In TCM the Lungs represent the element of Metal and the emotion of grief. The Autumn time is most connected to the Lungs as we power up for the Winter season. The lungs control respiration by inhaling the clear qi and exhaling the impure qi. The Lungs are the uppermost organ and provide a lid to the other organs. If the Lung Qi is weak, the Defense Qi (ie immune system) will also be weak. We can build up our lung power by aerobic activity or more controlled exercises with qi gong or tai chi.
The appetite is stimulated in Autumn by the warm fragrance of baked and sautéed food. To stimulate the activity of the body and to focus mentally we can add sour flavored foods. Certain foods to increase the qi of the lungs can be added to the diet such as sourdough bread, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, limes, lemons, grapefruits, plums and sour apples.
We can decrease the production of phlegm with these sour foods along with more pungent spices such as fenugreek, ginger, flaxseed, cayenne, radish, garlic and onion. All dairy foods, animal meats, peanuts and sweeteners should be kept to a minimum to decrease the production of phlegm.
Rub Your Points
Lung 9 is an excellent point to fight off a cold. It is used to treat coughs, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, asthma, digestive problems and wrist pain. This point can be located in the depression at the base of the thumb, at the inner wrist crease.