‘Tis the season for kidneys

Brrrr... it really is cold out there! According to Chinese medicine, as we begin to welcome the season for Old Man Winter, we are also welcoming the arrival of kidney season.

Underlying kidney weaknesses may begin to surface in ways like

  • low back pain,
  • joint stiffness,
  • knee weakness,
  • feelings of forgetfulness,
  • dreaming at night,
  • teeth sensitivities,
  • salt cravings, and/or
  • blood pressure change— just to name a few.

Athletes might notice extra soreness or pain in the low back this time of year, too. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance the organs supporting your low back—the kidneys and the large intestine—might need a little extra boost this time of year.

3 simple ways to care for your kidneys

Eat your protein. Your kidneys are reliant on quality animal protein like unprocessed meats or eggs to build blood and circulate that blood throughout all your extremities which will in turn keep your entire body warmer. Your kidneys will also appreciate lightly incorporating minerals like sea salt (non-iodized) into your diet this time of year.

Wear your winter coat. Want to know a secret about your kidneys? They hate being cold. It’s true. But sometimes native Minnesota’s seem to ditch their coat in order to “tough it out” on frigid winter days. Next time you’re tempted to do this, be kind to your kidneys and just wear the coat... and the hat and the mittens. Tucking in your shirt as well as wrapping up the waist would be wise choices, too.

Sip some tea. If you’ve been out of doors for a period of time to build a snowman, wait for the bus, or shovel the driveway, drinking a mug of warming herbal tea once you’re back indoors is a great way to warm the kidneys. Cinnamon, ginger, and citrus are nice teas your kidneys will appreciate.

Offering your kidneys the little extra love and support they need this time of year isn’t too tricky. After all, ‘tis the season.