Do you have cold hands and feet, frequent urination, edema (swelling/inflammation), random periods of diarrhea, or body/muscle/joint/shoulder aches? Maybe you have a congested nose, or you don’t digest food efficiently? I’ve had times where it just feels like my meals are sitting there.

Any number of these symptoms are related to “cold” in the body. Life is all about balance. We must make sure we are equally “yin” and “yang”, and we must take special care to preserve our yang when the weather outside is frightful (i.e. fall/winter). No wonder soups and stews are seasonal!

When I first came to my TCM doctor Lily, I had very cold hands/feet and was always swollen. She asked what I ate, and I told her, “juicing, smoothies, salads, plenty of raw veggies” – thinking I was doing all the right things. I was also drinking cold water. Big mistake!

Although I made my meals fresh at home, I was cooking ahead of time and eating leftovers from the fridge. I soon learned from Lily that leftovers pick up cold yin energy overnight even if reheated. So basically, every single thing I was eating was a cold, yin food. All of my symptoms were a result of being severely yang deficient! You need some heat in your body, otherwise where will your “digestive fire”, libido, and metabolism get their burning power? The way I was eating was lacking balance, causing my muscles to become cold and my digestive fire to dwindle.

Eating only raw foods (like I was a few months ago) will create a yang deficiency. Extremes are never ideal in any area of life. The number one thing Lily tells every patient (because almost all Westerners are too yin) is to drink ginger tea. Fresh ginger tea every morning before noon:

  • warms the stomach
  • removes cold from the body
  • reduces joint pain and arthritis
  • strengthens immunity
  • regulates the menstrual cycle
  • reduces PMS
  • improves circulation
  • increases yang Qi
  • & kills parasites.

How to make the perfect cup: For each cup of water, use 5-6 slices of fresh ginger with skin. Smash them with a knife to get more juice out, then place them in a small pot with your water to cook for 5 minutes. Add Chinese brown sugar (pictured above) or honey to taste!

Leave a Comment


  • Lisa says:

    How big are the slices you are cutting?

  • Zainab says:

    ^ that’s what I’m wondering. I want to follow this exact recipe so as to avoid putting in too much or too less

  • Eli says:

    I love all things ginger! Thanks for posting this 🙂

  • Great article and I have shared it with my FB page. I have also started drinking this daily. YUM!!

    • Olivia says:

      Thank you Caitlin – It’s such a great way to start the day and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying! 🙂

  • sylvia says:

    I have heard that one should drink water with a slice of lemon in it each morning. now we have ginger tea suggested. which suggestion do we follow?

  • Shonna says:

    I love this drink! Its so absolutely warming!!

  • grace says:

    I add turmeric to my ginger tea with a little cayenne pepper and cinnamon. It is delicious. howver, i was making extra and drinking the leftover cold. Guess I should stop that?

  • Sabrina says:

    Hi! Should ginger be refrigerated?

  • Amber says:

    I am on a whole foods, sugar free diet, for severe migraine/endo issues. I just ordered your cleansing kit too, my accupuncturist (TCM trained) told me about this recipe last night! Do I have to include the chinese brown sugar? I’m sure it tastes awesome, I’m just worried about the effects of the sugar since normal sugar gives me migraines. Is this chinese brown sugar different? I can stick to raw honey, I just don’t want to lose out on some of the healing effects of the chinese brown sugar if it isn’t going to hurt me? Thank you! and Thank you for your site, SO helpful!!

    • Organic Olivia says:

      I find that the chinese brown sugar warms my stomach and gives me energy rather than the terrible side effects I get from white sugar! But you can TOTALLY do raw honey instead. I am a huge fan of the medicinal properties of honey and eat it daily. xx

  • ronda says:

    just want to let you know that this has helped me tremendously with my ibs and acid re flux. i use to have problems with nausea when i woke up in the morning. it would be hours before i felt OK to attempt to drink or eat anything. drinking this gives my body a boost. question though, when it comes to lemon water, do you use sliced lemon? my mom got me this tru lemon stuff that says its pressed lemon and comes in packets. im not to familiar with that. which do you recommend?

  • Jessica says:

    Hello Olivia I just discovered your website today, great information. I was wondering if I could make a large batch and put it in the refrigerator and then boil a little bit of it each day since ginger spoils really fast. I was also wondering if I drink this first or the cinnamon elixir.

  • Sara says:

    Hi, could organic powder ginger be used instead? Would it be just a couple teaspoons ? Thanks so much!

  • Alexis says:

    Hello! How large should the ginger pieces be? The picture looks like large chunks. And when you say “cook” does that mean to boil for five minutes? Thanks!

  • jennifer says:

    Cook or boil just do it with water in ur pot… cut the sizes u want

  • gigi says:

    why not put the ginger and water in the blender? doesn’t heating the ginger kill the enzymes or nutrients of the ginger?

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