Winter Purge and Healthy Cooking Herbs

Winter Purge and Healthy Cooking Herbs

January and winter in general is a time for slowing down, especially after the rush of the holidays are over.

We all like to hibernate in Chicago, at least a little bit. This is the natural tendency of the season and living in tune with the season is what Chinese Medicine is all about.

In winter its important to eat warm and nourishing soups and stews and to get more sleep, even if it’s just a nap on Sunday afternoons. Keep your digestion going with extra fiber and warming spices, do some gentle physical activity, and keep your head and neck covered.

One of my favorite things to do in January is to purge my possessions.

I like to go through my clothes, closets, kitchen cabinets and drawers, even clean out the bookshelf. This makes room in our lives for our wants and desires of the new year to have a space, so they stick around. Check out this helpful schedule and daily emails from Apartment Therapy, called the January Cure.

I also like to do a bit of a deeper clean than usual in January. Wash all of your linens and area rugs. Get underneath the furniture and chase out those dust bunnies! Along with an energetic purge, it will also help you spend more time inside with less allergens and wake up with less congestion.

If you have the winter blues or a cough that won’t quit, acupuncture and herbs can get you over the hump and on your way to frolicking in the snow. Schedule a treatment or shoot me an email for more information.

How is everyone doing with the polar vortex?

The last few days have been B-R-U-T-A-L. That wind is no joke!

I have been fighting a dry throat and lungs since it got cold. Sometimes it turns into a cough, sometimes I get some congestion, sometimes its just achy and cold feeling, but never progressing beyond that.

I have been getting serious cravings for strong herbal flavors in soups and veggie dishes, plus I’ve been getting thyme in my produce delivery. So I did some research and what do you know? Thyme can really pack a punch. No wonder I wanted to eat it when I was feeling run down.

It turns out that thyme has been used for centuries for cough and respiratory infections. It has a high content of vitamin C and A, both good for fighting colds. It’s also been used to treat high blood pressure, as a fungicide, and it can even kill mosquito larvae. However, I think the coolest use of this amazing herb was as part of the embalming process in ancient Egypt.

Thyme is so easy to use, just throw the stem and everything in the pot.

When you’re done with your dish, remove the stem. The leaves and the flavors will remain in your food. I’ve made soups, beans, pastas, eggs, even thyme and olive oil bread. It’s got a strong flavor that most people would associate with Mediterranean cooking and pizza. Just be sure to rinse it very well because it grows in a sandy soil and can leave a grit behind.

Jennifer Fockler
Acupuncturist Chicago
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