Autumn, the Metal element and what foods to eat..

Updated: Oct 15, 2018




Autumn brings the harvest of crops, shorter days and preparation for winter. The metal element, from rough ore to sparkling gemstones, symbolizes the process of refinement and its resulting products. In this season, it’s time to make sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated.


The Chinese do not include the element of air in the five-element system as Western systems do. But metal has similar associations. For example, both air and metal energies concern mental and spiritual activities, including the workings of the mind, the intellect and communication. The inability to be open to new ideas or the rigid holding on to old thoughts and useful information could both point to an imbalance in metal.


Furthermore, metal is connected to air through the lungs. The lungs and the large intestine, associated with metal in Chinese medicine, both deal with purification and elimination. The lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through breathing. The large intestine absorbs water and completes the absorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It also holds and eliminates waste.


Eating vegetables and whole grains is necessary for our bodies year-round. Because they serve as cleansers for the intestines, however, they have added significance in autumn, when it’s important to keep your metal element in balance. A balanced metal diet also consists of hearty, rich and warm foods, including meats, nuts, fish and oils, with hints of strong flavors like Roquefort, pepper and mustard. Root vegetables – such as potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion – are particularly healthful metal foods, as are thick-skinned fruits like bananas and mangoes. Cayenne, ginger and curry promote good digestion and elimination.


You might also try practicing a form of breathing meditation for the health of your lungs. And weight training is a useful autumn exercise, as it balances the higher amount of protein and calories you crave while preparing for winter. This is a good time of the year to enjoy the late afternoon and evening, the time associated with metal, by relaxing, letting go of the day’s concerns and preparing for sleep.


This is a good season to:

  • Eat root vegetables, whole grains and hearty foods as a way to clean out the intestines

  • Do weight training to make good use of the muscle-building protein you crave as winter comes

  • Focus on relaxation in the evening hours. Autumn is associated with late afternoon and evening time, and getting ready for sleep.


Working with you to understand which of the five elements best defines you, is just one of the many ways Traditional Chinese Medicine is different but complimentary to Western Medicine. Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London.


Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here.












Excerpts from the original article by TCM World.

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