Winter offers an opportunity to deeply tend ourselves. Understanding Winter's energy and seasonal essence enhances our ability to support ourselves, family, and community through the colder months of the year.
In opposition to the vibrance of Summer, Winter is cooler with shorter days, and energy moves more steadily and deliberately. Animals slow down or hibernate, and plants conserve energy in their roots or seeds. Humans may also experience the shifts of Winter, as some of our bodily and emotional systems work at a slower pace.
We can balance the downward energy of Winter by supporting ourselves with regular movement or exercise, getting fresh air and extra sleep, increasing connections with the community and loved ones, eating seasonal foods, and embracing downtime. A slower pace affords opportunities for nourishment, introspection, and visioning for dreams and hopes of future seasons.
Supportive foods for Winter include soups, stews, broths, and cooked fruits and vegetables (rather than raw). Herbs and spices to incorporate into mealtime include Garlic, Ginger, Rosemary, and warming spices, such as Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Nutmeg. These herbs and foods are easily digested, lessening the load on the digestive system while deeply nourishing our body with nutrients. Having a batch of Reishi Vegetable Broth on hand is a simple way to infuse your soups, stews, and legume dishes with a consistent supply of food working as medicine in your meals.
Specific health conditions like congestion, bronchitis, colds, flu, and seasonal affective disorder often appear this time of year. Consider taking regular Herbal immune support like Elderberry Syrup, medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi or Shiitake, or adding a shot of Fresh & Fierce Fire Cider to your routine.
Herbs such as Mullein, Thyme, and Hyssop assist with moving respiratory congestion and soothe an irritated throat. Make a medicinal tea with one or a combination of these herbs, simmer for 15 minutes covered, strain, and add a bit of honey for a simple but effective respiratory aid. For an emotional and mental boost, Mimosa and Calendula help bring inner sunshine and can elevate overcast feelings.
Nurturing and building energy during the shortest days of the year through rest, enjoying seasonal foods, and connecting with loved ones, helps us move through other seasons of the year with expanded vitality and vision.