A solar term is a period of about two weeks, based on the sun’s position in the zodiac. Solar terms form the traditional Chinese calendar system. The calendar follows the ancient Chinese belief that living in accordance with nature will enable one to live a harmonious life. This article series explores each solar term, offering guidance on how to best navigate the season.
Frost (Oct 23 to Nov 6) is the last solar term of Autumn, and in the northern hemisphere, the first frost of the season is quickly approaching, if it hasn’t already occurred. In the natural realm, it is the last period of time for things to grow or develop before the weather and living conditions get too difficult.
Frost is the last solar term before Winter. Symbolically, it’s time to look within, review one’s life, and make improvements.
This turning point in the weather is caused by cold overnight temperatures that freeze the morning dew and blanket the earth with frost.
There was a farmer’s saying in ancient China, “If no frost during the time of Frost, there will be a famine the following year.” They knew if the weather didn’t get cold enough during this time, the insects would chomp down the autumn harvest, and the spring harvest too.
The first frost brings a lot of damage to the tender species of the plant kingdom, but for those that are hardy, a frost is actually beneficial. The Chinese cabbage and certain types of grapes used to produce ice wines or dessert wines are notable for getting even sweeter after a frost.
Frost-hardy plants teach us that if we can cheerfully endure the hardships in our lives, we can transform our suffering into wisdom and positive energy.
Impact on People
The majority of our bodily systems and organ functions—such as appetite, energy, mood, etc.—are regulated by enzymes, and our enzyme activity slows down, and can even be impaired by the temperature drop.
With the season of Frost, a huge turning point has taken place in the weather, and our bodies have to adjust. During this time, the blood vessels tend to contract and the muscle tendons may tighten.
People who have joint problems may find themselves with aching joints during this time.
Those who suffer from any kind of ulcerations or inflammation are going to feel uncomfortable now more than other time of the year. Young people may found their acne flaring up if they don’t keep a healthy diet and routine.
Living in Harmony With ‘Frost’
As yin energy starts to become heavier, the coldness and humidity are causing damage to our bodies, especially to the lungs and respiratory system.
Stay warm, and wear a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth for those who catch a cold or a cough easily.
Ancient Chinese people had a saying: supplementing food in winter is not as beneficial as in Frost.
Now is to time to nurture the digestive system by avoiding cold foods, as well as spicy food. Root vegetables, beans, quality vegetable oils, and lean meats are all helpful.
Eating the right diet to prepare our bodies before winter arrives will set up a good foundation to protect against diseases that may hit us hardest in the colder months to come.
This period of time is also the best time to make preserved food, such as vegetables, fruit, or meat.
The beneficial enzymes and quality nutrients in these foods promote vitality in the cold winter days until spring arrives.
Food that is white in color, and apple, pear, citrus, cashew nuts, cornflower, beans, dates, mushrooms, olives, onion, pine nuts, soya bean, and yam.
Avoid alcohol, hot chilis, deep-fried or greasy food.
Seasonal Herbs and Essential Oils
Aniseed, basil, dill, eucalyptus, niaouli, sweet fennel, and turmeric.
Epoch Times contributor Moreen Liao is a descendant of four generations of traditional Chinese medicine doctors. She is also a certified aromatherapist and the founder of Ausganica, a manufacturer of salon-quality, certified organic cosmetics. Visit Ausganica.com