Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How to Weather the Autumn Cold

Autumn is brisk and dry. Your throat is prone to fall victim to the change of seasons. Vast differences in temperature from morning to night also makes catching colds easy. A cough often follows and may be hard to cure within a short period of time. If you have a cough already, make sure you know which foods to eat and which to avoid for a quick recovery.

Chinese people have long believed that different foods have different natures — some foods have a “cool” nature and some foods have a “hot” nature. Much of your health and wellbeing depend on eating a balance of foods with these different natures depending on the weather and other bodily conditions.

If you want to apply the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine this Autumn, here are some tips.


Many people think that eating oranges is good since there is an association between oranges and dissolving phlegm in Chinese medicine. People with a cough may eat lots of them in the hope of improving their condition. However, only the peel can dissolve phlegm. Over-eating the pulp in fact worsens your symptoms.

Three oranges stacked on a yellow countertop.
Over-eating oranges may worsen a cough. (Image: via Mae Mu via Unsplash)


Some people know that pears promote saliva secretion and clear internal heat. They may reason that eating them when they have a dry cough will helps to relieve symptoms. What they don’t know is that raw pears are “cool” in nature, so eating them when you have a cold can only worsen the condition. Rather than eating them raw, the proper way is to stew them so as to transform their cool nature.


Coriander should be avoided. A cold that causes you to cough results in weak energy flow. Coriander itself contains properties to dissipate energy making your energy even weaker and potentially deepening the symptoms in the end.

Dried orange peel

Dried orange peel is effective in dissolving phlegm and soothing a cough, especially the type caused by dry seasons. If your cough is frequent, you can make drinks with dried orange peel to relieve the dryness and help dissolve phlegm. 

Black sesame

Black sesame is more often known for nurturing black hair and hair growth. It has other effects as well, such as nourishing the skin and lungs. Eating black sesame frequently can stop coughing and dissolve phlegm.

A paste made from black sesame in a white bowl.
Eating black sesame frequently can stop coughing and dissolve phlegm. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)


Walnuts are nutritious and known for nurturing the brain. Like black sesame, the other benefit they have is to relieve coughing.

In addition to walnuts, nuts such as peanuts and almonds can also warm up the lungs and serve to stop coughing as a result.

Translated by Cecilia and edited by Cherry He

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Nspirement Staff
Nspirement (or Inspirement) is the act of becoming motivated, encouraged, and enthused to the point of making a significant difference or change. Our aim is to offer articles that will inspire, uplift, and educate our readers, as well as insights into all things China and China’s impact on the world today.

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