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  • Winter Health

    no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds – november!

    (Phrase from the poem November by Thomas Hood 1844)

    by Liz Koch

    Winter is fast approaching. As we head straight into the colder weather and busy Holiday Season it’s a good time to remind ourselves that Winter traditionally is a time of rest. When life was simpler, the darkness forced people to go to sleep earlier. Now we must remind ourselves that winter is a time for replenishing.

    Warm soups and stews with seasonal vegetables such as squash, pumpkins, turnips and rutabagas strengthen us. Dark kale, collards and seaweeds nourish our blood and provide vital minerals. Onions, garlic and leeks strengthen and ward off disease. Adding one piece of the Chinese herb Astragalus to your broth can help to build energy as well as to provide deep warmth in the body. Astragalus, found in The Way of Life Bulk Chinese Herb section, is considered an immune-modulating herb that strengthens both the metabolic and respiratory systems.

    In Chinese 5 Element Theory Winter is not only a time of rest it is also a time to rebuild the kidney energy, immune system and adrenal health. Three herbs that combine well for rebalancing and rebuilding are Red Clover, Oat Straw and Nettles. Together they make a pleasant herbal tea. Try fresh or dry Peppermint, Fennel, or Honey for an added treat.

    Red Clover is a wonderful mild blood cleanser and a source of chlorophyll, Oat Straw helps neutralize acidity, is moistening, and soothing. Nettle is rich in chlorophyll, and a good source of beta-carotene; vitamins A, C, and E; calcium; silicon; potassium; phosphates; and various other minerals. Rich in iron, Nettle is also beneficial to circulation and helpful in high blood pressure.

    Inexpensive, this trio makes a valuable tea. Measure approximately equal parts of each found in The Way of Life Bulk Herb Section. Combine in a large bowl at home and store in a dry, closed, glass jar.

    Each day scoop one or two teaspoons into a ball jar and pour boiling water over the herbs, filling the jar. Let it steep for 10 minutes strain one cup to drink warm right away and then let the rest infuse. Later in the day enjoy the infusion at room temperature. Or use this herbal liquid when taking your evening vitamins. Herbs work their magic over time. Expect at least 4-6 weeks before you will feel changes or notice that you are just feeling stronger. Over time you will notice changes; more vitally (those happy adrenals!), stronger nails and even more hair!

    Health Educator Liz Koch is an international somatic educator, and creator of Core Awareness TM focusing on awareness for developing human potential. With 30 years experience working with and specializing in the iliopsoas, she is recognized in the somatic, bodywork and fitness professions as an authority on the core muscle. Liz is the author of The Psoas Book, Unraveling Scoliosis CD, Core Awareness; Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise & Dance, and The Psoas & Back Pain CD. Please visit www.coreawareness.com for workshop information and to join her quarterly newsletter