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‘Yin Time’ in Traditional Chinese medicine

By Beverly Vandall | In Healthy Living | on December 1, 2017

The winter season is considered ‘Yin Time’ in Traditional Chinese medicine terms. We
feel and experience this directly as the warm expansive summer (Yang) energy
naturally shifts to yin – cold, dark. interior and meditative. It is the perfect time to turn
inward for self-reflection, to look back over our year to see what did and did not work,
and plan for the next growth cycle.

Humans are part of nature too. In TCM, we believe that modifying diet and
lifestyle to harmonize with the season is necessary to protect and nourish our body/
mind/Spirit. Harmonizing with the season involves becoming aware of whether or not we
are balancing mental/physical activity with restful quiet. Feeling cold, low energy, sore
low back and/or knees, poor appetite, brain fog, dull headaches or chronic lung or sinus
infections are symptomatic of overdoing it and consuming more vital energy than you
are replenishing. See if modifying your routine and diet improve things, if not, seek an
acupuncturists help.

Winter is the time to switch from cooling foods such as raw fruit and vegetables, to
lightly steamed, stir-fried, or roasted vegetables. We enjoy soups and stews when its
cold for a reason – they are nourishing and warm our bodies in a way that raw foods
cannot. Make sure that you consume only room temp. drinking water (no ice!)
Winter is represented by the Kidney organ in TCM. It is important to nourish the
kidneys in wintertime. See below for dietary suggestions.
I hope you have a fun, healthy winter. Use the quietness of the season to plan and
reflect. Gather with close friends and family and let yourself relax. Take time to really
care for yourself and you will be bursting with energy by springtime!
Foods to support kidney health:
lamb, chicken
dried fruit
small dark beans ( black, aduki, kidney)
steamed greens
rye, oats, quinoa, amaranth
miso, seaweed
bone broth, hearty soup, stews
turnips, endive, celery
burdock root, chlorella, spirulina

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