The autumnal equinox marks the transition from summer to fall, from warm, expansive, fiery, vibrant energy to a season of moving inward, consolidating, gathering, building up energy stores, which itself is a preparation for the stillness and coldness of winter. We store up on nutrients of the ripe fruits, berries, roots, seeds and nuts. This season calls for foods that are heartier, more energy dense and easier to digest.
During the fall, everything begins to turn inwards and dry up in nature. We feel that dryness in more thirst, dryer throat, mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. In East-Asian medicine, fall is the season of activity of the lungs - the entire respiratory system anatomically and energetically, whose function is to maintain strong barriers - internal and external, such as skin and mucosal membranes, and creature a protective shield around the body.
The lungs and respiratory system also participate in the digestive process. Cooking food and using spices becomes more important in the fall, as warm flavorful aromas stimulate the digestive process. Foods such as garlic, onion, horse radish, ginger, radishes, cruciferous vegetables - arugula, watercress, kale, etc. are useful in helping us consolidate energy for the coming winter. Slow-pickled foods, such as sour pickles, sour kraut, naturally fermented kefir, are also appropriate in autumn.
In this podcast, Dr. Nina Walsh discusses how the foods we eat in autumn can help strengthen our immune system and prepare us for the challenges of winter.