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Healing Foods for Autumn Health  ęDeborah Barr; all rights reserved.

Conditions related to Autumn --Lungs, Digestion, and Skin

According to TCM Health Philosophy, Autumn impacts the lungs and large intestine. Colds, sinus problems, lung ailments such as allergies and asthma, digestive problems, skin conditions, weakness in the arms, flaccid biceps, weak abdominal muscles, pain and/or weakness in the thumb and index fingers, rounded shoulders, (as though carrying the weight of the world on one’s shoulders) are some common health disharmonies that are prevalent during this season.

On a mental/emotional level, if there is disharmony in these organs, specific emotions and characteristics will be more pronounced. Perhaps during this time of year you’ve noticed that you become indecisive, lethargic, depressed, unable to see positive solutions and move beyond adversity.  Or you may engage in self-blame and not-good-enough syndrome; become unresponsive, indifferent, negative, ineffective, isolated, self-destructive, and overly self-protective. These symptoms are caused by lung and large intestine imbalances, and originate from poor diet, excessive or insufficient activity, climate, and/or organ malfunction.

Most dry conditions are exacerbated during this season and are related to the lungs—dry skin and throat, itchiness and most skin conditions, chapped lips, and excessive thirst. Even more common are conditions caused by an excess of mucus forming fluids. This creates problems in the lungs by inhibiting the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. When too much moisture or mucus collects in the lungs, these gases cannot pass freely. Fruit and cow’s milk products, including cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, cause a lot of mucus in the respiratory system.

Too much mucus in the tissues of the lungs makes them susceptible to inflammation and hypersensitive to the effects of irritants in the air. Mucus traps harmful pollutants allowing them to accumulate rather than be excreted.  Phlegm in the lungs is often caused by weak digestion.   Each person’s health plan should be individualized; however, some general guidelines are listed below.


Foods to Emphasize

Pungent foods help clear mucus in the lungs and intestines. They include onions, garlic, turnip, ginger, cabbage, horseradish, radish, daikon, small amounts of hot peppers and chilies, seaweeds, and ground flaxseed.  Read more about pungents and all five flavors

Pungent cooking herbs include garlic, ginger, black pepper, basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf. The rich beta-carotene content of golden-orange and dark green vegetables helps protect these organs. They include carrot, winter squash, broccoli, parsley, kale, mustard greens, and watercress.  

High fiber foods help to cleanse the colon and lungs and whole, unprocessed grains are the best source, including brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, and millet.  Eat 2 cups or more daily.

For dry conditions such as dry cough, dry skin, itchiness, excessive thirst, and sluggish bowels or constipation, emphasize these foods: seaweed, peaches, pears, apples (best to cook fruit in the autumn and winter), string beans, soy milk (Edensoy Original is best quality), tofu, tempeh, brown rice syrup, black sesame seeds, flaxseed, organic butter or ghee, organic eggs, oysters, and clams. 

Minimize bitter, spicy, and sour foods. Eliminate dehydrating substances such as coffee, alcohol and cigarettes.

Foods in the lotus family are beneficial for lung health and other conditions.  Click here to read about this little known food group and its uses.

Health Supportive Recipes Here

You can give your lungs and immune system a boost by incorporating medicinal mushrooms both as a food and in supplement form.  Learn which ones are best for you.

There are many safe and effective herbal medicines that can clear these conditions without the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals. Consider some professional guidance for the right nutrition and customized holistic health plan for reversing your health and weight issues, and removing the degenerations that cause them.  You can greatly improve every aspect of your physical, mental and emotional health with a customized holistic approach.   Schedule an Introductory Holistic Health and Nutrition session with Deborah Barr, 30-year Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. You'll be on your way to better health. Sessions can be done by phone, skype, or at Pittsburgh office.

Read client success stories

©Deborah Barr, 2000-16.  All rights reserved.

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Deborah Barr, 30-year Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor/Coach, speaker, and author, has helped thousands of clients reverse health and weight issues; achieve emotional harmony, radiant health, passion, peaceful living, work-life balance, and a life they love.  In 1985 she founded Whole Health Resources, the premier Holistic Health Center in Pittsburgh.  WHR’s mission is to promote the healing and development of body, mind and spirit, and to teach an understanding of the relationship between diet, attitudes, lifestyle and wellness. She offers free help through 2 e-newsletters, Holistic Weight Loss, and Whole Health Matters, and free articles.   Subscribe to newsletters

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