Natural Sweet Tea for Immunity

Natural Sweet Tea for Immunity


For the month of March our Chi Gong practice will be focusing on the Increasing Energy and Reducing Pain – especially important if you are suffering from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue or even symptoms following Covid.

So how can we reduce inflammation, reduce pain and increase energy?  Chinese Medicine may have some answers for you.
In Chi Flow with Jo we practice Qi Gong, which gently opens and releases the fascia so that trapped virus’s can be released.  This can help stop an autoimmune response which exhausts the body, and can be the cause of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
The Qi gong uses breath and movement plus we also use Qi Food Medicine and Acupressure to support the body further.  So that you can step into spring and shake of the hibernation of winter.

Constant inflammation, as an immune response, is exhausting mentally and physically  so let’s look at the Immune system from a Chinese Medicine perspective to see how we can support the body from the inside out finishing with a nourishing tea made with a traditional ingredient give at Chinese New Year.

The Lung, which draws in the Chi of Heaven through our breath. and the Spleen which draws energy from food, control and support the Wei Chi. (simplified to Immune System)

The Wei Chi, like a Ready Brek glow or energy protection field, guards the surface of the body and the mucous membranes from external pathogens entering the body.

It controls the opening and closing of pores, moistens the skin and hair, regulates body temperature, and warms up the inner organs.

It is considered the prime minister of the body, in control of the protective energy field but not solely responsible for creating it; this is where the Spleen supports……. Food (Chi of Earth) is received by the stomach and then passed to the Spleen.

The Spleen in Chinese medicine uses that power from food to make blood. Part of the Spleens energy,  together with your constitutional energy stored in your kidneys, is sent back to the lung for Wei Chi to be sent around your body to protect it.

As we sleep the Wei Chi is not needed as strongly, so the energy re-enters the body and nourishes the organs so that we feel refreshed upon waking, ready for the day.

This picture Chinese Medicine paints of the Immune system, might be new to you and it’s a very different way at looking at the body. There are similarities to Western medicine as the spleen creates white blood cells which are the fighter of infection and viruses.

But when we talk of the Spleen here we talk of it’s whole energetic system – physical, emotional and even spiritual.

Way before modern medicine, 1000’s of years ago Chinese Medicine understood lung and spleen strength in fighting viruses and staying healthy.

This system of preventing sickness is very ancient – the Nei Jing – The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was thought to be written around 2600BC.  – and here is a quote from the Nei Jing (chapter 36)

“the heart is the sovereign…the lung is the prime minister, the liver is in charge of planning, the spleen is in charge of defending (wei), the kidney is in charge of supporting.” 

To receive the benefits of the 5-element dietary system that links the organs to flavours and seasons or to practice powerful yet gentle chi gong movements, it’s not essential to know or believe all this, you can simply enjoy the advantages.

I like to share this knowledge so that if you like, you can have a different language with which to communicate and understand your body.

This fantastic tea recipe supports both the lung with its pungent spiciness and the spleen with its soft sweetness.

Red dates have long been used in Chinese Medicine for strengthening the spleen energy. Specifically, they help build strength and energy following chronic illness, exhaution, anemia or post partum recovery.

Red dates specifically nourish the blood and balance the Qi energy in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are not as sweet as palm dates but they are packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C which strengthen the immune system.

Traditionally they are given at Chinese New Year as a symbol of health and longevity. 

Red is a lucky color in China, meaning booming and prosperous. Dates (枣 zǎo) have the same pronunciation as “early” (早 zǎo), meaning a head start.

If you don’t have any Red Dates, don’t worry, (as that is the emotion that weakens the spleen) – use 1 tablespoon of Goji Berries instead.

Red Date Tea 

  • • 1 inch Ginger
  • • 6-8 Red Dates (1 tbsp Goji berries also work if you don’t have red dates)
  • • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • • 4 medium Pears
  • • 2 litres of Water


Bring ingredients to boil and simmer for 10 mins, the pears will probably fall apart which is great as you can eat them together with the red dates.

 Pears are wonderfully soothing for the lungs and don’t forget if you would like more recipes with pears, red dates, goji berries and much more besides you can find them in the Cookbooks.


CLICK HERE for another Tea recipe for Immunity

Qi gong to increase energy for fibromyalia and chronic fatigue


Don’t forget to sign up for free intro Qi Gong class with diet tips and powerful acupressure points.  Enter your details below:

Qi gong to increase energy for fibromyalia and chronic fatigue

Red is a lucky color in China, meaning booming and prosperous. Dates (枣 zǎo) have the same pronunciation as “early” (早 zǎo), meaning a head start.

If you don’t have any Red Dates, don’t worry, (as that is the emotion that weakens the spleen) – use 1 tablespoon of Goji Berries instead.

 Joanne Faulkner is a Qi Gong teacher – Chi Flow with Jo – teaching live daily online Qi Gong classes to hundreds of people; a Shiatsu practitioner specializing in the energy of food in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a published Author. Her residential and day Wellness Retreats focus on Chi Gong, self-Shiatsu & Conscious Cooking Demonstrations, and are extremely popular.

Joanne is currently the Irish representative to the European Shiatsu Federation and until recently was the Chairperson of the Shiatsu Society Ireland.

 “Good Food: Better Sex” and “Shiatsu & the Art of Conscious Cooking” , both written and published by Joanne, are modern cookbooks full of delicious recipes, Traditional Chinese Medicine plus acupressure points for health and wellbeing.



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Foods For an Overheated Menopause

Foods For an Overheated Menopause

Yin deficiency means that the body is lacking in the moistening fluids that relax the body.

In times of extreme stress the body can generate severe amounts of heat which burn off yin fluids. Plus, stress and fear produce adrenaline and cortisol which contract the kidneys meaning further depletion of yin fluids.

Blood is one of the manifestations of yin within the body therefore any severe blood loss caused by accidents, operations or heavy menstruation, especially during menopause, will lead to a yin deficiency.

So choose food that nourishes the kidneys, fluids and mineral balance within our body such as Seaweeds, Spiriulina and Chlorella. Wheatgrass and other Chlorophyll rich foods will build healthy blood and therefore boost Yin.  For a full list see my books where you will each organ broken down into flavour, function, emotion and season in Chinese medicine.

Avoid stimulants such as fizzy drinks and coffee and look at how you are cooking. Are you using cooking methods such as baking and steaming which support Yin or are you deep frying and microwaving? The latter two will weaken the Yin, blood and body.

Whilst it is great to have foods that promote Yin cooling fluids to counteract the Yang heat and dryness, it is important to have a practice that promotes Yin in the body such as Qi Gong or Yin Yoga. At an emotional level it is good to know how to switch off and let the universe be in control for a while.

Quite often, as women we run a busy house or have a busy job and we are used to being in control and multi tasking.  If this is you it could mean that by the time you get to menopause, peri-menopause and beyond there is no Yin left in the tank to cool the body and support the natural process of ageing. Every Yang action needs to originate from the still Yin point within us. So take time to let go of control and receive the magic that is possible if we practice the art of allowing.

Find a practice or a time in your day to connect with that deep part of ourselves that can be nourished by rest and breath – this is Yin.

For the whole month of March we will be focusing on breath and movement for Menopause and beyond.  Why not receive the free mini ebook with a recipe, acupoint and recipe or join me for the free class at the end of February.

From a Western Medicine point of view, oats are high in magnesium and help to calm the body and build sexual energy. They contain a nervine alkaloid called Avinine which, on a long-term basis, works to restore the nervous system.

Oats are a popular breakfast food and this recipe is perfect for a weekend brunch. It’s rich and sweet yet still full of soluble fibres to help remove cholesterol from the large intestine. In addition, oats are a great source of manganese, selenium, vitamin B1 and magnesium. They regulate hormones and the spontaneous sweating associated with fluctuating hormones.

Mixing the oats with pecans, which are full of pyridoxine (vitamin B6), further increases the usage of amino acids found in plant protein available
in oats. In terms of Chinese Medicine this means pecans transform nutritional essence, which feed the kidneys, into usable energy. In this way, they reduce nervous tension and overproduction of hormones; balancing the Yin & Yang


Baked Porridge

  • 200g rolled oats
  • 60g walnut or pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 475ml almond milk/goats milk or any plant based milk of choice
  • 1 large egg
  • 60g unsalted melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 2 or 3 ripe bananas
  • 200g mixed berries

Method:Butter a 20cm square (or anything similar) baking dish, chop the banana into medallions and line the base, cover with half of the berries. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a jug. Cover the fruits in the baking dish with the oat mixture and the remaining fruits sprinkle on top. Pour the milk mixture slowly over the oats and fruits and pop it in the preheated oven at 190 degrees for 45 minutes. It is both breakfast and dessert.


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