How to prevent a cold this Autumn – Simon Altman BHSc (Acu)

Autumn is the season of harvesting and relates to the metal element in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  The metal element comprises of the Large Intestines and the Lungs which also include the nose and throat.  This is the time to support and nurture our Lungs as a great way to help prevent colds and flu’s that seem to be more prevalent during Autumn.


During the Autumn months, the energy in nature is one of contraction, it moves inwards and downwards as our bodies begin to store in preparation for the upcoming winter months.  This is a time when we can choose foods that are heartier and have a focus on preparing foods that are beginning to supply us with the energy we need during the upcoming cooler seasons.


Ginger is extremely useful during the Autumn months as ginger is considered a warm and pungent tuber from the metal element.  It has an outward and upward moving yang properties that directly affect the lungs.  It helps warm and clear the lungs and aids in repairing arteries.


A fantastic soup for Autumn is my variation on the Shepherd’s Barley Soup from Paul Pitchfod’s Healing with Whole Foods. To make it even heartier you can replace the water with a broth of your choice.


Autumn Warming Shepherd’s Barley Soup


1/2 chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

2 chopped celery stalks

4 chopped or diced carrots

2 diced parsnips

1 tablespoon oil

2 litres water

1 cup barley

2 tablespoons of grated ginger

salt to taste



  • Sauté garlic and onion in oil
  • Add carrots, celery and parsnip and continue until onion is soft and translucent
  • Add ginger for 1 minute or until fragrant
  • Add water then barley
  • Simmer for 1.5-2 hours
  • Add salt to taste and simmer for another 15-30minutes


How to prevent a cold this Autumn - Simon Altman BHSc (Acu) 3


Simon is available for consultation at Mornington Chinese Medicine on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

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