As previously mentioned, eating within the seasons is important to maintain balance. As autumn is upon us, I will extend upon this idea. Along with eating foods which correspond to the season, looking at ailments which afflict us is imperative; these can include coughs, colds and dry skin. The element for autumn resonates with the metal element and is allotted the lung organ. When the Lung vitality has been deteriorated, the body’s defence system will become faulty and cough, colds and dry skin can manifest. Of cause there are many types of coughs and colds that can be identified, however, to keep things simple, we shall explore the ones which are closely affected by autumn and how we can assist these.
An herbal perspective for addressing these symptoms which work along the lung meridian would be through the use of herbs such as Jing Jie (Schizonepeta), Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi ), sang bai pi (Cortex Mori Radicis), gan cao Radix Glycyrrhizae. Other herbs that can be included in cooking include Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillary bulb), Yi Yi Ren (Job’s Tears) and even Ren Shen (Ginseng).
Over-the-counter herbal formulations which can also treat coughs include Zhi Sou San (Stop Coughing Powder) which is made up of Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi), Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae), Zi Wan (Radix Asteris), Bai Bu (Radix stemonae), Bai Qian (Rhizoma Cynanchi Stauntonii), Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) and Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae). Other formulas such as Yin Qiao San or Gan Mao Ling (for coughs and sore throat), Gui Zhi Tang or Ge Gen Tang (for cold) can also be used. A favourite at the Macuarie Street clinic is the Fritillaria Loquat Syrup (Chuan Bei Pi Pa Gao) for those persistent coughs.
For those of you who wish to try your hand at making your own immune booster and cough remedy, why not have a go at the Master Tonic which was discussed in a previous blog.
Foods and helpful remedies include
Honey: can be standalone remedy or mixed with either garlic or turmeric. Honey has great antibacterial properties and soothes the throat.
Turmeric: can be used as a standalone remedy or in combination with a warm drink mixed with warm to hot milk. Turmeric contains curcumin which is an active agent with strong anti-viral, anti‑bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Garlic: Used as a cure for all ailments in many different cultures. Garlic can stand proud as a cure for all. Garlic has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties due to the active agent, allicin. It can also be one of the most effective home remedies for a dry cough as well as boosting your immune system to help fight infections that cause a dry cough.
Thyme: contains compounds which relax the throat muscles involved in coughing and lessen inflammation.