Each season challenges us in different ways. Just as the cold of Winter causes puddles and creaks to freeze, the movement of our blood, lymph, and other bodily fluids can become sluggish and stagnant. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and diminished ability to fight off disease. According to Chinese medicine:
“If there’s pain, there’s stagnation. If there’s no stagnation, there’s no pain.”
Cold is just one potential cause of stagnation, but cold pain is considered the most severe of all. Cold can exacerbate physical pain originating from other sources of stagnation, such as injuries and operations (blood stasis), emotional trauma (qi/energy stagnation), and pathogens (usually phlegm accumulation).
If cold weather is aggravating your chronic pain, try adding some of these to your diet: Ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, and curry.
If your body tends to run warm or you are having hot flashes, and the cold is aggravating your pain, it is important to get the blood moving without heating you up too much. This can be achieved with Chinese herbal medicine combinations specifically formulated for you.
For abdominal pain or digestive problems aggravated by the cold, eat warm foods and teas with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, and anise. We carry a delicious Organic Green Chai Tea in the teashop, which contains some of these warming digestive spices.
For the beginning stages of a common cold with clear watery sinus drainage, achy neck and shoulders, and chills, try a warm clear broth with fresh ginger and scallions. Add mustard greens if your colds tend to go to your chest. Ask at the teashop for more suggestions of herbs to add to the broth.