The holiday season has arrived again and has got many of us thinking - what is happening to time? For those of us in the United States, November to January is the most festive season of the year (even us non-contiguous folks out here in Hawaii). As we slide into this holiday season, we wanted to share some TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) tips for getting through it relatively unscathed and mostly nourished by the “most wonderful time of the year”.
1. Don’t Over Commit. Winter is a time of going inward and conserving energy, aka slowing down. We know it’s hard to hear and even harder to do...but if you really listen and observe, you can see and feel the downshifting of nature and the body as we move into the most yin aspect of the year. Try to go with the flow and do what feels really nourishing (in your slowest possible way…whatever that may be.
2. Let it Feel Good. The holidays can be all kinds of stressful and out right depressing for some. Sprinkle some heart warming and stress moving activities into your everyday life, whether that’s a run or a dance or a walk on the beach, whatever it may be, let it feel good and let it fill your cup. Check out out our previous blog article, Best Therapies in Chinese Medicine for Stress Relieffor more tips.
3. Support Your Gut. Giving your gut some extra lovin' will leave you feeling much happier for the new year, especially with all the gorging that can happen during the holidays. Still yet - humans are still physiologically built to be grazers, aka small portions throughout the day. Some say eat till you’re 75% full - but what does that even mean or feel like? This could mean that you get to finish your meal but could still think about eating something else and not feel - well, gross. We’re all different but we all know the difference between leaving the dinner table comfortably or not, so find your happy place that leaves room for some heart warming treats later. Either way, whether you go over the top or not, gut-loving herbs available at Olanani can help tremendously. Our top top favorite for helping digestion during the holidays is Shan Zha, or Hawthorne Berry, available at Olanani. As always, herbs work best in conjunction with each other. Our Blessed Belly Formula makes Shan Zha shine with the help of other awesome herbs that work together to make your digestion smooth and less burdensome. Get Blessed Belly
4. Keep Warm and Get Your Body Ready for Winter - Try the Olanani version of the age-old Gui Zhi Tang decoction/cider recipe for warming the body’s channels and keeping the cold out of the system as the seasons change. This is a deliciously wonderful way to warm the soul, nourish your energy, and boost your immune health! Click here for the recipe
5. Yup, As Always, Support Your Immunity - As we’ve all painfully learned over the past couple years, gathering humans share germs so optimize your immunity with daily doses of astragalus, turmeric, garlic, ginger, Vit C (best from whole food sources), zinc, and elderberry. It is especially helpful to those who catch colds easily.
6. What to do if you are coming down with something - Worried you’re actually catching a cold? Is it Wind Cold or Wind Heat (yes those are real things)? Differentiating the early signs and using the most well equipped herbs is very helpful in combating pathogens with botanicals. TCM differentiates cold and flu-like pathogenic attacks into 2 main categories:
Wind Cold -
Symptoms can include scratchy throat, achy muscles, fever and chills, headache, weak body.
Kitchen pantry herbs for this are green onions, cinnamon, ginger, and honey. Gui Zhi Tang, mentioned above, is a commonly used herbal formula to combat this type of pathogen.
Wind Heat -
Symptoms can include sore throat, thirst, irritability, stiff or achy neck and/or extremities. A great at home recipe for this would be mint, echinacea, chrysanthemum, lemon & honey.
Honeysuckle flower, Perilla Leaf, are also well-known herbs for this kind of attack. A stash of these herbs are always handy to have in your herbal medicine cabinet - pick them up at Olanani.
We Got Your Back
We also got your back with our customized herbal farmacy for those pathogens that do slip past the exterior level of the body and start wreaking havoc internally in the lungs &/or GI tract. Lingering symptoms such as bronchitis, pneumonia, nasal congestion, irregular digestion, and general fatigue can all be combated with the right herbal blends.
Take what you will from this list and be nourished by the coming season of gratitude and joy.