How we relate to our environment is an ongoing process. When there are changes in the weather our body shifts dynamically to maintain homeostasis; a state of Yin Yang balance. When we have the capacity to adapt, we flow easily through yearly changes. However, when we get stuck and can’t transition then the processes that lead to disease begin.
Fall is a time of significant change. Everywhere around us, the vigour of Summer is pulling back. Signs of life move inward and resources are consolidated. This process of closing down and pulling in is so strong that it needs to be mitigated. This is why the flavour associated with Fall in classical Chinese medicine is the pungent flavour, or xin 辛. We use dispersing and hot foods to combat the contracting and cool environment. This helps to keep our pores open and to make sure that our ability to fend off illness is strong. It can also help to prevent stiff and sore muscles and emotional stagnation.
Foods in this category include: ginger, horseradish, mustard seed, cinnamon, sichuan peppercorn, onion, garlic and many more. These are foods that often enhance and brighten flavour and make food more exciting. If your household is one that relies mostly on salt and pepper for seasoning you may benefit from including a more vibrant flavour profile. This is the season for it!