Today on the lunar calendar is the solar term "Li Chiu", the beginning of Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
In Autumn, all crops are harvested. For our body, it is time to nourish yin. Yin is body fluid, blood and essence (essential nutrients). Generally as the weather cools down, the air becomes drier and it usually affects the respiratory system and skin. Although it is still quite hot over here, a solar term always marks an energetic change in the environment. In the past few days we see more people with dry cough, little to no phlegm, dry nose and throat, and very dry skin. This is called "cough due to autumn dryness". Therefore, it is time to add nourishing foods for the lungs and skin into our diet.
The Chinese Medicine holistic way for health maintenance is to make lifestyle and dietary changes according to the solar terms and seasons.
Below we have a few food suggestions for the upcoming autumn:
1. In Materia Medica, the sweet or sour flavours are astringent (to store) and nourishes yin: Apples, pears, licorice tea, pumpkin, dates.
2. Foods that has natural gum or collagenous can also relieve dryness: honey, chinese yam, snow fungus, lotus root.
3. Pungent foods are dispersing so it needs to be reduced, such as onions, ginger and chilli. Anything that creates more inflammation or "heat" should also be avoided, such as deep frying or stir frying with a lot of oil on high heat.