Autumn: a time to breathe in and let go: let’s take a deep breath and be inspired

Autumn: a time to breathe in and let go: let’s take a deep breath and be inspired



In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the season of Metal. The essence of this time is letting go (large intestine) and inspiration (lungs). It carries the emotion of grief. Nature exemplifies this beautifully as she releases the abundant growth of summer into the bounty of harvest. Leaves turn color and fall; winds blow in cool weather and rains clear the air. Darkness increases.

What can we do to support a similar energy in our own lives?

How can we nourish our lungs? What inspires us? Let’s go out into the forest and breathe in the oxygen rich air. Let’s dance on the beach and feel the wind sweep in from the ocean. How about our intestines? What needs to be let go? Maybe it’s time to finally clean that garage or closet or write a good-bye letter to someone we have lost.

Foods rich in bioflavinoids nourish the lungs and large intestines—the dark greens, deep oranges and reds of Autumn. Apples, the fruit of Autumn, are rich in vitamin C and high in fiber. They strengthen your immune system and help detox the intestines. Garlic is a natural antibiotic/antiviral and rich in sulfur which helps rid your body of toxins. Oregano, eucalyptus, thyme and sage are all wonderful antimicrobials. Thyme relaxes spastic lungs and sage dries up excessive secretions. To make tea, add 1 teaspoon of herb to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey if you like. Drink up to 3 cups per day. Sage is drying so it is not advisable for breast feeding mothers.

Water is one of the most vital substances for both your lungs and your large intestines, like the autumn rain. Water naturally thins mucous, lubricates the bowels and flushes your kidneys. A good rule of thumb for adequate water is to drink ½ your weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day.

Given the ongoing pandemic, the massive fires and the upcoming flu season, supporting our lung health and the detoxifying capacities of our intestines seems particularly important.

Hopefully, this Fall will bring easier times. Regardless, let’s let go of the pain and turmoil of the past six months. Let’s take a deep breath and be inspired. Let’s find new ways to support each other even in our differences. Let’s find hope.


Dr. Jennifer Means welcomes you for Primary Care for the whole family: Nutrition, IV Therapy, Naturopathy, and Acupuncture. Contact us at 503-641-6400.