Fall: A Time to Protect Your Lungs, Large Intestine, and Skin.


With Fall Time fast approaching, there should be some preparations to maintain good heath both physically and mentally. In Eastern Medicine Fall represents the element metal. Metal corresponds to the Lung organ (yin organ) and its corresponding luo-connecting large intestine (yang organ). The emotion of this season is both grief and sadness which allows us to purge and let go of both toxins and feelings of sadness. But as we learn to let go of what no longer serves us, we reap the harvest of new and exciting blessings in our life. The pathogens are cold and dryness which can easily affect both the lungs and the skin.

Beautiful Fall foliage is a just weeks away! This time of year is so amazing and full of blessings and harvests. Keeping your body and immune system strong is a must and also within our ability. There are several steps we can take to strengthen both our lungs and large intestines as well as protecting our overall immune system and skin at this time. This also involves the mental aspect of organizing ourselves, setting both limits and boundaries that reflect our worth and goals in life. This is a time to also reap the benefits of hard work and purge what is no longer needed. Deep breathing is much needed to cleanse our lungs fully whereas the large intestines is responsible for releasing wastes  and only keeping what is vital for the body. It is also involved in nutrient absorption and releasing the rest.

Early Fall, it is imperative to build up good spleen energy which in turn helps the lungs function fully. A diet including apples, cooked pears, grapefruits, and dates will help fortify both the spleen and lungs. Honey, soy, sweet potato, pumpkin, nuts and seeds, and persimmons. Other foods to enrich lung yin and spleen energy include Bone marrow broth, rice, and barley and are also good staples to improve overall health.  These foods are very nourishing for the skin which tends to lack moisture at this time due to the dryness of the season. This is the time to start avoiding the colder or raw foods and also be mindful of not eating too many damp foods which overtime can weaken the immune system. These include eating too much pasta, dairy, sugar, or white potatoes, fried foods, or smoked foods as well.

As fall advances, warm foods and cooked vegetables become more vital. All different varieties of squashes and parsnips strengthen the spleen energy which ultimately strengthens the lungs and immune system. Certain spices like cinnamon, curry, or nutmeg can add some warmth and antioxidants to your meals.

Dryness and wind dominate the fall season. Eating the suggested foods listed above especially cooked pears, figs, mushrooms, and seeds will help keep the lungs healthy. Wearing a scarf in mid to late fall helps protect from chills and wind invasion. Dryness of the skin is always more prevalent to areas that are exposed to the weather, such as hands, face, and extremities. It is always helpful to moisturize your skin after cleansing. Both calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. Also, using a humidifier helps reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin through evaporation. It is good to know that certain medications like diuretics, antispasmodics, and antihistamines also may contribute to dry skin.

Good nutrients for the skin include primrose oil, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, and vitamin B- complex. Primrose oil contains linoleic acid which is an essential fatty acid needed for the rejuvenation of the skin. Up to 500 mg daily is advised. Vitamin A both protects and strengthen your overall skin tissue. Vitamin A dosage can be started at 25,000 IU daily for 3 months and then reduced to 15,000 IU. If pregnant, do not exceed over 10,000 IU. Vitamin B- complex is a great anti-stress and anti-aging tool. Sublingual form is preferred and dosage should be 1000-2000 mcg daily. Also, foods rich in sulfur helps keep skin looking smooth and youthful. This includes garlic, onions, eggs, and asparagus. Sulfur can also be taken in pill form by taking L-cysteine amino acid tablets. Staying hydrated and eating the yin foods as listed above such as cooked pears and sweet potatoes will help replenish your moisture loss at this time.

Eastern Medicine is well versed in caring for the body and mind throughout each season. Preventative care is much needed to ward off pathogens from entering the body and keeping the immune system strong. Visiting your local Eastern practitioner will help restore your balance and energy, as well as ensure your health is maintained.  Please call today 772-353-1397 and let’s begin your journey to optimal health.