Fall Flavors II

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on October 4th, 2012

Hello All.

Today I will briefly talk about common Lung conditions and ways to treat them with whole foods. All this information comes straight from the book, Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, 3rd Edition.

HEAT CONGESTING THE LUNGS will show as a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and possibly thick, yellow-green sputum.

Foods that help cool and transform the sputum are: watercress, cantaloupe, apple, persimmon, peach, pear, strawberry, citrus, seaweed (agar, nori, kelp), mushroom, daikon radish, radish, carrot, pumpkin, kuzu, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, chard, and papaya.

Cook soups as soups are comforting to the stomach and easy to digest. Soups with barley, millet or rice are soothing for Lung Heat. Watercress is the most effective food of the list above.

Foods to avoid: coffee, alcohol, lamb, chicken, beef, warming fish (trout, salmon, anchovy), onion, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, and fennel. These are all warming foods.

PHLEGM IN THE LUNGS is when mucous accumulates in the Lungs, often brought about by deficient Spleen Qi and poor digestion, when food isn’t fully transformed and there is inflammation in the form of excess mucous. Symptoms include: shortness of breath, wheezing, or asthma accompanied by sticky phlegm. The treatment will be to transform, reduce, and or expel phlegm.

Foods and spices: fennel, fenugreek, flaxseed, cayenne, watercress, garlic, onions, horseradish, turnip, fresh ginger, radish, daikon radish, mushroom, and seaweeds.

Foods to avoid: all dairy, mammal meats, peanuts, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy products (soy sauce, milk, etc.) sweeteners. Stevia can be used as a sweetener.

Best method is to eat simple small meals that are easy to digest.

DEFICIENT QI OF THE LUNGS is a chronic, often debilitating lung pattern. Symptoms include: weakness, fatigue, weak voice and limited speech, coughing and shortness of breath. There can also be spontaneous sweating with any activity and frequent cold and flu spells. Treatment will consist of choosing foods that will tonify lung qi and improve absorption of qi that we gather from food.

Foods and herbs: rice, sweet rice, oats, carrots, mustard greens, sweet potato, yam. potato, fresh ginger, garlic, molasses, rice syrup, barley malt, and herring.

Foods that are cooling and/or mucous forming should be avoided. They include: citrus, salt, all dairy, spinach, chard and seaweeds.

So in this entry you have learned foods that warm, foods that cool, foods that moisten and foods that dry. Keeping immunity up in the next several months will be important. Eat well, get enough sleep, wash your hands and be sure to get plenty of antioxidants into your diet. I will sometimes drink an Emergen-C (a packet of powder of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that dissolves and fizzes in water). Another thing that will build the defensive qi (wei qi) that circulates on the level of the skin is using a loofa or sugar or salt scrub to slough off the dead skin. Scrubbing the skin reinvigorates the wei qi and keeps it active in the prevention of external pathogens. Wearing a scarf that covers the back of your neck will also help as the chinese believe Wind (which is “the spearhead of all diseases”) enters through a point at the base of the back of the neck.

I hope you all stay healthy through the seasons. Listen to your body and cater to your needs. If it is telling you you are tired, don’t push through anyway. Drop what you’re doing and take a nap or go to bed. You will wake up refreshed and ready to pick up where you’ve left off.

Till next time, Be Well!

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