Eating according to the 5 seasons is one way that Chinese Medicine uses food and the elemental surround in order to harmonize the body. This way of eating, known as shi liao or food therapy, is a traditional method to prevent and sometimes cure illness. Each of the five seasons has a corresponding yin and yang pair of meridians. Meridians are channels of energy that are used in an acupuncture treatment. Food, the time of year, emotions, and even physical trauma can affect the meridians.
Autumn traditionally lies within the domain of the metal element. The yin and yang meridians that are most sensitive and active during this time are the lung and the large intestine. Chinese Medicine says that the lungs govern the opening and closing of the pores of our skin. If the lungs are weak, the skin and protective field of the body is also weak. This often times can be translated into a weakened or imbalanced immune system. The large intestine, the pair meridian of the lung channel, can also manifest its distress through the skin. Both the lungs and the large intestine of the metal element control three major pathways of elimination in the body: exhalation, sweating, and elimination of toxins through the skin and complete bowel movements via the colon. The fourth pathway of elimination is through urination.
Following the Body Ecology Diet’s Seven Principles is crucial in maintaining a healthy metal element. By maximizing digestive function with alkaline, properly food-combined meals, the large intestine increases its ability to efficiently eliminate toxicity. It is important to note that candida-fighting strains of beneficial yeast, like saccharomyces cerevisiae and saccharomyces boulardii, as found in the Body Ecology probiotic beverages, can aid in cleaning the intestines of systemic infection that inhibits the overall strength of the metal element throughout the body.
Breathe easy this fall!Use the principles of Chinese medicine to detoxify your body each day to boost your immunity and improve your energy.
With each inhale, there is an exhale. Very simply, the lungs tell the story of receiving and releasing. Have you ever tried to inhale more air without first letting go of the air already inside your lungs? You may be able to squeeze a little more air in, but at some point in order to fully inhale, you find that you have to exhale. While spring is generally regarded as the best time to cleanse, both the lungs and the large intestine strongly demonstrate the necessity to release not only physical but emotional toxins that accumulate in the system on a more transient, day-to-day basis. Anything that does not move in the system stagnates and eventually becomes toxic. This is why clinically, in Chinese medicine constipation can reflect an inability to let go.
The various systems in our body are all unified. When you help one system physically, you also help it energetically. According to shi liao or Chinese food therapy, pungent flavor enters the lungs. Pungency generates warmth and moves blood stagnation. Members of the onion family, watercress, mustard, and horseradish are all pungent. They are also rich in sulfur. As a Chinese herb, sulfur enters the kidney and large intestine meridians. It restores vital energy, can be anti-parasitic, and is blood purifying.
The sushi condiment wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, is extremely sulfur-rich, containing phyto-chemicals called isothiocyanates. Plant physiologist, Gina Mohammed, reports that phyto-chemicals found in the wasabi plant (Wasabia japonia) are antibacterial, antifungal, and are particularly effective in inhibiting blood coagulation. She also points to the fact that modern research is investigating isothiocyanates’ ability to stop the development of certain cancers. In Green Pharmacy, James Duke recommends wasabi to clear the sinuses and alleviate hay fever. Classic Chinese text says that the nose is the doorway to the lungs. Adding sulfur-rich foods is one of the best ways to support your body’s pathways of elimination, assist your immune system, relieve inflammation, and strengthen the deeper energetics of your body’s metal element.
Body Ecology’s LivAmend contains 50 mg of wasabi powder and 12,000 ppm of isothiocyanates. It also has extracts of artichoke, sarsaparilla, and milk thistle. Sarsaparilla is a potent blood purifier, while both artichoke and milk thistle are largely researched and used for their ability to both protect and detoxify the liver. According to Chinese medicine, when the liver becomes congested, it can overact on the lungs and impair their function.LivAmend has a rare combination of herbs that gently and powerfully support the body’s ability to cleanse and detoxify. This becomes especially important if you are new to the Body Ecology Diet or find yourself going on and off the diet.
Often we can bounce from being on and then off the diet because our systems are still moving toxins and pathogens out of the body. The body will normally detoxify in layers. Over time, as you become more sensitive, making food choices according to what your body needs, rather than what it wants, becomes effortless. As we settle into the autumn season and prepare to welcome winter, incorporating BED principles and supplements with 5 element food therapy allows us to move through the seasons with ease and enjoy optimum health!
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