Nature is approaching the fall season and the last fruits are ripening. The leaves are changing into brilliant, vivid colors, and nature’s metamorphosis gives off its wonderful fragrant earthy scent. It is also harvest time, which for me generates questions, like:
- What do I harvest from this year so far?
- What are my inner and outer fruits that nurture me these days?
- What am I thankful for?
Naturally we retreat more into our inner realms as the days grow shorter and nature’s energy contracts slowly. It is a phase similar to the passed midpoint of life, when similar questions rise up to be revived. We get a stronger sense of an end to our life and that we are on the way home. It’s the time of ‘letting go’, getting clear and become freer. This process includes many moments of grieving. A deepening inquiry might help to assess and re-evaluate:
- Where I am at this point in my life?
- What are open issues I want to complete and clear?
- What is obsolete and I want to let go off?
- What needs to be communicated to whom?
On a physical level the lungs and large intestine are corresponding with this process. Both have to do with communication and the exchange of our environment: one through inhalation and exhalation and the other through the digestion of food. They show us a beautiful analogy of assimilation, absorption, digestion and elimination of what we let in and out or hold onto.
If you are balanced in these virtues, you can speak up or be silent when appropriate. You are gifted with precise thinking and open to new thoughts and ideas. If there is too little energy you are a quiet person, cautious, and careful. Too much energy makes you talkative, righteous, overly enthusiastic, and impulsive in speech and behavior. On an emotional level an imbalance shows up as an ongoing grief, the inability to organize thoughts and resources, scattered attention and lack of focus. Physically it may manifest as constipation, shortness of breath, asthma, coughing, skin condi- tions, and continuous feelings of sadness.
Diet Suggestions and Immune System Support
In the transition into a cold season and for protection, you might use these simple tips, like drinking Ginger tea, using hot spices, eating more radish, leek, onions, horseradish, garlic, mustard, especially eating rice and oats, peanuts, walnuts and particularly the vegetable celery, cauliflower, turnip, and cabbage.
Try also the immunity boost created by Dr. Debra Brammer (recommended by the Bastyr Center health information) to strengthen your immune system and/or help combat a cold or flu:
Immune Support Soup (Courtesy of Dr. Debra Brammer)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1-5 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon – 3 tablespoons grated ginger (to taste)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms
- 1 quart miso broth, chicken broth or mushroom broth
- 3 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
- 1 grated carrot
Preparation: Combine broth, onion, ginger, garlic, mushrooms and carrot and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and parsley. Cover pan and steam for 5 minutes, then serve.
Other possible nutrients that support your immune function are Echinacea, the Chinese herb Astragalus, Ginseng, or Burdock. In an acute case:
- try a facial steam and breathe in with herbal mist of mint, rosemary, chamomile, or lemon verbena.
- chew several garlic cloves dipped in honey (or press several cloves of garlic into a bowl of hot soup). Garlic is a natural antibiotic.
- use Echinacea, Goldenseal and/or Olive Leaf extract.
Use generally a lot of spices for their warming energy and stimulating the digestion.