Why do we get sick in colder months?
As the changes in weather from summer to Autumn creates an excitement that crisp weather, apple picking and the turning leaves are just around the corner. It is truly a beautiful time of year. However, I get lots of patients coming in sick with Lung health issues, sore throats and coughs that have suddenly appeared during this beautiful season.
Usually with symptoms of respiratory distress, it is actually the Stomach and Spleen that are the imbalance leading to Lung symptoms. In TICM we must understand the foundations of how the body works. All organs are related, some are in partnership with one another and some act as the mother/child relationship, one nurturing the other. For example the Stomach and Spleen are the mother to the Lungs. When the Stomach and Spleen are unwell and imbalanced, they are not able to properly nurture the child, the Lungs, and that is when colds, sore throats, respiratory issues evolve.
So why do we see a spike in sore throats and coughs around this time?
During the summer most people tend so over consume cold foods and drinks as an attempt to combat the heat. Unfortunately, this weakens the Stomach and Spleen instead and actually does not cool down the body or hydrate it. The imbalance comes out now and into the deeper fall season and winter. That is a main reason that people tend to catch colds at the turn into colder weather. Hence why in TICM we always request people so not consume anything cold or raw. Instead stick with room temperature or warm even on hot days. Your body organs work hard to keep their temperatures regulated at 38 degrees.
To help these symptoms, drink warm liquids, preferably ginger powder tea daily. Ginger powder activates the warmth that the Stomach and Spleen crave to function properly. Sweet potatoes are wonderful for breakfast to promote the warming of the stomach. Take digestive formulas as prescribed by your TICM doctor. This will also help with any sad feelings you may be experiencing as autumn tends to make people sad for the same reason, a weak Stomach and Spleen.