Fall is upon us as is the refining energy of Metal. Taking information, sorting it and integrating it into true knowledge and refined energy is the job of Metal’s associated organs the Lungs. Keeping personal boundaries intact yet suitably permeable is also the job of the Metal Element. We can see how this plays out in our bodies as it receives Qi through the Lungs and the Lung Meridian and disposes of “dirty Qi” out of the large intestine and large intestine meridian.
Ancient Chinese doctors recognized the importance of strengthening the Lungs and the entire respiratory system in preparation for cold and flu season. Maintenance of the Lung meridian can also improve the health of the blood vessels, the immune system, the skin, the nose and the voice.
As you transition from a more of a Yang time (Spring and Summer) into more of a Yin time (Fall and Winter) allow for more space in your day for learning and let go of activities that you no longer need. It is natural to feel sadness as we let go of things that used to hold important for us but also relief as we lighten up. Acupuncture is a Metal Medicine because of its use of metal needles and it is particularly effective if done during the Fall.
Here is a fall recipe which utilizes foods all under the umbrella of the Metal element in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) nutritional theory. You will notice that most of these foods are pungent and white which are both associations of the metal element and the Lung Meridian.
Simple Fall Chinese Immunity Soup
4 quarts of water
1 Daikon or two parsnips sliced into half moon shapes
1/2 cup of cooked bok choy (include white and green stems)
1 cup of cubed cooked winter squash
1 half of a medium white onion also cut into a half moon shapes
1 strip of Kombu seaweed
2 tablespoons of white miso
1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
2 chopped green onions
Combine all ingredients except for the miso and green onion and bring to a boil. Return to a simmer until vegetables are cooked. Remove from heat and add miso. Garnish with green onion. (Removing or eating the Kombu seaweed is your preference.)