As we head into the late fall/winter months, it can be an excellent practice to warm and invigorate the body with a well-chosen herbal training tea. Warming herbs can warm the body and joints, open the channels and increase the Yang energy. Below is a recipe for a special Chai tea that we make here at PlumDragon during the colder months. Josh's students who have visited for weekend training always provide significant positive feedback on this simple, yet extremely effective, tea recipe:
PlumDragon Chai Training Tea
4 parts Black Tea (Green or Oolong is okay, but is cooler. Pu Her also works well and may aid in strengthening the Spleen).
4 parts Gui Zhi
3 parts Ding Xiang
1 part Huang Qi
1 Part Nutmeg (if using ground nutmeg, just use a pinch)
(Many Chai Tea recipes call for the bark of Cinnamon, or Rou Gui. In this recipe, we use Gui Zhi, which is not as warming, but has a slight moving capability to it and definitely tastes better in the tea.)
These herbs should be crushed or ground and placed in a small amount of water (the herbs in the PlumDragon Chai Training Tea Kit are already crushed/ground for you) . This water should make up half of the volume of total tea. Bring to a near-boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add an equal amount of milk and allow to re-simmer. Add tea leaves and allow to steam for another 5 minutes. Strain off the herbs and add a small amount of vanilla and honey to taste.
This tea tastes wonderful and has an almost numbing property, making it great for sore throat due to cold invasion (note: Do *NOT* use this tea for sore throat due to heat conditions such as strep throat or flu).
Adding Hong Hua to this recipe is a good addition for many reasons, but it will disrupt the flavor of the tea. Try it both ways and decide which you like best. A pinch of pepper is common in commercial mixtures of Chai Tea, as are small amounts of Star Anise, citrus, and other spicy items. Lastly, a couple of pods of Bai Dou Kou have been helpful for some students who have been bogged down in the heat by heavy tonics such as Spring Wine.
PlumDragon Chai Training Tea is now available for purchase through our website in both 12 ounce and 6 ounce quantities (other quantities can be ordered by request by contacting PlumDragonJow@gmail.com). While we have personally witnessed this tea's effectiveness as a training aid, we want you to try it and let us know how it help you!