Maintaining a Healthy Body during the Season of Autumn

The weather has certainly cooled down and we can definitely say that summer has passed and winter is looming. Understanding the connection between our bodies and the seasons can help us to maintain our health and well-being as the weather changes.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is considered a time of transition and reflection. The season is associated with the element of metal, which is said to govern the lungs and large intestine. Following are some key aspects of the autumn season according to TCM to help you maintain a healthy and balanced mind, body and spirit:

The Lungs and Large Intestine

The lungs are said to be responsible for regulating the flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body, while the large intestine is responsible for eliminating waste and toxins. As the weather cools during autumn, cool dry air can enter the lungs causing symptoms such as colds and coughs. It is helpful to keep warm and to add more moistening foods such as seeds like flax, nuts (particularly almonds), mushroom, sweet potato, spinach, avocado, pears and apples to your diet. A high fibre diet, plenty of water and movement will also nurture the large intestine, helping the body transition across the seasons.

Yin and Yang

Autumn is considered a time of balance between Yin and Yang energies. Yin represents the feminine, cool and dark aspects of nature, while Yang represents the masculine, warm and light aspects. In autumn, the days become shorter and the weather becomes cooler, signalling the transition from the Yang energy of summer to the Yin energy of winter.


In TCM, autumn is associated with the emotion of grief. This is because it is a time of letting go, self-reflection and releasing of negative emotions. Practices such as meditation, journaling, and spending time in nature can support emotional well-being during this season. A nurturing acupuncture treatment can also help the body regulate the nervous system, promoting feelings of calm and balance.


In TCM, diet plays an important role in maintaining health and balance during the autumn season. Foods that are recommended during this time include pungent and sweet vegetables such as onions, garlic, and carrots, as well as fruits such as apples and pears. It is also recommended to consume warming foods such as soups and stews to support the body’s immune system heading into winter.


Regular exercise is important during the autumn season to help maintain the body’s Qi flow and support the lungs and large intestine. Activities such as hiking, jogging and brisk walking are all good options.

Overall, the autumn season is seen as a time of transition and change in Traditional Chinese Medicine. By paying attention to our bodies and making healthy choices in terms of diet and exercise, we can support our health and well-being during this time.

Ancient Chinese Herbal Remedy for the Beginning of a Cold

This TCM herbal remedy is used for the very early stage of a cold, when you initially have that first thought “I might be coming down with a cold”.


  • 3 spring onions (white parts only, roughly chopped)
  • 2 slices ginger (approx. 20c piece size)
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 2 cups of water


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue boiling until the liquid has halved (approx. 10-15 minutes). Discard the herbs, keeping the liquid. Drink as soon as its cool enough, get into bed or rug up on the couch to enhance sweating and help the body sweat the cold out. If you feel damp after sweating, get changed and dry and rest for the remainder of the day.