We are now in the season of Autumn and with it we now face the impending threat of sickness that comes with the changing of the seasons. I would like to share with people some further information on the season, the organs associated with it and what you can do to better align yourself for optimal health.
From traditional Eastern medicine, it is known that the season of Fall is associated with the Metal element and the organs of the lungs and colon (large intestine). On a practical and pragmatic level, this means that we should be vigilant about what we are doing with regards to our digestion and our breath. It is no secret that people tend to start getting more colds this time of year and you may also notice in yourself and others that digestive complaints arise as well.
On a fundamental level, the bowels contain a huge amount of immunological factors and one of the best things we can do to help maintain our health and avoid the common sniffles and coughs is to increase our probiotic intake. Simply put, as bacteria and viruses enter the body, they are trying to take root in our tissues. The more healthy, beneficial bacteria we have (probiotics), the more competition they have. Think of a bare field, it gets taken over with weeds. However a healthy pasture will have relatively few weeds. We are no different.
In general, from the traditional perspectives of the East, fall is the time to organize the open and often scattered patterns of the summer. The natural energetic trend of the body is to contract, move inward and downward, just as the trees lose their leaves and direct the sap to the roots.
As an overarching guide, cook with less water and lower heat for longer periods of time. Add more sour flavored foods to your diet, such as sauerkraut, kim chee, pickles, olives, yogurt, sour varieties of apples, pears and grapes. Also, salt and bitter flavors move energy inward and downward. Dark green and golden-orange vegetables are particularly helpful at this time. They have a protective effect because of the rich beta-carotene (Vitamin A) and it protects the mucous membranes of the body. Green vegetables are especially helpful for the lungs as their chlorophyll inhibits viruses and also helps the lungs eliminate residues from dust, chemical fumes, smoke etc.
Fiber is also very useful to cleanse the lungs and colon. Sufficient fiber in the diet encourages healthy bacteria in the in colon, which aids in our digestion and assimilation of nutrients, as well as promoting the formation of cancer-resistant bowel acids. Research on colon health has shown fiber to be beneficial in preventing and/or curing appendicitis, colon cancer, diverticulosis, constipation and hemmorhoids.
So increase or start taking probiotics, get outside and take in clean fresh air regularly, and start eating according the season.
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