Seasonal Nodes : Cold Dew

Photo by  Adam Niesciorus

Tuesday October 8 is the beginning of the Cold Dew Seasonal Node, the first 15-day segment after Autumn Equinox. Here in the Northeastern United States fall is underway. The leaves slowly change color and begin to drop.  Usually evening temperatures steadily drop, however with the Earth’s Atmosphere changing, we just had a day of 92 degrees and an unseasonably warm evening.  One of the weather characteristics of Cold Dew is a significant difference between day and night temperatures.  This time of year layering your clothing is suggested to adjust appropriately to the fluctuating temperatures. This is especially important for the elderly, people who are ill, or particularly sensitive to changes. 

Because temperatures continues to drop, one of the recommendations for Cold Dew is to avoid overconsumption of cold foods, including for example raw vegetables, iced beverages, or foods eaten right out of the refrigerator. Overconsumption of cold foods, easily leads to abdominal discomfort or diarrhea. These people should try to drink warm beverages including  ginger tea with honey to protect against Autumn dryness. 

We just harvested our apple trees. According to Chinese medicine, apples are sweet and sour and have a slightly cold nature. Therefore, regular consumption helps generate fluids, stop thirst, and moisten the Lungs. After my morning practice, and hydration, I either eat raw or cooked apple, or even chop one up to add to my veggie shake in the morning.  Since dryness is the seasonal characteristic of Autumn, apples are an excellent food.  The colder the weather, the more I cook my apples, making them soft, warm, with a little cinnamon or cardamom, and enjoy daily.  Like anything - all in moderation.

Like apples, other foods that are slightly moistening or sour can be eaten during Cold Dew, includes are Chinese red dates, walnuts, chestnuts, yams, peanuts, Chinese white wood ear mushrooms, and lily bulbs. Slightly sour foods include hawthorn, lemons, grapes, pomelos, grapefruits, star fruits.

Now is when I begin to cook congees, and Cold Dew Congee is soon to be on the stove, The traditional is Lamb and Turnip Congee, but you can adapt to your own sensitivities and needs.

On the stove as I write is an Astragalus, Red Date, and Chicken Broth Congee Base. To this I added Campfire Tomato and Corn that I roasted over the campfire from our harvest last week.

Remember, it’s a time to begin slowing down, going inward, enjoying the quietness that this time of year offers.

 Happy Cold Dew!