By Tara Gregory, LAc
Acupuncturist at our clinic
Evergreen Natural Health Center
The transition into the season of fall is beautifully illustrated by the changing of leaves to reds, oranges, and yellows. Dryness plays a pivotal role in this seasonal display as trees prepare to conserve energy for the winter months by drawing their moisture in away from the leaves and down deep to the trunk and roots. In Chinese Medicine, humans are seen as a microcosm of the macrocosm, making dryness the predominant influence in the fall on humans as well. Symptoms of dryness are mostly likely to develop within the organ networks associated with fall, the Lung and Large Intestine. Main symptoms include dry skin, lips and throat, dry coughs, constipation, and restlessness.
One of the best ways to combat dryness and to give your lungs a boost is through diet. Pears, honey, walnuts, and sesame seeds can all be used medicinally to nourish the yin moistening fluids of the body to counteract dryness, strengthen the Lungs, stop a dry cough, prevent constipation, and ease restlessness and insomnia.
Chuan Bei Mu or Fritillaria is an important Chinese herb for the fall because it moistens dryness, transform phlegm, and alleviates coughs. This herb can be found in most Asian markets.
The warming spices make these recipes especially suited for the climate in the Northwest. Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom all fire up the digestion and help nourish and support us in the cooler fall season.
These recipes are are adapted from the cookbook, Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, and Miko Ono.
Healthy Lungs Fritillaria Pears
- 4 TBSP fritillaria (chuan bei mu) powder
- 4 large ripe pears, any variety
- 8 teaspoons honey, or to taste
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp cardamom
- Toasted almond slivers
- Wash the pears but leave the skins on. Cut off the top 1/3 of the pear and save for later. Remove the core of the bottom part of the pear to create a hole that leaves the bottom and outside of the pear intact.
- Place 1 Tbsp of the fritillaria powder, 2 tsp honey, ¼ tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cardamom in the hole of each pear. Replace the tops onto the pears.
- Place the pears in a steamer, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until soft.
- Sprinkle the pears with the toasted almond slivers and serve warm.
Honey Sesame and Walnut Spice Balls
- ½ cup (about 2 ounces) black sesame seeds
- 1/3 to ½ cup (about 2 ounces) chopped walnut pieces
- 3-4 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- If your sesame seeds aren’t already roasted, toast them in a wide skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Continue frying until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. When they are done, transfer the seeds from the hot skillet to a bowl so they don’t overcook, and let cool for at least 1 minute.
- In a food processor, add the sesame seeds, walnuts, and 3 tablespoons of the honey, pulsing until mixed well.
- Roll into 3/4 inch balls. If the balls don’t stick together at first, add a little more honey and pulse the mixture until uniform.
- Serve- and don’t tell anyone how easy this dish was to make!