August continues, signifying the end of summer and passing through that mysterious fifth season in TCM, which belongs to the earth and is the domain of the spleen in the Five Element theory. Yang turns into yin. It is a time for slowing down briefly, like a pendulum before it reverses its swing, a period of returning to the center, of simplicity and harmony. Now we find an abundance of yellow, orange and brown produce: squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, cantaloupe melons. Food should be prepared simply, with mild seasoning and taste. Moderation guides cooking methods, times and temperatures. Meals are uncomplicated and harmonious. In TCM the spleen takes a leading role in assimilating nutrients and maintaining our physical strength. It requires nurturing and respect at this time of year. Take particular care to eat fresh and simple ingredients, to avoid overeating and late night eating, and to stay away from heavily refined, frozen, microwaved, rotten and stale foods.
The following symptoms of spleen imbalance may be caused by deficient qi, weak qi, deficient digestive fire, or dampness:
lack of appetite or poor appetite
bloating and abdominal fullness
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