Autumn is upon us and brings with it new challenges to our health.
Chinese medicine theory views that each season poses environmental stresses on specific organs and in autumn it is the lungs and large intestines.
Physicians of the past in China also suggested various foods, exercises or traditional treatments to help counteract and prevent the autumn diseases settling into the body.
The heat of summer causes a cough in autumn
There is a saying among Chinese medicine physicians that says “Diseases that penetrated the body during the hot summer months that were not treated properly or have had the chance to lie dormant, will then present themselves in the autumn”.
A simple example of this is someone who had excessive exposure to intense summer heat and then only used iced drinks to cool themselves down instead of more appropriate cooling foods like watermelon, will then manifest with a dry cough in the autumn. Often this dry cough that some people suffer during the autumn would have presented itself without any history of catching a cold. These type of lingering dry autumn coughs can last for some weeks and tend to not respond to antibiotics. It is sort of like the intense heat of summer, still stuck inside the lungs.
Stewed pears treat an autumn cough
A simple home remedy for this is to get 1-2 pears, peel and cut in slices and then slowly stew and then serve with copious honey. Stewed pears have the special property of nourishing the lung yin and honey is regarded as cooling and moistening.
It is important to avoid over pungent quality foods during autumn such as curry and generally any foods that can cause you to sweat too much.
Autumn dryness can cause constipation
Some people might experience other dry symptoms like dry cracked lips and hard dry stools. If the bowels become dry and difficult to pass during the autumn months, black sesame seeds ground into a fine powder and again with honey added to it is a great folk remedy.
Watch out for grief and depression during autumn
Each organ of the body is vulnerable to a specific emotional state and during the autumn, grief can affect the lungs. Suppressed grief can resurface during the autumn months and this could lead to depression so be aware of this and look after yourself.