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Autumn Health: Lungs and Large Intestine

Autumn is the season to nourish and detoxify the lungs and large intestine.   Your lungs are your first line of defense against unhealthy air. When you’re relaxed, you breathe in oxygen approximately fifteen times per minute.  In order for your lungs to be able to eliminate carbon dioxide, it’s essential that your lungs are functioning properly.  When your lungs aren’t functioning properly, your body accumulates heat, which can perpetuate all sorts of health issues, including allergies, frequent colds, neck pain, reduced immunity, sinusitis, excessive perspiration- even melancholy.

Equally important to your health this time of year is the large intestine.  It is divided into three parts:  The caecum, where your appendix is attached; colons—ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid; and the rectum.  When the large intestine is constipated you may experience skin rashes, acne, dry skin and eczema.  When constipated, waste creates a toxic state that shows up as bloating, gas, headaches and irritability.   Autumn is a particularly good time of year to focus on caring for your large intestine.  Pay attention to your diet and eliminate foods that are rich in sugar, flour, dairy products, alcohol, and caffeine – all of these can aggravate your gut and large intestine.   Instead, build your meals around foods to support the health and function of both your lung and large intestines. 
Here are a few items to regularly keep on your Autumn shopping list:
FRUITS:  apple, blackberry, fig, pear, plum, date
VEGETABLES: bell pepper, broccoli, garlic, leeks, onions, pumpkin, red cabbage, shallot, squash, sweet potato, turnip, yam
GRAINS:  amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rye
NUTS: almond, brazil, cashew, pecan, pistachio, walnut
BEANS:  adzuki, black, carob, garbanzo, kidney, lentil, lima
SEEDS:  flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
If you want to learn about eating the right combination of foods to best support your individual health needs and goals, schedule time with Debi by calling 804.288.3927 or email

Deborah Farley is a licensed acupuncturist, naturopath and owner of the Acupuncture Clinic of Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia. She’s a leading authority on using nutrition and Chinese medicine for treating symptoms and root causes of illness.  For additional resources to improve your health and wellness, visit or call 804.288.3927.
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