In Western Medicine, detoxification is understood to be a complex, highly nuanced process involving the liver, gallbladder, digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, and skin. Maintaining optimal routes of detoxification helps boost immune function and reduce the risk of illness while also having anti-aging benefits.

According to Chinese medicine, each season is regulated by one of the five elements. The autumn season is regulated by the metal element which is associated with the lung and large intestine channels. Keeping the lung channel warm and the large intestine channel flowing is essential for a balanced autumn detox. Since autumn can be cool and dry in contrast to the warm summer months, exposure to sudden cooling can weaken the metal channel; keeping the body warm during this season is essential.

*Foods that support lung qi:* pears, persimmons, almonds, dates, turnips, daikon radish.

*Foods that support large intestine qi:* green onion, ginger, cardamom, fennel, leeks, seaweed.

*Herbs for Autumn*
– Milk Thistle & Dandelion Root for detox
– Cordyceps, Astragalus & Elderberry for immune
– Yu Ping Feng San for virus prevention
– Yin Qiao San for acute onset of flu symptoms

*Supporting detoxification in the Autumn months:*
– Keep back of neck and body protected and warm
– Drink warm green tea
– Eat more warm cooked foods, less cold raw foods

*A Note on Autumn and Grief*
In Chinese medicine the metal element is associated with the emotion of grief. Some people become naturally melancholy at the end of summer.

All Saints Day celebrated in early fall (Nov 1) is a time set aside in many church traditions as a day of remembrance of our loved ones who have passed away.

Healthy grieving – allowing the free flow of tears – during this season is an important route of detoxification.