Nutrition is one of the eight branches of traditional Chinese medicine. Using foods to help with seasonal attunement, and in the treatment of TCM diseases, is an essential tool for any TCM practitioner or acupuncturist and it is a foundational part of our curriculum at our Toronto Acupuncture school.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is the season associated with the Lung. The Lung functions as a boundary between the inside and the outside world and it protects the body from exterior pathogens as a critical part of the immune system. When we eat to nourish the lung, we choose foods that are pungent, and aromatic to help the lung in descending and dispersing energy; and moistening foods to help combat dryness- the enemy of the lung. Foods with these qualities are especially important to include in our diets when the air is dryer during the fall and winter and we are more prone to coughs and colds.
Examples of pungent aromatic foods: garlic, ginger and onions.
Examples of moistening foods: pears, mushrooms, and honey.
Included below are two simple Lung-supporting recipes for fall, and don’t forget that the Lung also loves an orderly aesthetic- so be sure to garnish your food nicely to make your food as beautiful to look at, as it is delicious to eat.
Simple Pear Tea with Ginger and Goji
In this tea, pears and honey help to moisten the Lung, while pungent fresh ginger helps move qi. This is an excellent home remedy for mild cough.
5 cups of Spring Water
3 medium size organic pears, cut, core and chop in 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp dried Goji Berries
½ inch sliced fresh ginger
1 tbsp Rock Sugar (traditional Chinese) or raw honey to taste
Bring water to a boil. Add chopped pears, goji berries, rock sugar or raw honey and simmer on low heat for 35-40 minutes, Take off the fire. Cool for a minute, then strain and enjoy!
Kale and White Bean Soup
This recipe for Kale and White Bean soup contains pungent foods like garlic, onions, and ginger to open the lungs to allow the free flow of Lung energy. And it’s delicious!
4 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
2 large cooking onions, finely sliced
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1 can white navy beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups stock, any kind
salt and white pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Over medium heat, sautée onions and garlic until fragrant and onions are becoming translucent.
Add dill and kale to pot and mix with a wooden spoon to combine with onions and garlic. Cook kale until it has wilted and reduced in bulk.
Add stock and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for at least 2 hours. Contact us at [email protected] for more information on the programs we offer at our Toronto acupuncture school.
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