In the changes of seasons we find all the instruction we need from nature about our own physical and emotional cycles. 5 Element theory ascribes the Metal element to Autumn, linking the organs colon and lungs – in charge of eliminating waste and taking in the pure.
In the best illustration of Autumn, trees release their leaves, returning them to the earth to enrich the soil for the next creative cycle. This is the time for laying things bare, letting go of what we no longer need in order to make room for new vision.
The freshness of beautiful autumn days holds the promise of the peace and inspiration available to us if our metal organs are in balance. It’s all about creating and letting go of old negativity. When metal is in harmony, the spirit is lighter and our vision of ourselves is uplifting and inclusive. After all, metals hold value, and this element gives us a sense of our own precious self worth.
When the lungs and colon are not functioning optimally, there is a poor elimination of waste and/or disharmony in taking in the pure. Physically this may manifest as nasal congestions, colds, sore throats and allergies; constipation, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel conditions.
Emotionally, metal imbalance can exhibit as depression, isolation, negativity and stubbornness. Feeling unfulfilled by their sense of their own value, people with a metal imbalance may look for validation from things outside of themselves, and become attached to possessions as a way of seeking recognition.
Just as nature is preparing for a time of rest, so we should begin to slow our activities and be careful not to overexert ourselves.
- It’s a great time to get rid of things you no longer need – go through your wardrobe, your kitchen, your garage, and clear the clutter.
- Clean out the psyche – meditate on places where your mind seems to get stuck and become aware of negative thought patterns and harmful attitudes that do not serve your flow.
- Consciously focus on your breath and spend a few minutes in the morning breathing in the pure, fresh autumnal air and letting out that which you no longer need.
Pungent foods are attributed to the metal element. These tend to be spicy, and usually white in colour. They offer cleansing and protection for the lungs and colon.
Examples of pungent foods are : hot peppers, garlic, turnip, ginger, horseradish, cabbage, daikon radish, white peppercorn, pears, tofu, lotus root,
Herbs and spices: cinnamon, mint, tarragon marjoram, rosemary, cloves, fennel seed and bulb, cilantro, coriander seeds, parsley, anise, dill, mustard greens, wasabi, horseradish, mustard, basil and nutmeg.
These have a dispersing effect, and promote the circulation of energy.
Remembering that the mucous membranes of these organs may need support, think of seaweeds, marshmallow root, flaxseed and fenugreek which, when soaked, can remove old mucoid deposits and encourage the renewal of a moist coating. Any foods rich in beta carotene (orange vegetables) are protective of mucous membranes.