Need help adapting to winter? Try adaptogenic herbs

by JuJu Bearwoman

Winter is a season that beckons us to honor the yin qualities of life: darkness, going inward, and storage. Ideally we would prepare our bodies just as we prepare our homes for foul weather, gathering and storing before the actual storm hits. This allows us to have the reserves that we need when we face changes in our environment and inclement weather. We can continue to prepare our bodies wisely by choosing supportive foods and herbs. We eat more hot foods, stews, roasted roots and warming herbal teas because they provide us with the density to give us energy and instant warmth and nourishment.


During this time we experience a decline in sunlight and our activity should reflect this to some degree. Allowing yourself to sleep until there is a full illumination of daylight is ideal. Obviously not everyone can negotiate a different work schedule in this day and age, but making an effort to slow down on the weekends can certainly contribute to this same concept. Try not to increase your consumption of stimulants like coffee, yerba mate, or green tea, which often leave us feeling depleted after a few hours of an energetic rush. Explore other herbal allies that are more gentle and sustaining in their action on the body. Fill your diffuser with naturally energizing scents like rosemary, bergamot or anything from the citrus family.

We have some wonderful gifts from nature that enhance the body’s natural ability to adapt to the changes in light and weather. These adaptogenic herbs include ashwagandha, burdock root, eleuthero, licorice and many mushrooms including reishi, shiitake, and turkey tail. Consider adding these herbs to your next bone broth or simply have a quart of tea with a few adaptogenic herbs simmering in a crockpot every day. Come in to HAALo for advice on what adaptogenic herbs can be custom-blended into something especially for you.


-JujuJuJu is an herbalist at HAALo who is studying under Anna Werderitsch, L.Ac. and is working on becoming certified by the CA Acupuncture Board. She has been developing her Western and Chinese herbal repertoire since 2004 and has spent a great deal of her time communing with herbs on farms and in the wilderness.

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