Keeping warm in the winter can be a challenge, especially being a California girl stuck in a Wisconsin winter.  During these dark and cold months, I look to tea to help keep my body warm and create warming and stimulating qi within me.

The healing properties of food not only help nourish the body with nutrients, but also help stimulate the body’s energy.  My mother constantly talked about our bodies containing energy that flowed through us and dictated our mood, our interactions with others, and our overall well-being.  Learning about qi gave me a name for that energy she spoke about.

Through years of drinking tea – while feeling the cold draft in my bones and my warm spirit cool along with the weather – I was able to feel the power of yang.  Yang is the balance to yin.  These forces – yin and yang – not only flow through and shape us, but also the world around us.  In those cold and dark months, we tend to have more yin energy in our bodies.  The yang that I found in my tea brought the balance I needed to keep me healthy and happy during the long winters.

Tea is not only consumed because it is a delicious drink containing bountiful health benefits, but also for its ability to provide the body with warmth and balance.  I am not referring to the temperature of the tea warming you, but the actual qi of the tea aiding in balancing your energy.  Green tea is known to have yin, or cooling energy.  I found that other teas have yang energy, warming energy.

Golden Phoenix and shu pu-erh are two teas that I turn to when I feel myself getting out of balance and cooling off too much.  I drink those teas and immediately my cheeks get rosy, my belly feels warm, and warmth slowly radiates through my whole body.  It is not only my body that feels the energy – my mind also feels a sense of balance.