lilly bulb

Autumn: Eating Seasonally with the Wisdom of Chinese Medicine


 Oh Autumn, with changing colors and crisp evenings, you inspire the leaves to dry and turn hues heralding a last song of beauty before the final fall to the earth. Just as the leaves dry and turn "inward" back into the cyclic turnaround from flourishing to falling, our bodies experience this same transformation. During this time of year many notice that the signs outside of our bodies are similar to the signs within.  

Seasonally, Autumn is the time of dry, itchy throat, sniffling and sneezing, dryness of the digestion and skin. Ruled by the Metal element of Chinese Medicine's 5 Element theory, our Lungs and Large Intestine are the organs most affected by this season. Scratchy throats, dry coughs, parched skin and constipation can affect even the hardiest of constitutions. However, if we learn to adjust our interior with the seasonal bounties of food and herbs we can live harmoniously from season to season. In our previous blog we spoke of eating in accordance with the Earth element to strengthen our digestive transformation, specifically the actions of the Spleen, Stomach and Pancreas to create immunity and a robust defense system, a shield to protect us from the dryness and pathogens of Autumn. Now, as we transition into a cooler, arid climate we must choose foods and herbs that complement and nourish our Lungs and Large Intestine.

A very wise man said "Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food". I tend to agree with him. It is essential to choose moistening, astringent foods and herbs to help our bodies generate and conserve bodily fluids. Also, the color of the Metal element is white, so using these guidelines it makes sense to increase our intake of the following foods and herbal preparations for moistening lungs and intestines: Pears, Bananas, Almonds, Pumpkin, Honey, White Wood Ear Mushroom, Nuts and Seeds, Lotus Root, Daikon Radish, Onions, Garlic, Winter Melon, Bamboo Shoots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, White Rice.
We should also include more astringent, sour foods to help conserve our body fluids: Pineapple, Grapefruit, Lemons, Sauerkraut, Vinegar, Kimchi, Yogurt, Sourdough.

Here is a tasty, easy to make recipe for scratchy throats and dry coughs or just for prevention's sake!
4 cups filtered water
4 Asian Pears (if unavailable any variety will do)
1/3 cup Fritillary Bulb (or Lily Bulb)
2- 1/4 inch ginger slices
1/4 tsp of Cinnamon
2 tsp Wild or Local Honey

Peel, core and slice pears into thin slices, cut fresh ginger into 1/4 inch thick slices. Combine pears and ginger with Fritillary Bulb, cinnamon and honey and 4 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Drink the liquid as a tea. This recipe can be re-used, just store leftover pears and herbs in the fridge and repeat process by adding more water and boiling again as directed above.

As always, prevention is key!
Call Luna Acupuncture & Apothecary today to schedule your appointment and see how acupuncture and herbal preventative measures can keep you healthy and feeling good through the upcoming allergy and cold season!

Luna Acupuncture and Apothecary