In TCM, the Lungs are a “tender organ”, kinda like Goldilocks ;) They prefer moderate conditions that are not too dry or moist and not too hot or cold. They are vulnerable to “external pathogens” such as viruses, bacteria, mold, but also other environmental particulate including pollen and under our current circumstances, the toxic particles carried by wildfires.
The Lungs also play an important role in regulating immunity. The lungs is to circulate a thin protective, fluid layer that lies just below the skin’s surface, called the “Wei qi” or “Defensive Qi”, which in TCM theory, acts as a barrier to pathogens trying in invade our bodies. Hence, if your Lung function is sub-optimal, so is your immunity. Hence, it is extremely protect your Lungs, especially if you have pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD. As we are entering the shift from summer to autumn and impending cold+flu season, BE TENDER to your tender lungs.
Lung/Large Intestine energy is highest in the fall season. During this seasonal shift, you may notice symptoms of dryness whether it be your skin, mucus membranes and even constipation. Diet therapy is a simple approach supporting the Lungs and Large intestine to ensure both organs maintain optimal moisture, effective elimination of waste and ensuring smooth flow of qi throughout the body, most importantly your “Wei Qi”.
This is a quick and tasty seasonal recipe to keep your Lungs moist and your “Wei qi” circulating to ensure you are less vulnerable to external pathogens.
- 4-6 ripe pears peeled and cored (either Asian or whatever variety is in seasonal locally)
- 1/3 cup of dried goji berries
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- Thumb-sized chunk of ginger, cut into slices
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp of raw local honey
- 1 cup of apple juice/cider (local if possible)
- 2 cups of water
- 1/3 cup of slivered almonds for garnish
Feel free to customize to your tastes by adding cloves, cardamon, nutmeg or other warming flavors!
- Start a pot on the stove at medium heat – then add all of your liquids and spices. Bring to a simmer.
- On a second burner, toast your slivered almonds till lightly browned and you can smell the nuts toasting.
- Add the pears, stirring occasionally to cook evenly. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the pears are tender through. Then remove the pears to a serving plate.
- Continue to simmer the liquid for another 15 minutes, or until it has thickened and reduced to half.
- When serving, garnish the pears with the thickened poaching liquid and your toasted almonds.