When we are alive, our bodies and spirits are full of warmth and light.
When we die, our bodies grow cold and are no longer animated.
Warmth is conducive to movement, cold is conducive to stasis.
In Chinese Medicine Theory, The kidneys are the storehouse of our “ming men”, also known as our life force. “Ming Men” is the fire that ignites our mental and physical processes. In order to have a well functioning body, it is important to warm the kidneys and protect them from cold so that we don’t “freeze” our energy, making our body tissues contracted, sluggish and slow.
Apples and cinnamon are a delicious and warming combination to start the day. Cinnamon is an amazing spice: According to Heiner Fruehauf, a professor of Herbal medicine at NCNM, no weeds grow around the base of the cinnamon tree. This due to its high concentration of warming yang energy, which repels weeds: a kind of yin pathogen seeking to invade and settle, much like cold pathogens seek to invade and settle in our channels and meridians. This mirrors cinnamon’s function in the body of keeping cold (yin) pathogens at bay.
It invigorates the digestive and reproductive fire and disperses cold, particularly of the lower back and below the navel. It is best to keep this area warm, as it houses our kidneys which are in charge of conceiving, balancing sex drive, and metabolism.
Things you can do to warm your kidneys:
- Take care of your feet. Keep them warm by wearing slippers or socks and avoid standing on cold surfaces. The kidney energy draws up from the sole of the foot, so prolonged contact with cold surfaces can weaken the kidney fire.
- Keep your lower back and the area below your navel warm by using a warm compress. Cover these areas with clothing, as these areas are invaded by cold, the more our reproductive functions stagnate. Fatty tissue may also start to accumulate here as a protective measure from the cold. You can also simply rub these areas to promote warmth and circulation.
- Eat warm and cooked foods. Cold and raw foods can drain your kidney energy by using up too much fire in order to “cook” or digest the foods.
Apple pie porridge:
Apple pie topping:
1 apple, sliced– nourishes spleen and pancreas, promotes fluids and balances blood sugar
2 tsp of coconut oil (or butter)- nourishes yin and body fluid
1 tsp of lemon juice: Soothes the liver, promotes qi circulation
1/2 tsp of cinnamon: warms the ming men fire, warms spleen and kidney
Pan fry the apples and cinnamon in the coconut oil until the apples soften. Add lemon juice and fry until all the liquid had evaporated. Serve on top of oatmeal or porridge of choice!
Modifications: Top with walnuts, which also warm the kidney fire, or hemp seeds, which help to nourish yin and regulate bowel movement.