In traditional Chinese culture, each season is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. For every one of these elements, there are specific characteristics which contribute to the change in climate, weather and more which affect our health.
In this entry, we'll be exploring the Metal element and its purpose for the Chinese Zodiac and your health goals.
Which season is associated with Metal?
As we welcome the crisp breeze and the falling leaves, we find ourselves in the embrace of autumn, the enchanting season associated with the element of Metal. Just as Metal possesses strength and resilience, autumn allows us to draw inward, shedding what no longer serves us and embracing the essence of change. In TCM, this season is intimately linked to the Lung and Large Intestine organs, signifying a time of both release and refinement. As nature prepares for its winter slumber, we too can harmonise with this transformative energy, nurturing our bodies and minds for the seasons to come. Welcoming the golden hues and the gentle winds of autumn, embracing the wisdom of Metal in this captivating dance of balance and harmony.
What meridians are associated with this Element?
Meridians and their association with the Metal element are essential in TCM theory for understanding the flow of energy and maintaining balance within the body.
- Lung Meridian: Governs the Lung organ and respiratory system, regulates Qi flow for healthy breathing, and influences immunity and emotional balance, particularly related to grief and sadness. Nurturing it during autumn enhances immunity and helps us adapt to changing weather.
- Large Intestine Meridian: Governs the Large Intestine organ, aids in smooth waste elimination, detoxification, and emotional release, promoting healthy digestion and emotional well-being during autumn.
What can I do to benefit from the Metal element this Autumn?
Some Chinese medicine practices that may be helpful for the Metal element include:
1. Embrace the Crispness of Autumn and engage in mindfulness:
Spend time outdoors enjoying the fresh air and the changing colours of nature. Practice deep breathing exercises to support lung health and improve oxygenation. Embrace moments of quiet reflection and meditation to process emotions and cultivate emotional well-being.
2. Let Go of What No Longer Serves You:
Declutter your living space and release unnecessary possessions, reflecting the Metal element's ability to let go. Recognise and appreciate the positive aspects of your life while releasing negative emotions and grudges.
3. Support Your Immune System:
Eat a balanced diet with seasonal fruits and vegetables to nourish your body and boost immunity. Consider herbal supplements to strengthen your respiratory system. As the weather cools, dress appropriately and keep yourself warm to prevent colds and respiratory issues.
4. Seek Acupuncture or TCM Treatments:
Consult with a TCM practitioner for seasonal adjustments and personalised recommendations to balance your energy. See below for TCM herbs that may benefit you.
By aligning with the Metal element's energies and incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can harness the wisdom of autumn to enhance your overall well-being, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Embrace the transformative dance of balance and harmony that the Metal element brings during this enchanting season.
By following these practices, you can embrace the Metal element's qualities and cultivate balance and well-being during the summer season.
It's important to note that individual dietary needs and preferences may vary. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it's always a good idea to consult with a qualified TCM practitioner or a healthcare professional for personalised dietary advice.
What TCM herbs could be beneficial in Autumn with the Metal element?
- Astragalus (Huang Qi): Known for its immune-boosting properties, astragalus is often used in TCM to support the lungs and increase resistance to respiratory infections.
- White Atractylodes (Bai Zhu): This herb is used to strengthen the Spleen and Stomach, supporting digestion and energy levels during autumn.
- Liquorice Root (Gan Cao): Liquorice root is frequently used in TCM formulas to harmonise other herbs and enhance their effects. It can also help soothe the respiratory system.
- Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root): Dang Gui is known for nourishing and invigorating the blood, which can be beneficial during the autumn season.
- Ginseng (Ren Shen): Ginseng is a powerful adaptogenic herb that helps the body cope with stress and supports overall vitality.
- Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui): Cinnamon is a warming herb that can help to dispel cold and promote circulation, which can be useful as the weather turns cooler.
Please note that while these herbs are generally considered safe, it's essential to consult a qualified TCM practitioner or herbalist before incorporating them into your regimen, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications. TCM prescriptions are typically tailored to individual needs, and professional guidance ensures the herbs are suitable and effective for your specific constitution and health goals.
Where can I find Metal element herbal supplements?
To make it even easier to find the right supplement for the season, we've divided our herbal supplement collection into each element to help you find the right formula for your health goals.