herbsThe kidneys are responsible for a number of important tasks. They eliminate toxins including uric acid, urea and ammonia; they regulate the acid/ alkaline balance in your body, and they maintain the balance of electrolytes including calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. They also have the important task of controlling water distribution in the body.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the kidneys are the organs associated with the winter period. Your kidneys are responsible for nourishing your tissues and organs as well as building and adding nutritive value to blood. They are the body’s source of heat production and are responsible for supplying energy to all of the other organs. The kidneys can become depleted by chronic disease, stress, overexertion and blood loss. They are particularly vulnerable in the months of December through March.

Take some time to nourish your kidneys before the winter is over. There are a number of foods that help “warm” or nourish the kidneys throughout the winter months. Foods that are warming to the kidneys are walnuts, black beans, quinoa, onions, lees, garlic, chicken, trout, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, fennel, cayenne, roasted root vegetables and flaxseed oil. Foods that help to build blood are mung beans, string beans, kidney beans, lentils, aduki beans, tofu, wild rice, millet, barley, parsley, asparagus, seaweed, spirulina and chlorella.

Here is a recipe for Yogi Tea, which is a warming tonic for the kidneys and helps to prevent colds and flus, especially during the winter months.

– 40 oz of water
– 12 whole cloves
– 16 whole green cardamom pods, cracked open
– 16 whole black peppercorns
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 8 slices of fresh ginger root
– 2 black tea bags (Jasmine)
– 2 cups of almond milk

Directions: Bring the water to a boil. Add the cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and ginger. Boil for 45 minutes or longer. When it reaches a rich reddish brown color, turn off the heat. Drop in the black tea bags for 1 minute and then remove them. Add almond milk to individual servings as desires. You can sweeten it with honey or maple syrup. Enjoy!!