According to Chinese medicine, the nature of winter is cold and yin. It is related to the water element and the Kidneys. During the winter, the energy of the body and the earth naturally goes inward. By aligning our diets and lifestyle choices with this movement, we can replenish our energy and improve our health.
Building the Kidney energy (also known as Jing or Essence) is best done in the winter. At the same time, too much activity, stress or lack of rest during the winter can easily deplete the Kidneys. The Kidneys are the root of our vitality and all the yin and yang qualities of our body, including reproduction and aging, as well as the source of warmth and strength throughout the body. When the Kidneys are weak, we become tired, have a decreased sex drive, achiness in the legs and back, hormonal imbalances, and age faster than we should. Therefore, in Chinese medicine our Kidneys hold a very important place in the body.
To harmonise ourselves with the winter we should pay attention to our yin aspect, and the qualities of nourishment, reception, introspection, rest, and storage to strengthen our Kidneys. Seasonal “tune-up” treatments can help align you with these changes, as well as reduce stress, boost your immune system, and treat colds and flu during the winter months
Diet: It is no coincidence that foods that are naturally available during the winter benefit the Kidneys. Consider nourishing yourself with seasonal winter foods such as hearty soups, whole grains, roasted nuts, root vegetables, seaweeds, dried beans, and steamed winter greens. In general, you will want to cook foods longer and at lower temperatures using less water.
Bone broth is highly nourishing to the Kidneys and is perfect for the winter season as a base for all your soups and stews. Check out our favourite recipe here