According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, autumn is closely linked to the well-being of the lung, making it the best time of the year to clear lung heat and revitalize the organ’s functions.
Maintaining a good respiratory system is the first and foremost step to healthy lungs. Abdominal breathing can be practised every morning and evening year round.
Spend three to five minutes in a quiet environment to take 20 to 30 long, deep and rhythmic breaths.
Close your eyes and inhale slowly for three seconds.
Your hand should feel your stomach protruding slightly. When you exhale, tighten your stomach muscles and gradually push the air out of the stomach in four seconds.
Autumn is also the season for outdoor activities.
Walking uphill in country parks, one can empty their lungs of the polluted urban air, stimulate blood circulation and enhance joint actions and movements.
Dragon’s Back and Pok Fu Lam reservoir on Hong Kong Island, Long Ke and High Island reservoir in Sai Kung and outlying islands such as Grass Island and Tung Ping Chau are my favorite outdoor spots.
Since the air is drier during autumn, body fluids are more rapidly drained from the eyes, mouth, lips, nose, throat and skin.
Pears and mandarin oranges are good fruit choices for fluid and nutrient replenishment.
Pears are very nutritious and can clear lung heat, moisten the lungs, help stop dry cough and improve the immune system.
Since enzymes and acids in pear juice can effectively break down proteins, I would use pear juice as a natural meat tenderizer.
Not only is the flesh of mandarin oranges delicious, the peeling and seeds are also useful.
Dried tangerine peel can help regulate “qi” flow.
In particular, chenpi, or dried peel from mature fruit, can invigorate the spleen and stomach, eliminate dampness and dissipate phlegm while dried green peel from immature tangerines can remove stagnant qi in the liver.
Tangerine seeds can also regulate qi flow, suppressing pains.
The sweet soup of snow fungus, mandarin orange and lily bulb is my top do-it-yourself dessert in the season and it is incredibly easy to prepare.
1. Soak the dried snow fungus in water and steam it for an hour till it softens.
2. Add crushed rock raw sugar into a pot of water. Heat till the sugar is well dissolved.
3. Add the fungus, flesh of mandarin orange and fresh lily bulb to the pot. When the content is boiled, add some potato starch to thicken the soup.
The fungus is well known for keeping the skin young and the lily can moisten the lungs.
However, people with cough should refrain from taking it.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 21
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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