We have entered the winter portal and may be feeling the tension between society’s expectations and our own biological compulsion to slow down. If we look to nature, Traditional Chinese Medicine or any earth-based tradition, we will be guided to honor this season as a time of rest, prioritizing nourishment, introspection, a gentler approach to both movement and our to-do lists, and more sleep than usual. Integrating these recommendations and mirroring the natural world can help create profound balance in the wheel of our year; if we tend to our own replenishment, we are primed to enter spring with a true sense of renewal.
You’re not alone if our fast-paced modern lives can make it feel unrealistic or all together unattainable to “hibernate.” Remember that with intention, small or simple actions can make a world of difference. For example, even sleeping for one extra hour during this season can help you connect to the medicine of winter. This recipe goes out to everyone who contends with insomnia or who could use some extra support unwinding into a restful state.
The Ultimate Nightcap:
1 tsp Shen powder
¼ tsp Pearl powder
¼ tsp Rose powder
1 cup warmed milk of choice
1-2 tsp honey
Directions: Add all ingredients into a milk frothing/heating device, a blender, or to a mug (and then use a handheld milk frother to integrate all components). Top each serving with another good pinch or ¼ tsp of Rose powder.
Drinking warm milk before bed is a time-tested tradition for promoting better sleep, but why? Is it the tryptophan… or just the nostalgia? Many theories abound, but FDN-P Nina Passero explains that milk is a perfect and complete food (as it features protein, carbs and fat in a balanced delivery), which can help provide a sense of grounding, is easily digestible, and helps avoid spikes in stress hormones that can disturb high-quality, continuous sleep. If you choose a dairy-free milk option, adding collagen can help achieve the same result, especially when paired with honey.
We definitely believe that food is medicine, but strategically combining nourishing foods with our potent herbal extracts elevates this traditional remedy exponentially. Our Shen blend is specifically formulated to calm the mind, help relieve stress and promote peaceful sleep. Adding extra pearl powder further aids the calming process and promotes restorative sleep, in part because it’s a rich and bioavailable source of minerals, including calcium. Finally, rose supports relaxation and nourishes the nervous system to help us get into a “rest and digest” state.
May the medicine of winter reach, replenish, and ultimately revitalize you!