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Autumn Guidelines

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In the previous article, our discussion on seasonal effects upon the body centred on summer, and mention was made of the manner in which heat initially increases during summer until it reaches its peak, remaining at a peak for a while, and thereafter gradually decreasing, making way for the next season – autumn.

As we look around to see the effect of this season on the plant life around us, we notice most of the leaves turning brown after which they finally dry up and fall off. A similar effect is noticed on the plant itself. This is a direct result of this season's cooling effect and an indirect result of the moisture-sapping, extreme heat of summer. Similarly, this season has numerous effects upon the body.

One factor that causes illnesses during this season is the abundance of summer fruits that are still available and consumed, whereas the climate is cooling down and thus the body perspires less. Therefore, it retains the excess moisture contained by these fruits. This generally causes pustules, fever, diarrhoea, worms, etc.

The difference of the day and night temperature during this season is similar to spring – hot by day and nippy by night. The change in temperature also affects the body as the body has to adjust to the difference. Thus, added precaution needs to be exercised.

A few guidelines to follow during this season are:

· Dress warmly, especially during the early mornings, late afternoons, evenings and at night. This will aid in minimising the effects of the changing temperature.

· Use sweet scents during this season as this strengthens the heart and also makes a person feel happy and cheerful. This also helps to counter the depression that is so common during autumn.

· Begin eating foods that warm the system. A person can gradually start increasing his meat intake. However, care should be taken that beef and other fatty meats are still not consumed. Similarly, foods that are very heavy in nature should not be consumed. Fruits should also not be consumed in excess, especially those types of fruits that have excess moisture or water. Water and other liquids should not be taken in excess. Nuts should be eaten, especially almonds, pistachios and walnuts etc. Ginger and garlic should be increased, although in minute amounts.

· Exercise should be gradually increased. However the body should not be overstrained and pushed to its limit as only light perspiration is preferred. If a person perspires too much, it increases the dryness of the body thereby aggravating the sicknesses that normally occur during this season.

· Phlegm removing herbs should be taken so that it does not remain in the system throughout winter, thus causing harm in spring.

Note: These herbs should be taken after consulting a qualified health practitioner.

Adapted and summarized from “Your Health” by Moulana Hakeem Jalil Muhammad Pandor (An Nasihah vol. 90)