After the Autumn Equinox, many people have symptoms such as dry skin and itchy throat. Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners(TCM) recommend taking care of the body from the four aspects of clothing, food, living and transportation, and massaging acupuncture points.
After the Autumn Equinox, in the northern hemisphere, the night gets longer and the weather gets more chilly. People would experience symptoms such as dry skin and itchy throat. CMP recommended taking care of the body from the four aspects of clothing, food, living, and transportation and regulating the body through massaging acupuncture points and drinking tea.
Chen Chao-chuan, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner at Fu Yuan Chinese Medicine Clinic, Taiwan, wrote that after the Autumn Equinox, the weather turns dry and cool, and many people will have allergic symptoms such as dry cough, asthma, and itchy eyes, among others. Therefore, to promote wellness, they should pay special attention to nurturing lung, spleen, and kidneys.
To regulate our lifestyle, Chen Chao-chuan suggested four aspects of “clothing, food, living, and transportation:”
1) Food: Consume More White Food That Moistens the Lungs
CMP believes that the nutrition of white food enters the lungs, so people should eat more white food to help nourish the lungs. It is good to select seasonal ingredients such as sweet potato leaves, lily, cucumber, grapefruit, persimmon, and oyster.
People who suffer from dry itching and allergies in autumn can replenish foods that eliminate rich “mucus,” such as okra, asparagus, limtes, bamboo shoots, onions, garlic, and others. Okra is also known as “green ginseng (one of the best herbal supplements in Chinese medicine).” It is a good source of various nutrients with anti-aging properties to prevent skin aging. The mucus in it can also protect the stomach wall and help the secretion of gastric juice to promote digestion. It is a great food to promote wellness in autumn. It should be noted that the pedicle of the okra should be removed after scalding to avoid the loss of mucus.
2) Clothing: Wear Light-Weight Clothing and Keep Warm
“Light-weight clothing to keep out the cold” is the way to stay healthy in autumn. In autumn and winter, it has much higher diurnal temperature variation, and the temperature is lower in the early morning and late evening. It is recommended to take the “onion principle in clothing.”
Keeping the neck warm is very important, especially nowadays, people often bury their heads in their mobile phones for a long period of time, which can easily cause distressing symptoms of the cervical spine and nearby muscles. If anyone catches a cold due to not paying attention to the temperature difference between day and night, it will lead to poor blood circulation and easily aggravate the discomfort of the shoulders and neck.
The weak, the elderly, and children, should sleep in the quilt properly at night to prevent a cold stomach which may induce various diseases.
3) Living: Go To Bed Early and Get Up Early
In autumn, the cold air gradually rises, and the yang (the sun, brightness, and heat) tends to be hidden. The later the night, the heavier the cold, so try not to stay up late and go to bed early. Getting up early in the morning is conducive to the increase of yang.
If anyone has the habit of turning on air conditioners or electric fans, try to avoid blowing directly on the head or face. Instead, a small glass of water can be put inside the room to maintain the humidity of the space.
4) Transportation: Stretch the Muscles and Bones
During the autumn equinox, the weather will gradually turn from cool to cold. After waking up in the morning, do some simple exercises before getting out of bed such as stretching muscles and bones. Before going out, pay attention to the outdoor ambient temperature and keep warm.
At the beginning of autumn, exercise should not be too intense, especially for those with chronic diseases. They can go for a brisk walk.
Chen said that “the following 2 acupoints can be massaged regularly to help regulate the body:
1) Chize Acupoint
With the elbow bent 90 degrees and the palm facing up, this acupoint is in the depression on the radial side of the tendon of the biceps brachii muscle. Chize is located on the circulation of the lung meridian, and the property of the acupoint is water, which can effectively relieve the itching of the skin caused by autumn dryness.
2) Taixi Acupoint
Located in the depression between the tip of the medial malleolus and Achilles tendon. Kidney refers to water. Stimulating Taixi acupoints can nourish kidney yin (restorative power) so as to facilitate water metabolism in the body, and thus, prevent the itchy symptom induced by dry skin.
Turmeric Ginger Tea to Promote Wellness
Ingredients: 2 cups Water, 1/2 tsp. Turmeric, 3 oz. Fresh peeled ginger, 1/2 tsp. Whole black peppercorn, 1 Cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. Jaggery powder, 1 Star anise, 1/2 Lemon, juiced.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add water and turmeric. Heat it up while preparing and adding the rest of the ingredients.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the peeled fresh ginger and add to the pot.
After the inside of the mortar and pestle have been wiped, add the peppercorns and the cinnamon and crush. Add it to the pot.
In the same pot, add the Jaggery powder and star anise. Cook for five more minutes. Strain into serving pot or cups.
Add lemon juice before serving. Serve hot or warm.
Function: Nourishes the liver, moistens the lungs, and promotes fluid production.
Finally, Chen suggested that people can use an aromatherapy machine to soothe dryness. The method is to add 10 ml (0.3 fluid oz) of Roman chamomile hydrosol to 200 ml (0.4 pints) of water and bring the molecules in the hydrosol to the respiratory tract or dry skin surface through the aromatherapy machine. It is very effective for autumn dry itching of the skin and respiratory tract.
In the case of sensitive skin, lavender hydrosol plus laurel hydrosol can be used to restore skin stability. It is also suitable for children and can reduce the frequency of having atopic dermatitis.