Storing Energy in Winter

Chinese are known for following nature’s dictum. In the case of the seasons, spring is for growing, summer for maturing, autumn for harvesting and winter for storing. As each season is different, so are the therapies in TCM, both for ailments as well as for keeping healthy.

For winter, it is best to undergo therapies that re-energize the immune system. In TCM (traditional chinese medicine) this comes in the form of an herbal paste taken orally once a day called “gao fang”. It should be stirred into hot water and taken before breakfast. Additionally, each person has their own type of “gao fang” compound mixed by the doctor/herbalist to suit their constitution (heaty, cold, neutral) which is determined based on the colour of your tongue, eyes, fingernails & pulse.

For the uninitiated, here is an example. Ginseng is good for you, but only if you take the right one! There are many types of ginseng and again, depending on your consitution you would choose which one to take:

(1) Red ginseng – heaty
(2) American ginseng – cold
(3) White ginseng – neutral

Even the sweetener to make the compound more palatable is chosen based on your constitution.

(1) Brown sugar- heaty
(2) Honey – cold
(3) Neutral people can take either one

I think most city-folk are heaty due to the fried foods we eat. There is a lot of confusion and mis-information on what is heaty, cold or neutral foods so I hope that anyone who knows of a reliable compendium can leave a comment as to where we can check on the internet.

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