This post will focus on the Water element which is associated with winter.
The organs in the Water element are the kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands and bones.
Winter is the most “yin” of the seasons. It is a time for storing and conserving energy. A time to slow down, rest and rejuvenate. It is about inner quiet, creating and finding the time for stillness and reflection. It is an opportunity to regenerate, to build the will and ambition for the energy we will need to move into spring. Animals who hibernate know this well.
The kidneys are thought of as the root of the body’s energy – or chi. Water soluble toxins, waste and minerals are eliminated by filtering of the blood through the kidneys. The filtered blood becomes urine and is stored in the bladder.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. These powerful little glands help us to respond appropriately to the stresses that we undergo each day. They help to regulate blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and respiration.
Our bones and teeth depend upon our kidneys, mineral availability and absorption, whole body pH and weight bearing exercise for their strength. Vitamin D plays a huge role in bone health. In the winter months – when the hours of daylight are less – our body levels of vitamin D tend to be lower. Supplementation is suggested.
The following foods are supportive : herbal teas with nettle, ginger and cinnamon; soups with lots of veggies, barley and beans; turnips, broccoli, kale; quinoa, amaranth; walnuts; sea salt; tahini; hummus; and figs. And most importantly – good clear water. The general rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces over the course of the day. This is something to strive for to keep the kidneys healthy.