Health Column September 2019
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The solar term White Dew is around the corner, marking the season of cold and cardiovascular disease! Moisten the lungs and stave off autumn-dryness, but be mindful not to overdo it.
BY Health AM/Fu Yuan Chinese Medicine Clinic
 
Autumn corresponds to "Metal" in the Five Elements, representing the color white. Around 30 days into autumn, dew drops can be found on the ground and the leaves in the morning, and that was how the solar term "White Dew" got its name. There's an old saying goes, "Do not expose the body to White Dew, and be mindful in the morning and the evening." It means after entering White Dew, the weather will start turning cold. We need to stay warm and keep our body covered to prevent catching a cold.
 
 
A traditional Chinese medicine remedy for lung moistening and cough relief: a cup of Sang Ju Yin to fight against cold
The day-and-night temperature gap runs wide during White Dew. As a result, other than developing cardiovascular diseases, it is very likely to catch a cold if one fails to stay warm during the temperature change. As the saying goes, "White Dew autumn night, colder and colder every night," the sense of coldness will gradually become more and more evident on top of the autumn dryness, some people may start showing subtle signs and symptoms of cold, such as throat discomfort and mild cough. Doctor Yu-Hua Ho from Fu Yuan Chinese Medicine Clinic recommends drinking mulberry, chrysanthemums and loquat tea to fight against the cold, moisten the lungs, and relieve coughing.

     Ingredients:
  • 8 g of Mulberry leaves
  • 10 g chrysanthemums
  • 8 g of loquat leaves
  • 5 g of balloon flowers
  • A dab of honey
 
     Directions:
  1. Bring 1000 c.c. water to boil
  2. Stir in all the ingredients, but add chrysanthemum last
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Finally, add honey to the tea
 
Failure to keep warm may lead to stroke and myocardial infarction
"Entering White Dew, cold nights and hot days." Because White Dew is close to summer, and Taiwan is located in the subtropical zone, it is still hot during the day but the temperature drops rapidly at night. Such significant temperature difference during White Dew not only makes it easier to catch a cold, but also increases the risks of myocardial infarction and stroke, which is particularly dangerous.
 
Although early autumn does not give you a nip in the air, you still need to pay extra attention in keeping your body warm. The Oriental Cold Constitution Research Association points out that there are 3 key body parts that need to be kept warm. Keeping them well protected can reduce the chances of catching a cold.
  1. Below the knee: Gravity causes 70% of the blood to pool in the lower-half of the body. Therefore, when the feet are cold, blood flow will be restricted, resulting in a decrease in the blood volume. This will not only lower the temperature, but also lead to stiffness in the shoulders, palpitation, and shortness of breath. When feeling cold, leg warmers can be used to keep the calves warm, which will in turn boost the skeletal-muscle pump, promote circulation, and help relieve cold legs.
  2. Abdomen: On the surface of the body, navel is the spot closest to the internal organs. When the navel gets cold, internal organs are affected directly, causing intestine dysfunction. For women, one third of the blood is collected in the abdominal area in order to keep coldness away from the uterus. If the abdomen is not kept warm, one could experience dysmenorrhea, menstrual pain, infertility, and menopause disorders. The Oriental Cold Constitution Research Association suggests that belly bands can be used to cover the abdomen, keeping it from coming into contact with cold air, which will help increase the body temperature and improve circulation.
  3. Neck: The neck is the center for maintaining the body temperature and protecting the body from the cold. When the neck is exposed to cold air, blood flow in the hands and feet becomes restricted. On the contrary, with the protection of a scarf, the blood flow does not deteriorate rapidly even if the hands and feet are exposed to cold air. It is recommended to wrap your neck with a scarf.
 
Ginger strengthens the body and protects against cold? Be careful! Don't overdo it in the autumn
After the weather gets cold, rest and tonification are crucial. Many people in Taiwan like to eat ginger to replenish their bodies when it's cold, but heat and dryness should be avoided in autumn while the body is recuperating. Dietitian Lin Ya-Chen mentioned in her column "Food Medicine" that ginger is characterized by its spiciness and warmth, which help the human body to adapt to the natural Qi. The most appropriate time to eat ginger is spring and summer in a year, or before noon in a day, because these are times when the natural Qi is the most exuberant and outwardly expressive. On the contrary, the human body's vital Qi stays dormant inside during autumn, winter, in the evening, and at night; thus, it will be a contradiction to eat ginger and dissipate heat from the body during those times. Plus, a long summer is followed by a dry autumn, and dry weather disrupts the lungs. Eating ginger when the body is already dry can lead to even more problems of the lungs, causing dehydration and dryness. Therefore, excessive ginger intake is not recommended.
 
Autumn dryness is coming. Supplement your diet with foods that can reduce heat and replenish the Yin
According to the book "Losing Weight with the Change of Seasons and Solar Terms" written by traditional Chinese medicine doctor Yen-Ting Peng, the effect of dry weather becomes apparent upon entering White Dew, and insufficient Yin in the body tend to generate heat in the body, contributing to dry mouth, dry skin, chapped lips, and constipation. When that happens, it is a good idea to supplement your diet with foods that are able to reduce heat and replenish Yin, such as pears, snow fungus, honey, lily, goji berries, and soy products. Another good supplement is leafy green vegetables rich in Vitamin C, such as Chinese broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower.
From the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs and the large intestine complement each other. Sufficient bodily fluid helps promote regular bowel movement. It goes without saying that hydration is crucial in preventing autumn dryness. Take a cup of warm water in the morning, and another one when you have a spare moment. Water helps promote metabolism and alleviate the discomfort caused by autumn dryness. It is the simplest and the most convenient healthy drink we can find in our daily lives.
 
Retrieved from: Health AM  https://www.edh.tw/media_article/709