The functions of the lungs in Chinese medicine are to direct the body's energy downward. If the lungs are weak, Qi cannot descend. Pathologies from Lung Qi not descending can be the feeling of a tight chest, irritability, inability to take a deep breath, cold hands and feet, coughing, grief or sadness, and asthma.
The lungs work as a pair with the large intestine, which also have a descending energy. The large intestines need to stay moist as well, if not we often see constipation become a problem. To support the metal elements of the lungs and large intestines the body needs to have good nutritive qi which comes from a balanced diet. Without proper nutrition, the ability for the organs to transform and transport food becomes impaired and phlegm arises from the stasis of food in the stomach.
Colorado Dryness and Metal Season:
The metal elements of the Lungs and Large intestine become damaged with too much dryness. This is often why we see the body organ of the skin become dry in the early Winter. To maintain a healthy balance and counteract the seasons dryness it is important to eat moistening foods such as soups and stews.
While often ignored, diet can be the best medicine for the body, and it is important to change our meals to match each season as well as the pathologies each individual body presents with.
Below is a list of foods that benefit the metal organs of the Lungs and Large Intestine. The are all moistening to the body, however each has different properties in being warming or cooling. Warming foods and meals are a great way to prevent the body from disease, however sometimes coughs present with high fever and cooling foods are useful in winter.