June 29, 2020

Written by Hannah Sutton  (Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture)

According to the philosophy of Chinese Medicine, Winter represents the utmost of Yin.  The nature of Winter is a slow, dark, cool, inward moving season – all things Yin.

Winter is associated with the water element and the energy of the Kidney, Bladder and Adrenals. It is a time to slow down and conserve our energy in preparation for the transformation of Spring.

In Chinese Medicine it is believed that by harmonizing ourselves with the seasons we stay healthier and prevent disease.  We can balance the energy of our internal organs with the energy that surrounds us.

Winter is a good time to strengthen the Kidneys.  Rest is important – being in bed by 10pm, sleeping in, working less.  We need to focus on practicing nourishing forms of exercise, such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga.  Spending time in quite reflection with meditation.  Taking pleasure in creative activities such as writing, cooking, sewing or knitting all help to connect to the Kidney energy.  This doesn’t mean you can’t go for a vigorous walk in the bush or excursions to the snow, it just means the scales should tip more in the favour of rest, rejuvenation and renewal.

 It is also incredibly important to feed our bodies sufficient nutrients and adopt the practise of eating seasonally and locally.  To help nourish our Kidney essence through Winter try to include food in your diet like squashes, root vegetables, winter greens, mushrooms, bay leaves, coriander, fennel, leek, nutmeg, pine nuts, rosemary, spring onions, apples, pears and citrus.  Hearty meats (specifically lamb), chicken, black beans, kidney beans, walnuts, black sesame seeds, chestnuts and cinnamon are all excellent at nourishing the Kidneys. Our bodies enjoy warming foods like soups made with hearty vegetables and rich bone stocks.

Soup is warming, nutrient dense, simple to make, easy to digest & absorb.  Best of all you can make up a large pot and just throw in whatever ingredients that need to be used up in your fridge.  See below for a great guideline recipe to work with.

Nourishing Winter Chicken Bone Broth


1 Whole Organic Free-Range Chicken

3-4 slices fresh ginger

1 bunch spring onion, roughly chopped

1 leek, thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

2 carrots, roughly chopped

Salt & Pepper, season

Herbs – choose 1 or 2  eg. Rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, bay leaves, whole peppercorns.


  1. Put the whole chicken into slow cooker. Add the leek, spring onion, celery, carrots & ginger.**
  2. Add enough water to cover, approx. 3-4 litres, season with salt & pepper and your favourite herb/s of choice
  3. Cook on high for 4-5hrs until the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from the slow cooker & remove all the meat from the bones (set aside to use in another meal)
  4. Return the carcass & skin to the slow cooker. You may want to add more water to top the slow cooker up again.
  5. Put lid back on the slow cooker & cook on low for a further 4 to 6hrs (if you have the patience you can cook for 12-24hrs, top up with more water if you need to).
  6. Once done cooking, strain the broth through a fine strainer. All the bones & vegetables can be thrown out.
  7. Drink daily as a restorative broth or use as a flavor-rich and nutrient dense stock for soups, stews, risotto, congee etc. Freeze portions for convenience.

**To give the soup an extra nourishing boost you can add a packet of Yin & Blood Soup Stock Chinese Raw Herbs to your bone broth at Step 1.

Yin & Blood Soup Stock packs are available in clinic and include the following herbs: –

  • Dang Shen (Codonopsis root) boosts energy, nourishes Blood, regulates the digestive system and improves immune function.
  • Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) improves the digestive health, strengthens Lung and immune function and strengthens Kidneys.
  • Gou Qi Zi (Goji berries) benefits Liver & Kidneys health, promotes Blood, improves vision and overall health.
  • Lian Zi (Lotus seed) improves digestive strength, nourish the Heart & calm the mind and strengthen Kidney health.
  • Dang Gui (Angelica root) nourishes Blood, helps regulate hormones.
  • Yu Zhu (Solomon’s Seal Root) nourishes and moistens Lungs & Stomach, generates fluids.

Homemade herbal bone broth that nourishes your body & soul 😊

If you would like to book an appointment at In Symmetry you can call the clinic on

(03) 5429 3610 or book online by clicking the link below.


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