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  • Dr. Jennifer Harris, DOM

Nutritional Support For Fall

Fall is here! According to Chinese medicine, Autumn relates to the metal element. It is a time for contracting and going inward.

The Inner Classic reads: "The forces of autumn create dryness in Heaven and metal on Earth; they create the lung organ and the skin upon the body...and the nose, and the white color and the pungent flavor... the emotion grief, and the ability to make a weeping sound."

In Chinese medicine, the respiratory system, skin, and large intestine are all a part of the metal element. These organs are truly our armor, protecting us from external pathogens. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is the first line of defense. The respiratory system also clearly plays a critical role in our immune system, as does our colon. By keeping this system strong, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of catching a cold, lessen allergy symptoms, clear up your skin, and improve your digestion and elimination. This system is also linked to the emotion grief. When our lung system is balanced, we are able to handle the hard times gracefully and can take time to grieve, but move on when it is time. External forces enter us through the lung system, so figuratively this system relates to our ability to take things in. What we no longer need leaves via the large intestine; in an emotional sense, the health of the colon is seen in the ability to let go of what no longer serves us. Thus, taking care of our lung system is key in balancing our emotional state, especially when we suffer from depression or go through a period of grieving.

Acupuncture can be really helpful at balancing the lung system, as are certain herbs and foods. The color white represents the metal system, and the flavor of this system is acrid or pungent. Literally, foods which are white and/or spicy benefit the health of this system. These include onions, garlic, mushrooms, ginger, radishes, peppers. Apples, pears, almonds and pine nuts also benefit the lung system by keeping it moist and supple. Foods naturally high in beta-carotene also benefit this system, because they benefit the health of the mucous membranes that line the nose, lungs and colon. These include carrots, winter squash, orange and red peppers, and dark leafy greens. Eating these foods at this time of year is so great for strengthening the immune system. They are also high in fiber. Probiotics and vitamin D3 are great nutritional supplements to support this system as well, which I take from the beginning of fall through the winter to keep me well. These are also sold in doses appropriate for children and are a great way to keep kids healthy.

If you are interested in talking about how acupuncture or herbs can benefit you in more detail, call or go online to set up a free consultation today.

Salud, my friends!

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