs. https://raleighacupunctureinc.com/blog/