As the saying goes, plough the field in spring and till it in summer, harvest in autumn and store grain in winter. Winter is the season for enjoying harvests and recuperation, and it’s the best season for human digestion and absorption.
So how should we reasonably keep healthy after the beginning of winter?
The key to the health preservation in the beginning of winter is storage.
Lidong, the Beginning of Winter, means that winter is officially coming. At this time, the plants are withered. Health cultivation should be based on constraining of yin and safeguarding of yang according to TCM.
It is necessary to ensure sufficient sleep to facilitate the storage of yang and the accumulation of yin essence. In addition, while keeping warm and protecting against the cold, pay attention to nourishing yin and preventing external cooling and endogenous dryness. You can eat some foods that nourish yin such as lotus root and pear.
As the saying goes, “eat tonic food in winter and fight tiger in spring”. According to the principle of correspondence between man and universe advocated by the traditional Chinese medicine, autumn and winter are the ideal seasons for tonifying the body, absorbing nutrients, and supplementing the body’s consumption.
“The main purpose of health preservation is to improve the essence, qi and spirit of human beings, and three months in winter are the most suitable season for tonifying the body and are highly cost effective.” Professor Huang Suping, an expert in the Department of Internal Medicine of Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, mentioned in the TV program “Sharing Viewpoints of Famous Doctors” when talking about the highly-recommended medicinal materials for nourishing qi in winter:
“Astragalus, Codonopsis, Radix Pseudostellariae and Ganoderma are very suitable for cooking soup. The effect of Ganoderma in improving immunity is outstanding. In addition, I also recommend Chinese yam, lotus seeds, coix seeds, Semen Euryales. They are good food for improving the spleen and tonifying qi.”
“But don’t take excessive tonics if you do not want to suffer from excessive internal heat.”
In addition to daily tonifying, under the warm winter sun, you may also make yourself a cup of Ganoderma coffee.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, winter healthcare should focus on kidney tonifying. Most of the black foods have the function of nourishing the kidneys, so after the beginning of winter, the suitable proportion of black fungus, black sesame, black beans and black rice can be added to the diet mix.
Pay attention to warding off the cold and warming the stomach when taking tonics in winter. From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, the winter climate is in the process of “waning of yang and waxing of yin”. The temperature is relatively low. If you don’t pay attention to keeping warm, you are easy to catch a cold, which will cause the cold evil to disrupt intestines and stomach, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort.
According to the principle of “tonifying the deficient and warming the cold” in traditional Chinese medicine, the warm-tonifying congee can be used for conditioning intestines and stomach. In the diet, warm-natured food should be eaten more to improve the cold resistance of the body.