We are into the Da Xue (大雪) solar terms (节气) starting from the 07 Dec to 21 Dec 2023. Da Xue is the 21st Solar Term out of the entire 24.
The weather will be colder (cooler for tropical countries like Singapore) than in the previous solar term (Xiao Xue, 小雪).
As the saying goes, 小雪腌菜，大雪腌肉. It means that the previous solar term is when people start to make preserved vegetables and in this solar term, people start to make preserved meat to prepare for the new year.
Besides making preserved meat, this solar term is also a good time to consume tonic to boost our immunity.
There’s also a saying 冬令进补，春天打虎. This means that if a person were to consume tonic during these periods, the body would have resources (essence stored in the kidneys) and have the energy to fight a tiger when the new year comes! (This is just an analogy, please don’t try!)
Having said this, I do not recommend most people to consume heavy tonic foods because not everyone is suitable to eat strong tonic herbs.
Instead, I would like to recommend the following gentle and warm kidney qi-boosting foods that almost everyone can eat safely and still have the immunity-boosting effect.
During these few solar terms, we need to eat foods to strengthen our kidneys. And in the TCM five elements (中医五行), the kidney aligns with the color, black.
Thus, we can increase our intake on the following black-colored foods:
- Black Beans – Black beans are an ideal food for people with weak kidneys and spleen. They have the additional benefits of dispersing blood clots and improving blood circulation. It can be added to rice and cooked together or added to any soup (especially soups that enhance blood circulation).
- Black Rice – Black rice is also known as 药米 (medicinal rice). Besides strengthening the kidneys, black rice can also strengthen the spleen and stomach. Thus, it is suitable for people with poor digestion and weak spleen. You can simply add some black rice together with white/brown rice in your next meal.
- Black Sesame – Black sesame can also be used for relieving constipation on top of its kidney and liver-strengthening properties. An easy way of eating black sesame is to apply the black sesame paste to the bread for breakfast.
- Black Fungus – Although black fungus does not have direct benefits on the kidneys, it has great benefits for the lungs and liver. During this cooler weather, it is important to keep our lungs moisturized (润肺) to prevent coughing. Also, black fungus can also help to reduce blood pressure and has anti-cancer properties. Thus, it is an excellent food to add to your dishes these few weeks.
General Wellness Recommendation
Getting enough sleep during this solar term is important. So make sure you go to bed earlier and wake up a bit later (if possible). Do avoid heading out too early (before the sun rises) to exercise as it will increase the chance of your lungs being exposed to cold air. If the morning sky is still dark, you can do some light exercise indoors instead.
One well-being tip that you can do is to massage the acupoint YongQuan (涌泉) which is located on the base of your foot.
YongQuan acupoint is very effective in warming up your body as it helps to boost your kidney qi.
You can make it a habit of massaging the points when you are watching videos or listening to music.
Hope you find this post useful!