Chinese Herbal Tea for Winter Season

There's nothing more that I crave these days than a cup of hot beverage. However much I enjoy breaking out my coats and scarves in this rainy (desperately needed for California) weather, it's difficult to wake up in the sunshine-less morning or leave for work in the biting cold. It just doesn't energize or uplift people. Especially if you are already always cold (poor blood circulation in hands and feet), then this weather is miserable!

Traditional Chinese Medicine theories discuss the importance of seasonal changes and teach people to live accordingly. Each season has many associations that can help us change our habits and hence create a more harmonious balance between our bodies and the external environment. In terms of yin and yang, winter has the most yin aspect. Yin is a dark, cold, slow and inward energy in opposition to yang, whose energy demonstrates light, hot, quick and expansive qualities. Therefore, the diet and activities in winter time should be adapted to enriching yin and subduing yang.

For poor blood circulation, you probably need further diagnosis and treatment than herbal teas. However, the recipe for my Chinese herbal tea is still a comfort for the cold winter season. If you have been to my office in the last three months, then you should be very familiar with this tea. After numerous prodding from so many of my patients, here is the recipe.

* You should always drink hot or warm or room temperature beverages regardless of the seasons. Ice water is a big no no in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I'll explain why in another post next time.

Herbal Tea.JPG
Herbal Tea 1.JPG

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pieces of American Ginseng (You don't need very good quality ginseng, just scraps and ends will do for this recipe.)
  • 1 piece of licorice root
  • 10 Chinese dates (use less if your dates are big)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Gogi berries
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chinese chrysanthemum tea
  • 30 oz of water
American Ginseng

American Ginseng

Licorice Root

Licorice Root

Chinese Dates

Chinese Dates

Gogi Berries

Gogi Berries

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

Directions:

  • Combine Chinese red dates, Goji berries, American ginseng, and licorice root in a pot and rinse with water.
  • Fill the pot with 30 oz of water.
  • Bring water to a boil and lower the heat to low for about 5 minutes. I used an electric water boiler and just let it sit for about 5 minutes. 
  • Once the color becomes light golden brown, you may turn off the heat.
  • Add chrysanthemum to a mug or container. Then, add the herbal tea to the chrysanthemum. 
  • Brew the tea for 2 minutes and now you are ready to enjoy your herbal tea. 

* If you soak the herbal ingredients with water a few hours ahead or the night before, the flavor will be stronger. 

Rinse ginseng, licorice roots, Chinese dates and gogi berries to remove any debris.

Add water to herbs. You can let this soak for a few hours or the night before if you have time. 

You can drink it as is or add chrysanthemum to brew tea.