Autumn is arriving slowly this year and the weather has been very mild so far.
Nevertheless, I had a couple of weeks in which my urinary system and my bladder in particular were not 100%.
I had a recurrent sensation of having to go to the toilet and I could just feel that my bladder was fine but bothered by something.
It is a normal thing that as soon as the cold approaches, the kidneys and the urinary tract are more sensitive and prone to imbalances and urinary tract infections (UTI). There are a number of explanations for why this happens and some of the most accepted relates to the fact that in cold weather your body will tend to concentrate blood towards your core. This increases blood pressure and your body, in an attempt to take it down, will get rid of the water in the blood making it flush out through the urinary system. All these processes will make it work more and possibly register higher level of bacteria and acid in the system itself.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also talks extensively of the relationship between winter and kidneys and how these organs and everything related to their functioning needs special attention in the coldest part of the year.
A precious and easy ally (even when you develop cystitis) is barberry or bearberry (Arctostaphylos family).
Bearberry is a berry that grows particularly (but not only) in the Northern emisphere and is widely diffused especially is arctic and subarctic environments. Many different cultures including Eastern Europe and Native Americans also use it as a medicinal plant (especially the leaves).
An easy way to consume it is to buy the mother tincture and add around 10 drops of it to half a glass of water 3 times a day.
A more creative way to get the bearberry benefits is to add it to your rice, as it is done in many Middle Eastern cuisines and especially in Iran.
You can cook them directly with the rice (making sure that all the water is absorbed from the rice) or soak them in hot water for a few minutes before sprinkling them on a salad or any grain of you preference (couscous or wheat, for example).
They have a sour taste and soft consistency, resulting almost unnoticeable when mixed with other food.
Have them with your grains or salad and you will definitely face the cold seasons with a healthier urinary system while pleasing your tastebuds!