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UR Recipes, UR Wellbeing – January 13, 2022

Live in Harmony with the Cycle of the Seasons – A TCM Guide to Winter

By Neka Pasquale, Founder of Urban Remedy

Element: Water • Nature: Yin • Organs: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands, Ears, and Hair • Taste: Salty • Emotion: Fear and Depression

Chinese medicine promotes living in harmony with the cycle of the seasons. The winter months are cold and rainy creating the perfect environment to go inward, reflect, and rest to consolidate your energy to be able to bloom and sparkle in the springtime Winter is ruled by the water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands. In TCM the kidneys are the foundational source of all the energy of the body, controlling growth and development, reproduction, teeth, bones and hair. Kidneys also control the fluids of the body. If Kidney Essence is strong, hair will be healthy – thick and lustrous. If it is weak, hair will be thin and brittle and may turn gray at an early age. When the kidneys are weak, we may experience exhaustion which can lead to issues like chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia as the fluids of the body nourish and lubricate the joints. When our bodies aren’t properly lubricated symptoms like joint stiffness, arthritis, and back pain can manifest.

TCM Approved Foods for Winter

Winter is the time to lower physical activity. To support being less active it’s a good idea to eat smaller meals, incorporating warm soups, lightly steamed vegetables, and room temperature foods. Hot fluids in winter to keep mucus membranes and the bronchi hydrated and phlegm loosened. Examples of smart meal choices for winter are:

-Brothy soups and stews

-Yams and sweet potatoes

-Miso and seawee

-Garlic and Onions


-Cinnamon and Nutmeg

-Walnuts and Chestnuts

-Sesame, Flax, and Pumpkin seeds

-Whole Grains

Our new winter bowls contain locally grown seasonal ingredients like walnuts, sweet potatoes, black rice, ginger, sesame seeds, seaweed and kale. You can remove them from the fridge for around 10 minutes before consuming so they are not so cold.

Our new dinners are all perfect winter meals warm, nourishing, all organic, clean ingredients and easy just heat and eat.

Emotion: Fear

When we become imbalanced during winter, we may respond to normal situations with fear instead of being rational and connected to our innate wisdom. Fear can show up in all areas of our lives relationships, finances, job, or any hidden fears we hold inside. Looking at our fears and contemplating on their origins is a healthy meditation for the winter months. Moving forward using our own wisdom to guide us in love rather than fear.

Winter Kidney Warming Tea

This tea is packed with ginger which supports digestion, warms the stomach, and is anti-inflammatory.



2 slices, 1/2 inch thick of fresh Ginger root

Cinnamon Sticks, 1 stick per 2 cups of water

Fresh mint, wash 8-10 leaves and tear before adding to water

1 tsp. raw Honey for sweetness (or stevia for those sensitive to sugar


  1. Boil 2 cups filtered water
  2. Pour water into teapot or large mug
  3. Add ginger, cinnamon sticks, and mint
  4. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes
  5. Add honey or stevia to sweeten

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