October 26, 2020
Eating Well for Immunity
Fall is here and it’s time to support our immunity! How well we take care of ourselves in the weeks leading up to the coming cold and flu season can greatly enhance (or weaken) our resistance to illness. Once we begin to fall ill, it can be too late! Wise use and nourishment of our inner resources can help us stay healthy, and diet is one of the foundations here. Even just cutting out white sugar, which reduces white blood cell activity by almost 50% for up to 5 hours after eating it, can do marvels.
Fall is the season of the Lungs and the Metal element, and the Lungs control our Wei (Protective) Qi, which acts like a forcefield around our bodies to keep pathogens out. In 5 Element Theory, we nourish the Mother of an element in order to support it’s function. Earth is the Mother of Metal, so feeding our Earth in order to support Lungs/Wei Qi/Metal is essential now. The Lung channel begins in the Stomach, so there is no better place to start! Squash and pumpkins are a wonderful, seasonal food that nourish the Earth and in turn the Lungs. Their yellow orange color, round shape, and sweet flavor tell us they are an Earth element food. The flavor of Earth is sweet,and eating balanced healthy sweet foods can help us- while eating empty unhealthy sweet like sugar depletes immunity, and unsettles the Shen. Below is a recipe for pumpkin soup, with a classic TCM immune combo- miso, ginger and fresh green onions.
The Recipe: Nourishing Pumpkin Soup
- 1/2 inch finely grated ginger
- half pumpkin, peeled & chopped in small pieces
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- 3-5 fresh green onions, finely chopped
1. Put the pumpkin in a pan and add 3 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat to soften- about 20 minutes.
2. Save the water, and once the pumpkin is cool enough, mash it, add the miso paste (stirring well to dissolve) fresh ginger, and green onions. Add a little extra water to make a soupy consistency.
3. Top with nori seaweed.
About the Author
Our Pharmacy Director, Athene Eisenhardt, L.Ac, CMP, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and Sound Healer. She graduated from Five Branches University with a specialty in Herbology and Five Element Acupuncture. She brings great love and enthusiasm for herbs and plants, which began 20 years ago with a BS in Botany, followed many years of professional work experience as a Field Botanist. Read more about Athene & our in-house Pharmacy.