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During Autumn energies begin to move inward and downward. It is the season of strong winds, when leaves and fruit fall, nuts and seeds dry and the sap of trees retreats to the roots.
Autumn is traditionally known as the harvest season as an abundance of seasonal fruit & vegetables are collected.
Autumn pertains to the metal phase in TCM and is related to the organs of the lungs and large intestine. The lungs draw energy into the body for processing through the breath, the large intestine releases and expels the unwanted waste and toxins. The two united symbolize the action, function, and ability of “receiving and letting go” physically and emotionally. For our health and wellbeing in Autumn we should be mindful of crisp, dry, cool breezes. If the lungs are not protected at this time they are easily put out of balance.
The air can disrupt the immune system and cause coughing, sneezing and susceptibility to colds. Dryness of the skin, nose and throat may also accompany the change in season. Emotionally, feelings of sadness and grief, depression, nostalgia, and un-processed emotions often present themselves during this time of year in order to facilitate the harvesting of the year’s fruits, lessons, and reflections.
Protective and purifying foods should be incorporated in the diet in Autumn to help strengthen the body and open and clear the Lungs.
Pungent foods such as onion, garlic, chives, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, horseradish and pepper have ascending qualities and clear the lungs. Leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, parsley, chard and spinach are purifying. Golden orange vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato are rich in beta carotene. Grains such as oats, rice, amaranth and quinoa are digestive tonics.
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