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Fall season according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture

Alexandra Herold, Reg. Ac. 

Let's talk about the Metal element in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and how it can best support us while transitioning through fall.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Metal element embodies clarity, purity, and precision, is linked to the lungs and large intestine and it represents the energy of fall. It is believed to govern the ability to relinquish what is no longer necessary, and helps manage grief and attachments, therefore it has a lot to do with the topic of letting go.

Bringing Metal energy into your life can enhance focus and clarity in your thoughts and actions. Deep breathing exercises and metallic or white colors in your surroundings can help achieve this.

During Fall (and also in preparation for winter), it's important to nourish the Metal element with foods that are moistening and strengthening. Some great options include pears, white and brown rice, cauliflower, mushrooms, and root vegetables like sweet potato and carrots. So, if you're feeling a little run down or just want to boost your immunity this season, try incorporating some of these delicious and nutritious foods into your diet.

Here is a short and easy Metal element recipe! This flavorful dish is packed with ingredients like ginger, garlic, and onions, known for their ability to support respiratory health. Plus, it's super easy to make:

Simply sauté your protein of choice with veggies like carrots and bell peppers, then add in the aromatic spices for a delicious and healthful meal.

Your taste buds and lungs will thank you. Happy cooking!

Here are a few more principles to follow during the colder season:
Avoid foods that are cool or cold in thermal nature such as raw foods, salads, cold types of fruit (i.e. citrus fruits), dairy products and cold beverages.

Recommended are acrid-warm and acrid-hot flavors that strengthen the Metal phase to supplement and support your defense Qi (your immune strength). Especially if you are fighting a cold, those flavors are great to move and strengthen defense Qi. Other great flavors are chili, curry, ginger, pepper; vegetables that are great are cauliflower, leeks, horseradish, onions, watercress. Warm, spiced teas are a great beverage during this season and almonds or almond butter are a great addition as well.

Especially fresh ginger is great to add to your food or drinks for preventing, but also for battling a cold.  Here is a quick recipe for when you are fighting a cold:

Simmer thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger and green onions in 0.5 l (2 cups) of water for about 10 minutes. Drink one to two cups while warm.