It's finally COLD here in SF, time to protect our bodies through the winter with some good, warm nourishment. Tonight I am brewing a delicious batch of chicken soup fortified with Qi & Blood Tonic herbs to help protect my kidneys. In Chinese medicine, kidneys are related to the Winter season and referred to as the 'Root of Life'. The kidneys act much like the body's 'pilot light', in that they are responsible for 'keeping the flame alive' (so to speak) for our body's most vital functions. To support this flame through cold weather, we can easily add kidney nourishing foods and herbs to our favorite recipes. To do this I made a simple chicken soup with root veggies (yams and rutabaga) and added these Chinese herbs for a seasonal boost: Huang Qi (astragalus) Dang Gui (Angelica root) Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) Sheng Jiang (Ginger root) Lian Zi (lotus) Gou Qi Zi (lycii) Gui Zhi (cinnamon stick) Gan Cao (licorice root). Many of these ingredients can be found in any grocery store, and the rest in the herb section of some health food stores. Bon appetite !