Winter

Winter the Season of Stillness
Authored by: Anne C. Willis

Scientists have recently discovered that skin keeps time, independent of the brain.  A study has now found that a type of opsin (Light sensitive receptors) known as neuropsin is expressed in the hair follicles and synchronizes the skin's circadian clock to the light-dark cycle, independent of the eyes or brain. That little bit of research is honestly mind blowing and should change your view about how best to take care of your skin.

This remarkable finding underscores the impact of circadian rhythms on the various systems of the body and may also have important implications for why the skin needs specialized care during seasonal transitions.

No matter where you live in the world, winter hails in cooler temperatures and the days are filled with more darkness than light.  In winter, nature seems to be at rest, and in this rest replenishes itself. Winter is the season of retirement into depth, because of cooler temperatures.  Just as the roots of plants and trees descend into the depth of the earth, blood vessels will also retreat into fat tissue where insulation and warmth keep them protected.  Blood itself thickens, and its movement becomes sedentary.

In Chinese Five Elements Winter is ruled by the water element: the most nourishing and essential substance for life. This element stores much of people's reserves of energy. That's why rest is crucial in the winter. This time of year, over-work and lack of sleep easily depletes the water element, which based on this principal governs the kidneys.

The Kidneys cooling and lubricating function assures that all the structures within the body and mind are lubricated and misted. This process keeps the body and mind flexible and prevents excessive friction from building up.

In Western medicine we know that the kidneys regulate water metabolism and stabilize the heart and blood pressure. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidney energy is also said to be responsible for healthy teeth, bones, and bone marrow. Because the ancient Chinese medical scholars considered the brain and spinal cord to be extensions of the bone marrow, the Kidney is thought to rule over the skeletal structure and function and, consequently, over intelligence, reason, perception, and memory.

Fear is the emotion associated with the Water Element. In a healthy way, fear is an emotion that moves and directs us to remain alert and attentive to our surroundings and situation. When confronted with danger, constructive fear can guide us with a message of caution and restraint and fill us with a sense of readiness and courage to face whatever situation might present itself.

The quietness and stillness that winter calls us to is a great entry to our inner world and is most accessible during this time of the year. Contemplation and self-discover should take center stage as we explore all corners of our wellbeing. However, for some, being this still can cause loneliness, panic and unwarranted fear. Fear becomes an obstacle to movement in the body and forces an imbalance to structural lubrication.

FOODS FOR WINTER HEALTH

Nourish yourself with warm food and drink lots of water; winter sucks the moisture out of your body and your skin. It is very important to hydrate by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water or herbal tea daily. Eat warming foods such as root vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of meat or fish protein. If you are a vegetarian, eat more beans, nuts, and tempeh.

Glutathione-rich foods: Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in greens like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach to name a few. These foods strengthen the immune system so that it can fight infections.

Diet: Incorporate into your diet berries, figs, pomegranate, grape, dark seaweed, spinach, beans, walnuts, chestnuts, eggs, adapt-genic like reishi, holy basil, licorice root, and cinnamon.

Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener but can be used to treat coughs, colds and sore throats because it speeds up healing of worn-out tissues and dries up infected tissues. So, add a teaspoon in your Comforts Herb Rich Tea, a glass of warm turmeric milk or just drizzle some over your morning toast.

Ghee: Ghee, or clarified butter is rich in antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from our food, and is a very healthy fat to add to your winter diet.

Prebiotics and probiotics: Foods that contain probiotics can increase the number of good bacteria for better gut health. Yoghurt is one option or fermented foods and beverages like, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir drinks and kombucha. Probiotics function better with the help of prebiotics, which you can get from garlic, flaxseeds, onions, dark green vegetables, oats, beans, lentils and apples etc.

Comforts | Herb Rich Tea infusions:  Stay well-hydrated in these dry winter months. A cup of warm Comforts | Herb Rich Tea is a healthy and delicious options to quench your thirst, warm you up and keep your skin and gut happy in winter. You can add coconut water to your tea infusion to aid in lubricating dryness. Comforts | Herb Rich Tea contains elderflower, which improves the circulation of blood and lymph.  Chamomile and lavender help reduce anxiety associated with fear.

Winter Skin Care

During winter months skin moves inward in order to reserve energy that would otherwise be needed during times of growth and renewal. As skin moves inward the microbiome of the skin is less active leaving our skin’s immune defense diminished.  That means skin will become more vulnerable and reactive than in other seasons.  If you suffer from any of the autoimmune conditions, such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or acne, you may have flair ups during the winter months.

The temperature of the air directly affects how much water vapor the skin can hold. As the temperature falls and the heat goes on, the skin is able to hold less and less moisture.  Winter is the time of year to throw a “blanket” of moisture over your skin.  The key is to layer, layer, layer.   

Here are De La Terre Skincare’s five top product recommendations that will allow your skin and body to be “fearless” during December, January, and February.

Herb Rich Serums sheer purity reaches the deeper layers of skin where skin cells have gone into retirement for the winter. A few drops of this liquid nourishment and your skin will feel soothed, hydrated and less fragile.

Active Support Skin Lotion - Since the microbiome has retreated inward and is not as actively prolific on the surface of the skin, you need a product that will boost skin’s immune response. The 14 varieties of mushrooms that are an active in Active Support Skin Lotion, will do just that.  This product also contains a high level of Vitamin C, which additionally will support skin’s immune response, while enhancing healing the skin. Apply Active Support Skin Lotion morning and night directly after Herb Rich Serum.

Herb Rich Cream - Due to the high content of oleic acid, which supports a healthy skin barrier function and offers mega-hydration and moisture to prevent skin cell dry out, Herb Rich Cream will blanket you skin with rich nourishment, while naturally providing protection. Apply directly after Active Support Skin Lotion.

Herb Rich Balm - In some cases, the skin may need a denser moisturizer such as Herb Rich Balm.  This product is extremely versatile.  Apply it to dry cracked lips, around the eyes to reduce puffiness, dry cracked nail beds, and all over the entire face as a mask to really enhance moisture.

Comforts | Herb Rich Tea as a beverage offers a comforting light, subtle, floral flavor.

The unique blend of herbs naturally reduces symptoms related to inflammation while supporting your immune system.

We recommend drinking two to three cups a day. Be sure to take deep breaths and inhale the aroma of the tea so your respiratory system receives the care it needs.  

Nature is full of transitions.  Winter invites you to retreat into wellness through the best paired foods, mindful self-care, and De La Terre Skincare products.   By taking the time to acknowledge the shifts that occur inside and outside the body during each seasonal change, you can become closer to nature’s lessons for obtaining a healthy lifestyle.  

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