Cold Dew or Han Lu is the 17th of the 24 Solar Terms. From the period October 8 to 23, Cold Dew is the chilly time we associate with Autumn, when weather changes more noticeably, night temperature drops significantly, and the air becomes drier. According to this traditional Chinese Calendar, Winter begins November 7th. Cold Dew is when early winter dew turns to frost and farmers get busy harvesting their crops.
Temperatures start to dip in Cold Dew, as opposed to White Dew, the period which began a month before. It’s going from cool to cold now and if you haven’t started, now is the time to have layers on. With Autumn being a season of “wind”, which can penetrate the body. Many Chinese people were brought up to cover their necks since wind is believed to enter here the mostly easily. Break out those scarves and keep warm. I’m already wearing a hoodie at night! Enjoy hot baths or foot baths. Consider adding ginger to help warm the body.
Nourishing Yin Energy
As we move toward Winter, Yin energy is becoming stronger. Nourishing yin energy as well as Lung and Large Intestine functions as these two govern this season. This season is also often dry and traditionally Chinese people enjoy Chrysanthemum wine, also called the “wine of longevity” as this is the flower in bloom during Cold Dew. You can also enjoy it as a tea.
Another popular food is the hawthorn which is ready for harvest this time of year. Believed to “invigorate the stomach, moisturizing the lungs, and helping digestion”, the hawthorn berry can be enjoyed in a variety of way, including preparing it as a juice. Many people, including myself, are more familiar with the hawthorn as the Haw Flakes taken to blunt the strong bitterness of many Chinese herbal medicine.
Diet generally trends towards root vegetables as we move toward winter now. The other day I bought some lotus root and sweet potato for simple meals this week.
Support Lung Energy
Are you familiar with Jin Shin Jyutsu? It balances our energy and releases blockages by opening energy zones in the body and adjusting the organ function energies. An easy way to harmonize the lung energy is by holding the fourth finger. If you are working with the past, such as a past loss, hold the left finger. If you are working to let go of a current habit, hold the right finger.
Another Jin Shin hold you can explore is placing your left hand on the bottom of the ribcage on the left and your right hand on the left collar bone.
Welcome to another turn of the season as we head to colder weather in the northern hemisphere. Adjusting our diet and balancing our energy helps to balance our internal and external environments.