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How to Nourish Your Yin [AKA Feel Less Stressed, Sleep Better, and Improve Your Menopause]

Our fast paced, performance focused society is Yin deficient, and it’s taking your Yin down with it. While hot flashes, anxiety, forgetfulness, irritability, and night sweats are often associated with menopause; they can show up in anyone who depletes their Yin.

What is Yin? As our consulting herbalist Marco describes, “Yin is the water in your radiator. When you don’t have enough water, your car overheats.” It’s not always that you actually have too much heat [Yang] , but rather you’re overheating because you don’t have enough water [Yin].

You are not a car, so for you, Yin deficiency looks like irritability, forgetfulness, anxiety, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and more. All of these generally suck, and we can feel that at any age while leading our stressful, busy lives.

You want to get your Yin back, so you order a box of Chica Chill to help you. You enjoy your Chica Chill, but you don’t notice all of your hot flashes and irritability going away. Does Chica Chill work? Yes, Chica Chill works. However, it can take a long time to restore Yin in your system. 

The good news is you can adopt easy practices throughout your day to help boost your Yin building. The fastest way to see Chica Chill work would be to take your Chica Chill along on a phone-free, relaxing vacation. While that may not be realistic, below are practices that will help bring this relaxation into your daily life.

Eat Chica Chill

Chica Chill is packed with Yin nourishing herbs that help you feel more cool, calm, and collected. Eating Chica Chill daily is the first step in Yin nourishment, and all of these practices can be added to help you feel your Yin return faster.

Meditate

Meditation is hyped up a lot, but honestly for a great reason! Sitting for even just five minutes every day is enough to calm your nervous system, and help you not be as stressed throughout your day. 

Meditation can be very intimidating because it appears to come with a lot of rules, however those rules don’t need to exist. 

All you have to do is find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and breathe. It’s ok to have thoughts, you just observe them and don’t follow them. They will pass. 

Drink More Water & Less Coffee

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yin is associated with fluid, and drinking water is an effective way to support your Yin. Yes, we know drinking water is recommended all the time, but no matter how many times we’ve heard it, we still don’t drink enough water.

Now, we need to talk about our other favorite fluid – coffee. I know it’s difficult to hear, but coffee often does more harm than good. Coffee can actually make you feel more stressed and anxious, while also throwing off your hormones, keeping you from the deep sleep you deserve, and draining your Yin. 

If you don’t feel like you can quit caffeine cold turkey, start by limiting yourself to one cup of coffee a day. Then, instead of reaching for that afternoon cup, find other ways to energize your system (which can include drinking a hot cup of energy boosting herbs!). Now, that you understand how to boost your energy, you can actually cut out your daily caffeine entirely, or switch to tea. 

Enjoy Slow Mornings

Now that you’ve stopped drinking coffee, do you still want to be running out of the house at 8am? Maybe not. If you’re someone who feels the need to get your day started right away, even on days when you don’t have to, give yourself a slow morning once a week. Wake up naturally, stretch, enjoy making your breakfast, and then do whatever you want.

Spend Time Outside

We all have some awareness that spending time outside is good for us, but we will repeat, it is really, really good for you. In TCM, time in nature is believed to increase the flow of your Qi (your life force) and blood, along with calming your nervous system. In studies, time outside is shown to lower Cortisol, your stress hormone, and boost immunity. All of these benefits can support your mental and emotional wellbeing, and nourish your Yin behind the scenes. What’s the one catch? You can’t be on your phone while you’re outside! 😜 

It’s important to continue to nourish your Yin throughout your life. Many women experience a difficult menopause, because it is around this time that their Yin starts to hit rock bottom. The trouble is their lives aren’t winding down anytime soon. The sooner we adopt the practice of chilling out, the sooner we can begin to feel the benefits in our lives, and our nervous system will thank us.

Poria

Fungus & Root

Scierotium Poriae Cocos / Fu Ling / 茯苓 Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos / Fu Shen / 茯神

Poria calms the heart and soothes nerves, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, Poria drains dampness, an excess of moisture that the body collects in the wrong places and makes us feel heavy and fatigued (hello moodiness).

Chinese Salvia

Root

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae / Dan Shen / 丹參

Salvia root nourishes the blood and heart, and calms the spirit. Salvia works with Schisandra and Zizyphus in Chica Chill to help relieve insomnia.

Rehmannia

Root

Radix Rehmanniae Preparata / Sheng Di Huang / 熟地黄

Rehmannia root is your Yin nourisher, supporting calm and cold in your system. With its additional ability to help cool blood, increase fluids, and clear heart fire; Rehmannia is a star herb for soothing and preventing heat flashes.

Polygala / Thin-Leaf Milkwort

Root

Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae / Yuan Zhi / 元志

Polygala root nourishes the Heart, and helps soothe nerves and restlessness.

Schisandra / Chinese Magnolia

Berry

Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra berry is famous for featuring all five flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, hot. This means that Schisandra is completely energetically balanced, promoting overall health and vitality. Schisandra helps relieve night sweats, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances. Schisandra is also rich in antioxidants that are thought to protect from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. 

Platycodon / Balloon Flower

Root

Radix Platycodi / Jie Geng / 桔梗

Platycodon root is a neutral balancing herb, meaning it is not especially Yin or Yang. Platycodon is nourishing for the lungs, which in TCM, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Scrophularia / Figwort

Root

Radix Scrophulariae / Xuan Shen / 玄參

Scrophularia root nourishes Yin, drains fire, and cools the blood. Scrophularia is particularly soothing for irritability.

Ophiopogon / Dwarf Lilyturf

Tuber

Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

Ophiopogon tuber works with Asparagus to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.

Stemona

Root

Radix Stemonae / Bai Bu / 百部

Stemona root is a balancing herb in the Chica Chill formula. Stemona is nourishing for the lungs, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Licorice

Root

Radix Glycyrrhizae / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice acts as a unifier, balancing the formula and amplifying the properties of the other herbs.

Zizyphus / Sour Jujube

Seed

Semen Zizyphi Spinosae / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Zizyphus seed nourishes the heart and calms the spirit. Zizyphus helps relieve insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.

Ginseng

Root

Radix Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人参

Ginseng root, one of the most famous herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is known for its ability to strengthen Qi and support life vitality. Ginseng nourishes the Heart and calms the spirit, helping reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Acorus / Grassleaf Sweetflag

Rhizome

Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Acorus helps relieve internal heat and is a favorite herb for reducing frequent insomnia.

Eucommia / Chinese Rubber Tree

Bark

Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis / Du Zhong / 杜仲

Eucommia bark balances the Chica Chill formula by offering Yang properties. Eucommia is also nourishing for the heart, and has been featured in research in Western medicine for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Angelica / Dong Quai

Root

Radix Angelicae Sinensis / Dong Quai / 当归

Angelica root is sometimes described as the “female ginseng,” due to its fame for supporting a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Angelica root strengthens blood and energizes circulation. In Chica Chill, Angelica root balances the herbal formula with its Yang properties.

Biota / Arborvitae

Seed

Semen Platycladi / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁

Biota seed benefits memory and promotes restful sleep by nourishing the heart and calming the spirit.

Chinese Asparagus

Tuber

Tuber Asparagi Cochinensis / Tian Men Dong / 天门冬

Asparagus root works with Ophiopogon to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.