Traditional Autumn Health Tips
For every season in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are specific connections to the elements, particular organs, and systems in the body.
There are five seasons, instead of four, and TCM lays out guidelines to help us stay in connection with nature and our bodies as we move through the seasons.
Autumn is connected to the element metal, the lungs, the skin, and the digestive organs. As the season changes, TCM recommends the clearing of emotional baggage, which reflects the falling of autumn leaves in nature. Turning our attention inwards to reflect on the year and care for our bodies as the weather grows colder is advised as well.
Balancing Major Organs
The fall season is connected to the lungs, which are considered the dominant organ. The organ that is affected by the lungs is the intestine/ colon. The lungs are considered the Yin organ for the season.
Yin organs are classified in TCM as the ones that produce the fluids in the body. Not only are the fluids essential for life created in these organs, they are also thought to regulate and transform them. The lower Intestine is considered the Yang organ for Autumn.
These organs complement each other and keeping them in balance is key for optimal health throughout the year. The kinds of foods you eat have an impact on these organs, too.
In fall, it’s advised to eat a balanced amount of foods that are “pungent”. For some, that can mean eating less and others that can mean eating more. In TCM, some foods considered pungent include garlic, raw onions, ginger, wasabi or scallions. This will help support the lungs.
The Lungs in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Our Lung Soother Tea is a blend designed to help maintain balanced lung and respiratory conditions while soothing and supporting healthy airways for easy breathing.
Another excellent tea for supporting both the lungs as well as the digestive tract is our Ginger Tea. The tea is a delicious and comforting way to fulfill the need for pungent foods that support the lung as well as helping soothe digestion throughout the day.
Ginger Tea can even be enjoyed with a bit of sweetener (monk fruit is our favorite) for an extra special treat. Ginger tea is an excellent choice to keep in your desk at work for an after-lunch pick-me up.
Autumn is also related to the skin in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is because it too is connected to the cleansing properties of the body as it comes into contact with oxygen and external pathogens. In fact, TCM refers to the skin as the “Third Lung”. The skin is also directly connected to the immune support systems in the body- which we will discuss later in the blog.
It’s easy to see the correlation between the lungs and skin if you really think about it. When we exercise, our complexions become clearer and brighter.
Practicing mindfulness when it comes to breathing will help support your lungs and skin during Fall. It’s also a good practice at any time of year, so why not start now? A great way to learn how to breathe in a supportive way is to take up meditation or yoga practice.
Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and take time to connect with nature. Simply taking breaks to go for a walk outside will improve your mental health as well as support the health of your cleansing organs- the lungs and the skin.
Skin issues can also be connected to gut health, which we will discuss in a moment.
If you want to give your skin extra support or feel that your skin is out of balance, our Clear & Smooth Skin Tea is an excellent choice. This nourishing blend supports normal blood flow and supports the body’s natural detoxing systems. It balances skin for a clear complexion and a healthy glow.
It’s always important to care for your skin, but Fall is the perfect time to give a little extra TLC.
Facial acupuncture is another great way to support the skin during fall. Practitioners use tiny needles on parts of the face that will help revive oxygen flow to the skin.
Digestive Health in TCM
To support the health of the intestine/ colon, it’s advised to eat more sour foods, such as lemons. Some other foods considered “sour” by TCM include fermented foods, like sauerkraut. Pickles or other pickled vegetables also fall under this category.
These foods include scallions, daikon radish (or dried daikon), ginger, peppers, wasabi (dry mustard) and horseradish.
Eating habits are a big part of keeping the gut in balance. We have an excellent guide for the best foods to eat in the fall which you can find here. The practice of acupuncture may also be recommended, depending on the state of the gut.
If you’re suffering from digestive imbalances, there are two TCM blends from Bravo’s line that could be helpful. Gastro Comfort Tea and Colon Cleansing Tea both support the organ systems related to digestive health. They are soothing and can help address different issues that might be affecting the digestive system.
Keeping your Immune System Up in Autumn
In addition to common sense health practices like getting your annual flu shot and washing your hands regularly, following the natural methods outlined by TCM is a great way to keep healthy throughout Autumn.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each part of the body has its own life force or energy called Qi (pronounced like chee). The immune system in TCM actually has three distinct parts that work together.
- Wei Qi can be considered an outer barrier that protects the body and it’s also known as the Defensive Qi.
- Ying Qi is also known as Nutrient Qi, and it works to ensure the body properly processes nutrients.
- Yuan Qi is responsible for supporting the circulatory system of the body, keeping oxygen levels normal.
Boosting Wei Qi
Wei Qi is the “outer” protective qi, which means it’s the most likely to be active and need more support during autumn when there are more external pathogens. Lung health is closely related to boosted immunity in TCM, as it’s the organ that actually circulates Wei Qi.
Following an Autumn friendly diet as we mentioned earlier will help keep your immunity boosted. It’s important to get enough sleep every night. It’s especially important in Fall, because your body is adjusting to less light and cooler temperatures.
Another way to promote a strong Wei Qi is by keeping yourself warm. Make sure your feet are nice and toasty when you go out and be prepared for colder nights with an extra sweater and a hat just in case.
We have two great options to help support immunity and even boost energy. Astragalus root is a staple in TCM for supporting a healthy immune system. It’s one of the top herbs in all of Chinese Traditional Herbalism because it simply has so many benefits.
In addition to supporting immunity, Astragalus Tea is thought to support cardiovascular health and healthy inflammation response. Astragalus is thought to support the Lung Meridian which you can read more about here.
Triple Immune Support Tea is an all-purpose blend for everyday support. It uses a real TCM recipe for overall immune support throughout the body.
All of the Bravo teas can be mixed and matched- so it’s fine to pick a few different favorites for fall to help keep the body supported.
Staying in Touch with the Seasons
We hope that you can use some of these practices to support your body this fall. With winter approaching, it’s important to take great care of your body and mind. Traditional Chinese Medicine advises practices to keep you connected to the seasons. It helps remind you that you’re part of nature. It asks that you are mindful of your body and spirit. These practices are comforting and grounding throughout the year, plus they help support optimal health.