Lung Power

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) each season is associated with different organs. Fall is the Lungs and Large Intestine.

What does this tell us about the best way to conduct ourselves until Dec 22?

The lungs are designed to organize and coordinate. They draw in air and propel oxygen into each of our cells where it combines with food and converts into energy. The lungs and colon then expel the unwanted impurities we’ve ingested.

In TCM, people with strong lungs are seen as unified, directed, held together, orderly and decisive. This is because at the microscopic level the lungs are doing an excellent job of gathering oxygen, dispersing it effectively to the cells and then purging cellular waste with an exhale. When the lungs are good at tidying house, so are you.

Conversely, those with weak lungs have a difficult time with loss, emotional repression, unhealthy attachments and holding grudges. They don’t have the mental capacity to “let it go,” which physically manifests in holding their breath. So if you’re having a tough time getting over things or clinging to destructive patterns or situations, just remember to focus on deep breaths from the abdomen in order to let it all out both physically and mentally.

Dairy, soy and sweets should be avoided by those with mucus in their lungs. But may be appropriate for those that experience dryness.

Almonds, green vegetables, seaweeds, shiitake mushrooms and flax seed help decongest the lungs and deepen the breath. Spicy and herbaceous foods help clear congestion, as well:

  • If you feel cold, emphasize the following natural decongestants:
    • Spices such as ginger, hot pepper, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, fennel, anise, mustard, nutmeg, fenugreek
    • Onions, garlic, scallions
  • If you feel hot or inflamed, tend toward these decongestants:
    • Herbs such as mint, marjoram, nettles, dill, basil
    • Radish and watercress
    • Bitter flavors like citrus zest or celery seed
Posted by Andréa in Seasonal Eating November 8th, 2011 | No Comments

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