DIY Chai Blend to warm yang

With all this Covid-19 around us, I’m adding to my blog collection a lot about Warming Yang. The logic of Chinese Medicine means that where there is cold or dampness, practitioners use warming herbs. On the acupuncture treatment table, we would definitely go for the Moxa sticks to warm Yang, dispel cold and resolve damp.

The treatment strategy of Warming Yang may assist:

  • Digestion – may benefit your gut and keep your digestion and gut motility moving.
  • Fluid – may assist your metabolism in the case of fluid retention and dampness. (Read more about Dampness here.)
  • Immune System (Wei Qi or Defensive Qi) – if you’re affected by cold weather or the common cold.
  • Ease Cold Uterus –  this is an interesting concept from Chinese Medicine, often associated with abdominal pain around the period. Pain associated with cold can be deep, stabbing and high intensity and is often relieved simply with moxibustion, a heat pack or infra-red heat lamp.

Warm, but don’t Burn

Note that TCM doesn’t call it “Burning Yang”, but “Warming Yang”. There is a difference between enough warmth to engender the Yang energy….and eating a bucket full of chillis. That won’t warm Yang, even if you really like chillis. It will more than likely “Scorch your Yin” (another TCM term) meaning you’re probably very dehydrated, even parched, dry and your body is hot and inflamed.

Chai Tea uses Yang Herbs

Chai Tea is an easy way to start warming Yang via your diet. I recommend to some clients to warm Yang if they have cold hands and feet, feel easily cold or have an aversion to cold or any of the signs mentioned in the introduction. Warming Yang is not appropriate in people that feel hot, easily overheat, menopausal or have a short temper, fast metabolism or extreme thirst.

Buying Chai Tea commercially in tea bags may have any medicinal or therapeutic benefits stripped out because of processing, unless its organic or great quality.

Here’s some ideas around making your own Chai Tea Blend to warm yang.

  • Organic is obviously the best – but don’t break the bank! You want to make this a sustainable exercise for you.
  • Whole herbs and spices are second best.
  • Ground spices aren’t that great unless you can vouch for their quality.
  • Indian adn asian supermarkets may be a good source for Spices.
  • Start with the foundation blend and then create your own based on your palate – if you like black pepper, more cloves, or hate cloves and want more cinnamon, try Cassia Bark instead, add star anise, dried ginger.

My simple recipe is to use 3 Ingredients

Equal parts

  1. Cinnamon – In Chinese Medicine we call this Gui Zhi  and it releases the exterior, warms the Yang, encourages sweating a pathogen out. Warms the channels to relieve pain. Warms the middle and directs turbid Yin downwards.
  2. Cardamon – There are two types of Cardamon in Chinese Medicine:

Round Cardamon (Bai Dou Kou) which is better for upper abdominal and Stomach issues with digestion such as vomiting. An aromatic herbs that transform damp.

Amomum Fruit (Sha Ren) is better used for lower abdominal issues such as diarrhoea especially of a cold-damp nature. Moves Qi when stuck. Strengthens Spleen and also assist with vomiting.

***But when I say Cardamon in this recipe, I mean the culinary herb, which Ayurvedic Medicine would ascribe similar properties.

     3. Clove – Warm the interior and expel cold. Opens the Stomach, relieves pain, regulates and descends Qi. Indicated for vomiting. Warms the Kidneys.

Here’s an instructional video to explain how I make the Chai Tea blend to warm Yang.