"Chinese medicine concepts of food and energy"
by ALEX TAN
Traditionally, autumn is the harvest season. It is the time for our bodies to harvest and gather energy for the colder months ahead. In autumn, the yang of summer gives into the growing yinenergy of the approaching winter. There is less activity in the colder months, but more emphasis on substance, nurturing, and supporting and building our organs, fluids and blood. After summer, autumn is time to clear excess heat from the body, and then as temperatures drop, it is time to start warming the body, against extremes. While this may seem contradictory, summer heat saps strength, while internal warmth supports strength.
With the arrival of the strong drying winds, the deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn. The wind and falling temperatures push the energy in and downward. While we feel the effects of wind on our skin, internally, the wind attacks the Lungs. Heat and dryness trapped in the Lungs can easily cause coughs and other Lung disorders.
In Chinese medicine, wind can drive external pathogens into the body but also can stir up internal blockages and emotional excesses. The emotions are largely regulated by the Liver and Gallbladder systems, so we must not forget to support the other organs, not only the Lungs in autumn.
The function of the digestive system often becomes deficient in autumn. Gastro-intestinal conditions are common at this time of year, and take extra care and eat well to prevent disease finding its way in through the mouth. Read more here
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