I am a winter girl, born in February, love to endlessly watch snow falling and being able to tolerate with cold. In other words, I have believed this way: I like winter with crispy blue sky because I was born in winter. It’s funny but I believe that we associate with the nature and characteristics of the season we are born.
Winter gives me energy, somehow. While the breath is white every time we breathe out, roads get slippery with ice, or no matter how many layers we have to put on to get warm, I never hate winter.
Yakuzen/medicinal food theory, however, says that we should be more careful than ever in other seasons. Icy cold air covers everything and snow freezes not only us but the nature. This characteristic of winter makes us inactive and produces pain for some of us.
Yin qi (negative energy) occupies winter, which means that our spirit gets low, our skin gets dried, pain and swell in our feet or abdomen, and our blood doesn’t flow smoothly. And winter air tends to flow lower so that the lower half of our body can feel chilly. So, salty ingredients (naturally salty taste, in this case, not “salt” itself) which helps warming up the blood and enhancing the better blood circulation are ideal to choose in winter.
The cold air relates to kidney in terms of Chinese medicinal theory. A kidney in the theory rules our spirit, soul, or qi, governs both energies of the body and the mind. But cold winter which increases circulatory disorders and exhausts stored qi in a kidney escalates aging quickly.
Also, a kidney is immensely important for reproduction, adjusting the liquid in the body, forming the bones and hairs.
Salty ingredients can help protecting the kidney and the stored qi energy not being damaged by the cold air. To save a kidney from the cold winter, seaweeds, beans, seafood, particularly ingredients in red or black are helpful and effective.
Taste of winter
What's winter like?
- In winter, yin qi occupies the season and it gets deeper and deeper as days go by. Yakuzen/medicinal food theory suggests in winter to store energy and to protect a kidney which is the key organ in winter. A kidney rules our energy and this is the place in the body system to store energy.
- Inactive blood circulation and metabolism
- Dry skin
- Frequent urination
- Kidney gets active
- Dryness of lung
- Virus gets easily to be in the body system
Effective medicinal ingredients in winter
- The list of five elements says that salty ingredients or adding a bit salt in meals are suggested to keep us warm and protect a kidney.
- Probably, in addition to salty taste, adding spiciness from the list of fall ingredients can be helpful to make the body warm.
- Black or red ingredients are friendly in terms of yakuzen/medicinal food.
- Glutinous rice
- Brown rice
- Black sesame seeds
- Black beans
- Kikurage (Tree ear)
- Nira (Chinese chives)
- Komatsuna (Leafy vegetable)
- Green onion
- Red fish
- Kuko seeds (Chinese wolfberry)