Kidneys – that´s what matters in the winter
Winter is already in full flow! This is how we perceive it from our western perspective now. But some time ago, we would opt for different words expressing aptly the peace of this season. Night took over, nature is getting quiet and slow, countryside is peaceful and cold; and everything is covered in shades of white and black. It´s the perfect time to contemplate and relax both your mind and body. If you make use of the winter to recover your strengths, in the spring the energy will await you instead of spring fever and you´ll be ready for the more active part of the year.
Kidneys are called “the deity of bearing children covered in a dark blue brocade gown”. The urinary bladder is their twin organ, hair is their jewel and eyes their outfall. Big and fleshy ears are the sign of abundance of life energy, therefore they were highly appreciated in Antient China.
Kidneys are depleted mostly by cold, noise, alcohol, drugs, stimulants, toxins that may surround us, excess sodium, sugar and animal protein, intensive physical work, excess sexual activity, birth, lack of sleep, emotional load, and of course stress.
If the kidneys are weakened or imbalanced, we can tell from dark circles under eyes, crackling ears, hair loss and its early grey turning, bad state of bones, joints and teeth, also from impotence, swelling and oedemas, hot flashes, frequent feelings of fear, lack of energy and lack of will to finish our plans. You can read more about kidney imbalance in our article about lunar woman.
So it seems that the western lifestyle inevitably milks our kidneys. Here is how to take care about them to maintain their energy:
1. Keep yourself warm
That is the rule number one. Don´t forget to wear caps, scarfs and gloves so that the coldness won´t break into your body. Get a cotton thermo belt that will protect the area of your underbelly and kidneys – it is convenient for women in particular. The kidney meridian starts on feet and therefore stick with a well-known Czech saying: Keep calm and your feet warm. If you realize while being at work that your feet are cold, do a couple of squats, rock from heels to tips or use hot water in a plastic bottle to warm up your feet. Hot ginger-juice compresses are what kidneys really love. In one of our preceding articles, you´ll find a recipe.
2. Accumulate inner warmth
It is equally important to warm yourself up from inside. Fresh ginger tea, hot porridge in the morning, stewed fruit, soups, stock, legume stews and baked root vegetables will do the job as well as other foods that accumulated a lot of warmth that will get all over your body. The more cold-blooded you are, the less raw fruit and vegetables you should eat. If not even gloves can protect your fingers from freezing, opt only for warming types such as wild rocket, horse radish or leek. Hot spices such as chilli won´t help you very much as it opens the pores and lets the coldness and wind in the body. Turmeric and cinnamon are better options because they boost the blood circulation.
3. Exercise and make love with moderation
Physical activity is important, but you don´t need to sweat in the winter or at least try to minimize the risk of catching a chill. There is a tricky situation when you get sweaty during your favourite winter sport, unzip your anorak, have some alcohol (it also opens skin pores) and it may lead to a flu, tonsillitis or urinary tract inflammation.
Our tip: Have at hand the Thieves essential oil. When your throat aches drop 1 drop directly in the throat; if suffering from urinary tract inflammation, massage all the area with oil. To boost your immune system, massage your feet with it.
You can catch a chill like that after sex as well in case you stay naked and uncovered. And it is not good to have too much sex during this part of the year, because orgasm also depletes kidney energy. When the sexual activity does not lead to orgasm it is not weakening the kidney essence, Traditional Chinese medicine claims. It is individual to judge what is normal and what excessive sexual activity. What is excessive for a person with a weak kidney physique can be common for a person with a normal physique.
Men´s ejaculation according to their age (Traditional Chinese medicine point of view)
2x a day
1x a day
2x a day
1x a day
1x a day
every other day
every 3rd day
every 4th day
every 5th day
every 10th day
every 10th day
every 20th day
every 30th day
4. Have enough rest
It is natural that we feel like going to bed earlier and waking up later. If you have the opportunity, listen to your body and treat it with longer sleep and enough rest. You should get to bed at 10 pm at the latest. It´s good to massage your feet with sesame oil – it will warm them up.
5. Use herbal tonics
You may include some adaptogenic herbs into your diet; they will help to put you at ease and make your kidneys stronger. Try:
If you weren´t sure, we can give you some advice about which herb is the most convenient for you.
6. Eat foods that restore the kidney energy
Dark coloured foods fuel kidneys. Blueberries, dates, raisins, poppy seed, black treacle, black sesame, adzuki beans, black beans, black olives, pumpkin seed oil, seaweed (not every day, it´s cooling food), soya sauce, miso, mumio, mushrooms, vanilla bean or carob are examples of such foods.
7. Maintain healthy relationships
Relationship problems and relations with your close ones reflect in the state of your kidneys and urinary bladder. When you suffer from urinary bladder inflammation you need to pee often similarly to animals that urine-mark their territories. So if deal with this illness it is useful to ask yourself whether there is somebody who possibly breaks in your personal space.
We wish you calm and peaceful winter days. ☺