Red Tree Wellness hopes this newsletter reaches you healthy and happy, and enjoying the spirit of the season! Winter in fact, according to the Chinese Solar Qi calendar (versus the Lunar calendar that is used for other purposes), states that Winter begins on or about November 8th. This means that the start of the cooling trend begins on this day. Certainly in Vancouver this year, this rang very true. Along with this, is how to stay warm!
In continuation of our series speaking about Chinese Herbs that are relevant to each season, it seems only appropriate to talk about both a Chinese herb, and a festive spice used at this time of year – Rou Gui (Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae), whose common name is cinnamon bark. Winter is the time of year of Water which is associated with the Kidney and Bladder meridians. One of the Kidney meridians’ main roles is to provide the core “Qi” that contributes to our immunity, hormone regulation and vitality. While Winter is the time of year that we should be conserving and reserving our stores of Qi, it is also a time that we can easily be susceptible to the overabundance of cold, that also compromises our vital Qi’s fire. Thus, in order to create balance while living in harmony with nature, Rou Gui is used to rekindle the Kidney fire (Yang Qi), and warm and strengthen the vital Qi and immunity. In addition, Rou Gui also warms and unblocks the meridian circulation. Doing this creates and maintains strength in the Kidney meridians whose main time of replenishment is in the Winter. In addition, this keeps the base of vitality going strong, which we will need when the spring comes and we have many pathogens and pollens in the air that our immunity needs to protect us from. So your favourite apple cider with cinnamon is a great beverage to have this festive season!
As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, the origins of Chinese Medicine were in fact to prevent illness. In this time of indulgence – do enjoy yourselves, for it is part of the joy of the season, and joy is therapeutic in itself, but of course do so in moderation! Should you sense the scales have tipped and you need a little help to re-establish your balance, we are here to help tune you up!
Happy Holidays to you all, and Best Wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
Sonia F. Tan
BA, BA(H), DTCM, R.Ac, R.TCM.P.