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Seasonal Changes: Winter

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Winter is the time when activities are less external and more internal. If we choose to merge with nature the animals are hibernating, sunlight is limited and cooler temperatures limit activities to inside. It is important to drink water, eat nuts, pickled foods, and bone broth soups. Grinding fresh spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and using fresh ginger can help to warm and protect against cold damage. Winter moves the activity of our body to the depths to help promote longevity, and provide the groundwork for springing ahead when things warm up again and to be able to work long summer days with less sleep.

"The thee months of winter, they denote securing and storing. The water is frozen and the earth breaks open. Do not disturb the yang qi. Go to rest early and rise late. You must wait for the sun to shine. Let the mind enter a state as if hidden (as if shut in), as if you had secret intentions; as if you have already made gains. Avoid cold and seek warmth and do not allow sweat to flow away through the skin. This would cause the qi to be carried away quickly. This is the way of nourishing storage. Opposing it harms the Kidneys. In the spring this causes limpness and receding, and there is little to support generation" (Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen circa 2600 BC by the Yellow Emperor, translated by Unschuld and Tessenow p-49-50 2011)

Salty foods such as canned vegetables soaked in brine also helps to bring nutrition to the kidneys directly and helps to reinforce the basic principle of storage.


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