Spring Qi Tea
As The Wheel turns, the season of stillness and reflection is steadily morphing into the season of awakenings and new beginnings. It's also the season of the liver.
According to acupuncturist Dylan Stein, "The resonances of Spring are the Wood element, Wind, the Liver, the green color of fresh shoots and grass, the tendons, the flavor sour and an upwards, bursting movement." Stein, who also passionately practices Chinese herbal medicine, also offers this advice:
"Start to introduce pungent foods to benefit the Liver, but don’t abandon warming flavors. A touch of sour foods is good now, too. Enjoy a squirt of fresh lemon. Fresh ginger is also a good choice because it is warm and also pungent, or acrid as we sometimes call it in Chinese medicine materia medica-speak. This acridity helps to get the Qi moving in the body.
You can begin to do more active stretching to benefit the tendons. Like plants in spring, reach up to the heavens and see the Yang energy of your body rising from its deep winter slumber. Harness that rising energy to do your spring cleaning. Nothing bothers the Liver more than roadblocks, so make sure you clean out all the junk you can so when the Liver - the plan-maker in Chinese medicine - kicks into high gear, you’ll have nothing but open road ahead of you. It’s also a good time to do some big picture visioning and list making for this reason."
Here's one of Dylan's favorite restorative winter tea recipes for spring, of which he says, "This formula benefits Qi, generates fluids, and protects the Liver. A few days of this tea is all that is required to reap its benefits."
1 teaspoon for organic Dandelion (aerial parts and roots)
1/2 teaspoon organic Sweet Annie
1/4 teaspoon organic Licorice
1/4 teaspoon organic Barberry (roots and/or fruits)
3 buds of organic Red Clover
3 thin slices of fresh organic ginger
Bring herbs to a full boil in 1.5 cups water and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Divide into 2 equal portions for morning and evening.