Fall is a part of the year when everything in nature contracts. Fall is the season of harvest, a time to store up the fuel, food, and warm clothing for the approaching cold winter.
Food preparation in the fall should reflect its contracting nature highlighted by more astringent as well as heartier flavors and foods.
The appetite is stimulated by warm smells and flavors of baked and sautéed foods. Sour flavored foods are the most active in the body during the fall season, foods such as sourdough bread, sauerkraut,
olives, pickles, leeks, adzuki beans, salt plums, rose hip tea, vinegar, cheese, yogurt, lemons, limes, grapefruit, apples (sour), plums and grapes. In general, when cooking you should use less water, and cook at a lower heat, for longer periods of time.
The forces of fall create a dry environment. When dry climates prevail, people should pay more attention to the dry body condition. The major symptoms of dryness in the body are thirst, dryness of skin, nose,
lips, and throat, and itchiness. To counter a dry weather and treat conditions of dryness in the body during any season, foods that moisten the body should be emphasized:
- Soybean products (organic), including tofu, tempeh, and soy milk; spinach, barley, millet, pear, apple, persimmon, seaweed, black and white fungus, almond, pine nut, peanut, sesame seed, honey
(cooked), barley malt, rice syrup, milk, yogurt, and dairy products (high quality), eggs, clams, crab, oyster, mussels, herring, and pork.
Those with the dryness condition should consume with caution bitter and aromatic foods that include many spices and herbs, as well as the warming foods.
During the dry period in fall the most affected organs are the lungs and the colon. Grief is an emotion associated with the lungs and the colon. The expansive quality of pungent foods, and the flavor that first “enters” the lungs, can assist in clearing grief.
The lungs and colon problems are also aggravated by a faulty diet:
- Over eating; not eating roughage; consuming too much meat, dairy, and other congesting foods; using drugs, cigarettes, and processed foods.
Poor eating habits cause mucus to be deposited in the lungs, which blocks their proper function.
Useful foods and herbs which cool the heat and transform mucus in the lungs are:
- Watercress (most effective), cantaloupe, apple, persimmon, peach, pear, strawberry, citrus, seaweed (agar, nori, kelp), spirulina and chlorella (micro-algae), fennel, fenugreek, flaxseed, cayenne, garlic,
mushrooms, daikon radish, radish, carrot, pumpkin, kuzu, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, chard papaya, and white fungus (most effective); herbs include horehound leaf, nettles, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, elecampane root, coltsfoot, mullein leaf and chickweed.