Get Your Metal On

26 Oct

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is a key aspect of facilitating the healing process and nourishing the body. The Neijing Suwen suggests that to live within accordance of the seasons, it is wise to adopt seasonal habits and changes for prevention and wellness. The changes of the season should also help you dictate your changes in your eating habits AND what foods you should eat. You can read my seasonal blog post here.

Every season is assigned an element. The fall is associated with metal, which is also correlates to the function of our lungs! In this time of the metal element, we often lean toward becoming introspective, contracting and reserving our energy and food stores for the winter. Nature stores and conserves its energy for a long winter, in essence we should mirror that. We’re conserving ourselves, which is important for our health and longevity!

So how do you do that? Some places don’t even feel the seasons!

1. Types of Food:

  • Sour foods are what we call astringent in TCM and are important for contracting, drying excess sweating or leaking of fluids, and conserving energy. The flavor activates the liver function, which helps break down and process those heavy fats and proteins we consume during the holiday season. Surprise, surprise – it also strengthens weakened lungs!
  • Astringent foods: pickles, lemons, limes, hawthorne berries, sauerkraut, leeks, vinegar, tomato, apples, blackberries, sourdough bread and olives. The list truly goes on and on!

2. Small amounts do a lot of good – don’t overdo it!

3. Ailments and conditions: scattered thoughts,changing personality,excessive sweating, urinary dripping, stops bleeding.

4. Avoid if you have the following ailments: constipation, diseases with the tendons or ligaments and those that feel heavy in mind and body.

5. Food Preparation: our sense of smell awakens our appetite and desire for food. Of course this is associated with the lungs, so yummy fragrances of sautéed foods and warm spices will help give us the kick we need!

6. Slow cook your foods: Break out your crockpot! Cook your foods over a low heat and less water. The food and spices will slow simmer and become concentrated (just like our Fall properties). Slowly adding salty and bitter flavors through the fall will also help you transition nicely into the winter.

All of these wonderful tidbits can be found in Paul Pitchford’s wonderful book “Healing with Whole Foods.”

I’ll review types of lung conditions and foods to incorporate as a later entry.  There’s so much to share!

Take Care!


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