Metal, in the Five Element Theory associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, represents autumn and connects us with the mineral ores and salts of the Earth. We use these materials to create the connective and conductive mechanisms on earth; it is the same in our bodies. For instance, metal wires establish connections and conduct electricity. Our brains and nervous system are structured in a similar way.
The sense organ for the Metal element is the nose which is the opening to the lungs. The flavor corresponding to metal is pungent or spice. Similar to flavors found in certain aromatic cheeses such as Roquefort, Brie, and Camembert, as well as peppers, mustard, and other spices. This flavor "opens up" the senses, clears the sinuses, and stimulates the lungs, but too much can be harmful to the lungs. Therefore craving spicy foods or a distaste for them may suggest an imbalance in the metal element.
Complementing the lungs in the Metal element is the large intestine. Breathing involves both the intake of new air (energy) during aspiration, and the elimination of the old (that which is no longer needed) in expiration. The large intestine, like the lungs, has a down bearing energy taking things down and out or in and out of the body. This heavy metal energy can be disrupted when we have caused imbalance to these organs via food, emotion, environment or lifestyle.
Autumn or harvest time is a time of work and assessing a reaping of what we have sown. Autumn is a great time to start paying attention to our health as manifested in our most obvious indicators: skin and hair, then make appropriate changes.
The autumn diet includes more meats and dairy products than the summer diet. Grains, some nuts, beans and seeds.
The general principles of free flowing intestines still apply as a diet rich in too much bread and cheese, both clogging to the intestines, will also slow you down causing damage to your immune system and perpetuate unhealthy cravings.
Meats are concentrated energy. They are not particularly easy to transform and transport. Meats create more density and body heat than fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are body cleansers in general, however bananas have a congesting effect while avocados and mushrooms are nourishing and tonifying.
The lungs and large intestine are two areas of the body which must stay clean for their best function. Their condition is reflected in the skin, body and hair. An example of an important lung aid facilitating cleansing and healing is garlic.
It is good to begin autumn with a week's cleansing diet of fruit and vegetable juice, or a grape fast (red preferred). As the weather grows colder it is beneficial to turn to more vegetables as well as grains. Eating citrus fruits, grapes, apples, pears, tomatoes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, corn and wheat along with squashes and pumpkins which become plentiful by mid- autumn nourish the Metal Element which is associated with autumn and the respective organs of lung and large intestine.
For more on Dr. Ken and partner Carol Maglio go to http://www.juiceandessence.com and http://www.earthschool.tv