Chinese medicine Nutrition for Autumn

Posted by Tira Mills

Autumn is characterized by the external decline of nature and, in many climates, by drying and cooling. The natural movement pattern of autumn is directed inward. Yang energy decreases, the small yin appears, and the energies of the body gather on the inside. Foods with downbearing movement and sour flavor (apple) support “inner” composure and serenity in the body.

Recommended Autumn Foods

Mildly acrid and energetically warm foods that compensate for the onset of external cold such as oats, millet, corn, rice, carrots, leeks, radishes, cauliflower, beef, lamb.

For inner cold, shivering, and the beginning of a cold, the acrid flavors of garlic, cinnamon, chili, ginger, and onions stimulate qi circulation and rapidly bring defensive energy to the surface.

For external dampness, warm, dry foods should be used to support the center burner (millet, rice) and the lungs (acrid spices to drive away dampness and phlegm disorders).

If dryness predominates, moistening foods (pear, tofu, peanuts) should be utilized.


Fatty, oily foods, and cool or cold dairy products, which burden the spleen and cause dampness and phlegm disorders (bronchitis, sinusitis), especially during wet weather.

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Chinese Nutrition Therapy: Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by Jörg Kastner

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