As we begin to notice cooler weather, we begin to enter into Fall. This is a time to look inward, reflect on our life and what is important to us, and prepare for the coming winter. This season corresponds to Metal Element. During this time, the Lungs are the most active. They have direct contact with the environment and perform the function of extracting vital energy from the air we breathe. The Lungs also produce Wei Qi which protects the body from harmful external factors. Wei Qi is the equivalent of our immune system.
If the Lungs are healthy, we are able to stay healthy and avoid getting sick. However, if the Lungs are out of balance, we are more susceptible to colds, flu, asthma, allergies, and other respiratory concerns. There are many ways that we can help support the Lungs through self care tips and ward off colds and flu by looking to the foods that we eat.
- Protect yourself against the wind and cold. Nourish the body by eating warm, cooked foods.
- Weather changes quickly this time of year. Layer your clothing or have an extra jacket to keep your body warm and at the right temperature.
- Let go of negative emotions and feelings such as grief and sadness. These can strongly affect your overall balance.
- Practice breathing exercises daily to keep the Lungs healthy. We can recommend and teach you specific exercises and self-care techniques in order to keep you functioning at your best.
- Seek preventative care by making an acupuncture appointment for a “seasonal tuneup” that is designed to strengthen your Wei Qi and help maintain balance throughout the season.
Add foods to your diet that contain natural immune building and healing properties:
Focus on pungent foods (cabbage, garlic, horseradish, onion), root vegetables (pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes) and foods that help boost your respiratory system (almonds, apples, pears).
Anise: reduces gas, indigestion, cramping, and bloating
Basil: calms nerves, stress and anxiety. Enhances lung function and is great for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats
Black Pepper: wards off mucus congestion, sinus congestion and phlegm
Celery Seed: aides in cases of gout, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections
Cinnamon Bark: lowers blood sugar, increases circulation, induces sweating with colds and flus, reduces gas, bloating, bad breath, and aids in weight loss
Clove: use as an aromatherapy for depression and fatigue
Garlic: helps reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, mucus production and parasites
Ginger root (dried): helps with digestion, mucus congestion, food allergies, ulcers, nausea, gas, bloating, food poisoning, and increases circulation
Ginger Root (fresh): induces sweating at the onset of a cold or flu, and increases circulation.
Horseradish: helps clear sinus and respiratory congestion
Lemon grass: helps reduce depression, gas, and bloating
Marjoram: reduces nervousness, anxiety, gas, and bloating
Mint: calms the nerves, cools body temperature by inducing sweating, and helps with IBS
Mustard: induces sweating during colds, helps respiratory congestion and cold extremities
Nutmeg: reduces nausea, diarrhea, gas, bloating, anxiety, insomnia, and muscle pain. Use only in small doses
Onion: lowers blood pressure, mucus congestion and sinus congestion
Oregano: helps with respiratory infections, colds, flus, and sinusitis
Rosemary: helps with circulation problems, memory loss and depression
Sage Leaf: helpful with drying up secretions (mucus, lung, sinus), respiratory tract infections, and sore throats
Thyme: helps treat wet coughs and respiratory conditions
Turmeric: a powerful antioxidant helping with inflammation, joint pain, poor circulation and allergies