Element: Metal / Direction: West / Organ: Lungs / Emotion: Grief / Number 9 / Color: White
The air has a slight chill to it, and the sun is hitting the earth at a slightly different angle bringing along astonishingly golden light. The spiders are spinning their webs and the winter squash are ripening on the vine. All of these reminders indicate that we are leaving the warmth of Summer and moving into a time of longer nights and cooler weather. As the leaves change color and fall, and the veils between the worlds grow thinner, it's a great time to focus on some preventative health measures to ensure that you are fortified and ready to face the upcoming Autumn & Winter months. We give careful consideration to the physical and emotional demands of the season both in curating and making your Autumn CSH Shares.
Transitions between the seasons can be a little tricky. Our bodies and minds have to adjust to the changing light, temperature and pace. Autumn is infamous for people being susceptible to respiratory colds & flu, and the primary organ associated with Autumn in Chinese Medicine is the Lung. Here are some suggestions and associations that can make it smoother:
>>>Cover up. Dress in layers so you can easily keep warm, and in particular wear a scarf. All the acupuncture points on the back of the neck are named after wind. In TCM it is a commonly held belief that disease travels on the wind so it is best to keep those wind points on the back of the neck covered up against the elements. Sounds odd, but we’re telling you, it’s truly preventative.
>>>Start primarily eating warm foods again. It’s time to keep the core of your body warm, so begin to think about your eating habits, and cooking methods. Start to roast your foods again, or cook your food for longer periods of time – stewing, braising & baking, all of these methods are appropriate for the season. If you are still incorporating some cooler raw foods into your diet be sure to add warm spices like ginger, green onions, black pepper and garlic.
>>>Mind your skin. It’s our largest organ and a major pathway for detoxification! Dry skin can be a problem with the weather change, so pay attention to your moisturizers. Use Shea Butter & Coconut Oil when possible and avoid products containing parabens. Also stimulate your lymphatic system with some dry skin brushing before hopping in the shower. To dry brush simply use a dry soft bristle shower brush and briskly brush your skin towards your heart.
>>>Hydrate. Dryness is associated with Autumn in TCM, and is not only in regards to your skin as talked about above, but also we have to be careful to drink enough fluids. Water, herbal tea, nourishing broths all come into play here.
>>>Focus on your breath. Set aside some time to take some deep belly breaths to ensure increased oxygen flow to your body, sustained energy and an increased ability to focus. We’re moving into darker days and deep focused breathing can help you adjust to, and benefit from, the natural inclination to turn inward.
>>>Nurture Community. As Autumn progresses and Winter nears, we have less daylight and spend more hours in the dark of night, or under grey skies. Keep in mind the Lungs are associated with grief and while a good cry to your favorite song is healthy and good, you don’t want to get stuck there. Make friend dates, have a cup of tea on the porch bundled in a blanket, find a good book series to read, gear up and take a hike through the forest, plan a dinner with people you love…you get the picture, involve yourself.
Thank you for all of your support & encouragement in the development and production of our Autumn Share! Your participation in the Community Supported Herbalism model, and it’s structure of preordering your Share, allows us the financial support to bring you exactly the high quality herbal medicines and remedies that we want to. We are awed and inspired by the momentum of Portland Apothecary and want to thank you for helping to so quickly spread the word about us. We have an amazing community of subscribers that we are continually grateful for. As always we love receiving feedback about the Shares so please do drop us a note if you have the time. We love our work, and we hope that love shines through in our Shares!