立秋 （Beginning of autumn) is the 13th of the 24 divisions of the solar year in the traditional Chinese calendar. This year , the beginning of autumn falls on August 7th, 2017. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the lungs belong to metal among the five elements. In autumn the ground is covered with golden leaves. Autumn is the lung season and it is the best time to nourish the lungs.
Ancient medicine books pointed out that coldness damages the lungs. In autumn, the cold air starts to descend, therefore we need to stay warm, avoid wind cold, avoid eating cold food and drinks. Otherwise the lungs can't function well.
Dryness is the dominant external pathogen in autumn, which can easily damage the lung yin energy . Intake of white fungus, pear, baihe (百合）, almond, honey, soya milk, lotus root, walnut, yiyiren (seeds of Job's Tears)（薏苡仁—), duck eggs etc can benefit lung yin.
Although the autumn has begun, hot summer days are not gone yet. It is a good opportunity to regulate spleen and stomach too - supplement the energy consumed during the hot summer and store energy for the cold winter. Intake lightly supplementing foods such as millet, Chinese yam, eggplant, lotus root, green bean sprout, luffa, cucumber, white gourd, bitter melon etc can clear the heat and resolve dampness. Besides, yiyiren (薏苡仁)and lentils (扁豆) are effective in strengthening the spleen and eliminating dampness.
After the autumn sets in, you can't eat large amount of raw fruits any more. It could result in dampness in the body damaging spleen yang energy, causing diarrhea and other digestive symptoms. Especially for those with cold spleen and stomach, raw fruits have to be avoided in this season.