Autumn and Chinese Medicine

The movement of autumn in Chinese philosophy is downward and this is reflected in the root vegetables that are available at this time. In the summer, vegetables get their energy by absorbing the sun’s rays, in winter vegetables dig into the ground to get their sustenance. In autumn, also tree fruits such as apples and pears which have used the summer sun to ripen. In Chinese medicine they are said to have stored the energy of the sun and that we benefit from this energy by eating them in the run-up to winter.

Here is some advice we offer based on Chinese Medicine in dealing with the season changes.

  • Carry a sweater with you. People are often still wearing their summer clothes but temperatures fluctuate in the fall and in Chinese medicine it’s important to avoid subjecting yourself to changes in temperature which are considered bad for the immune system. So to avoid an autumn cold dress in layers so that you can wrap up easily if the weather changes.
  • Transition from cooling summer salads to warming soups that are rich in root veggies and nourishing meats. Nourishing yourself with warming foods is considered a great way to build up energy for the long winter ahead. Likewise, apple pie and baked apples or poached pears contain the energy of summer and we can use them to nourish our bodies as we transition into winter.
  • Drink plenty of warm liquids such as green tea. After the humidity of summer, the fall is often dry and dryness in Chinese medicine can weaken yin energy and lead to coughs and allergies.
  • Visit your acupuncturist for a series of immune-boosting treatments ahead of winter’s cold and flu season and if you are prone to catching colds ask about the formula Jade Windscreen. This herbal combination has been used for hundreds of years in China to ward off viral infections.
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