When Eating More Salt will Help Conserve Your Qi
Energy, or Qi, is at it’s lowest point in the cycle of the year, so during winter, it’s appropriate to be less active and to conserve our energy stores. Unfortunately, just because it’s appropriate to do less, doesn’t mean that modern life always allows it; so the more we can do to take care of our energy during this time of year, the more of it we’ll have.
Believe it or not, eating more salt during the winter can help maintain your stores of energy.
In the spring, everything is moving upwards and outwards–plants sprout everywhere and move towards the sun, and foods that grow quickly and upwards are in abundance. Asparagus and lettuce leaves are the food of the day. It is appropriate to eat foods that grow up and vigorously towards the sun during those times of year, because they help our energies to move outwards and up as well.
But now it’s winter, and we want our Qi stored deep inside us at our core, where it will safely nest and keep us strong and well during these cold winter months. Salt directs our Qi inwards and downward to our core, and for this reason it helps conserve our Qi. (keep in mind this entire article relates to unrefined sea salt, which still contains all its minerals)
Really? Eat more salt?
I don’t buy into this whole “no salt” craze that modern medicine subscribes to. Salt has been a healthy part of many cultures for thousands of years, and is actually one of 5 medicinal “flavors” in Chinese Medicine. Yes, millions of people have high blood pressure because of too much salt (among other things) in their diets. But is is the culprit really the healthy sea salt they’re ingesting as part of a normal, whole and clean foods diet that, or is it the “extras” that nowadays are not really extras but standard everyday fare: huge bags of chips, excessively salted tins of nuts, gargantuan buckets of popcorn at the movies, packaged and processed foods that are loaded with refined sodium…?
“Flavors” as medicine, according to acupuncture theory
All the flavors are important to get into our diets in a balanced amount, according to Chinese Medicine. There is sweet (which we eat too much of), bitter (which we eat not enough), sour, salty, and bland. Eating each one in correct amounts helps keep our bodies balanced. Because sour astringes, which means to hold, bind, or draw together, it also helps conserve our energies during these colder months.
If we examine many native cultures, we see that they naturally practiced the tradition of eating saltier foods in the winter time…stored sauerkrauts, relishes, and pickles not only preserved summer’s bounty to be eaten throughout the year, but foods like these help keep the people’s energies tucked deep inside.
So go ahead and salt your dinner a little more liberally than usual during the upcoming colder months. Try to eat some sauerkraut or pickles daily, both of which add a combination of the medicinal salty and sour flavors. Your Qi will move deep into your core so your “engine” can hum along nicely all winter, revving up your digestion, your metabolism, and your all over body functioning .
May our “engines” purr and run strong all winter long!!!