top of page

Autumn Health: Immunity & Skin Health with Chinese Medicine

As we transition in to the Autumn season we begin to focus on the associated Lung & Large Intestine organs which have a few important functions key to our health.

During the autumn season, the energy of the natural world shifts and begins to contract, just as the leaves fall from the trees and the days become shorter. This is reflected in the Metal element (the Lungs and Large Intestines), which represents the process of letting go of what is no longer needed and refining what is essential.

So how does this change in season affect our health?


Beyond it’s most vital role as a respiratory system the lungs provide a defensive barrier (called our ‘Wei Qi’) between the inner and external environments of your body through the skin, that is akin to the western idea of the immune system.

If our immune system is weak we can easily catch colds through exposure to wind through our skin so make sure you cover up your necks on those typically windy Melbourne days. Regular acupuncture sessions, personalised herbal formulas and cupping sessions are key components supporting immunity throughout the cooler periods of the year.


One of the Lungs roles & energy in Chinese Medicine is to govern the skin. The Lungs are susceptible to dryness so during Autumn we can begin to see skin conditions form or flare up in line with the change in season. The lungs are responsible for breathing in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, and imbalances in the Metal element can lead to skin problems such as dryness, dullness and eczema. Cosmetic Acupuncture is an excellent way to stay on top of your skin game throughout the dryer and cooler months of the year. It is a natural way to boost blood circulation in your skin to address hydration concerns, whilst addressing your health issues at their very core.

Letting go - both physically and emotionally

The Lung organ is paired with the Large Intestine organ facilitating release & elimination from the body. Lung energy is associated with sadness & grief and the Large Intestine is associated with letting go so if you are struggling to let go of something at the moment or feeling sad you may experience lung issues such as shortness of breath, shallow breathing, coughing or experience restricted bowel motions.

How to support your health during Autumn?

Deep breathwork

Yoga and breathwork is an excellent way to support healthy lung health throughout the season as it encourages deep breath work, right in to our bellies. It’s very easy in our hectic lives to take shallow breaths without even noticing. In Autumn, it is important to pay attention to the health of the lungs, as this is a time when respiratory illnesses can be more prevalent.

Foods and Herbs

Some of the best foods for building lung energy and immunity during Autumn include:

  1. Pears: Pears are considered one of the best foods for supporting lung health. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation in the lungs and support the immune system.

  2. Radishes: Radishes are also great for the lungs as they help to clear phlegm and congestion. They are rich in vitamin C and sulfur, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce lung inflammation.

  3. Mushrooms: Mushrooms are considered a powerful immune-boosting food and are rich in polysaccharides, which can help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation in the lungs.

  4. Ginger: Ginger is a warming spice that promotes circulation and reduces inflammation. It is often used in Chinese Medicine for coughs and respiratory infections, whilst promoting sweating to vent an illness.

  5. Garlic: Garlic is a powerful immune booster that fights off infections and reduce inflammation which can help to support lung health.

  6. Herbal Medicine: There are numerous herbal medicine formulas to support the lungs, immunity, skin concerns or bowel issues. It is best to consult directly with a Chinese Medicine practitioner to do a full consultation and can prescribe a formula that suits you and your health picture best, always addressing the root cause which is unique for each person.

Pungent foods are also useful for supporting the Lungs and Large Intestines during Autumn such as garlic, ginger, mustard, horseradish, leeks, onions, dill, coriander, thyme and pepper.

Don’t forget to wear a scarf on those windy days and try and let all that bad sh*t go or it will quite literally build up!

And of course, book in for regular acupuncture sessions to get on top of your immunity this Autumn season or enjoy a cupping session.


bottom of page