As we take a full turn into the winter season, remember there are many preventative actions you can take to stay healthy.
Here are a couple tips:
Protecting Yourself from Cold Weather Invasions
Cover the back of your neck when going outside, even for short durations. Regardless of whether you feel cold while you are outside, this time of year always strive to protect your neck from external environmental conditions.
Also, warm the face after returning indoors and consider taking a hot shower before bed to help remove any subtle cold pathogens remaining on the face and body.
There are acupuncture points located on the back of your neck that when exposed to wind can cause what TCM calls a wind invasion, resulting in all the same to similar symptoms of a viral cold (e.g. muscle aches, sore throat, chills), only without a virus.
Simple Homemade Ginger Tea
It may be the most overlooked solution, however, one way to combat the winter cold is through the stomach.
In the summer, ginger root is used to promote healthy spleen and stomach function. In the winter, ginger root can also be used to help release the exterior, a TCM term used to describe the removal of environmental factors (pathogens) such as wind and cold from the surface of the skin. This prevents the pathogens from remaining on the skin and eventually penetrating into deeper tissue levels and causing greater illness.
1) Ginger root can be sliced thinly and simmered for about 20 min in a covered pot of water to extract it.
2) Here is a 5-10 min method for making ginger tea:
– Grate 1-2 tablespoons of ginger root and put in the bottom of a large drinking mug.
– Pour about 16oz of boiling water directly over it.
– Cover and let steep for 3-5 minutes.
– Strain. (Optional: save the ginger and repeat the steeping process one more time with it. Combine both steepings).
– Dilute to drink: for 4 ounces of ginger tea, pour 2 ounces of the steeped and strained ginger water into a cup and dilute with 2 ounces of plain hot water. For 8oz of ginger tea, double these amounts.
– Add a little raw honey if desired.
– Drink 4-8oz in the morning or evening before bed, daily.