Publisher Razi Berry

I needed something warm and comforting that would also lend some energy. I knew coffee was a poor choice for today, because I already felt spent, and didn’t want to tax my adrenals.

My dad’s funeral was in two days, and I hadn’t written the eulogy. There were so many stories to tell, so many sentiments to paint, and yet when I put pen to paper or fingers to keys, I just kept going blank. It was terrifying. How could I stand up in front of my entire family, and everyone we know, and have nothing to say about my favorite person in the whole world– the first man I ever loved?


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All sorts of memories would come: sad, happy, poignant, hilarious even, but instead of arriving in concrete thoughts, they were more like emotional memories. I felt strangely anesthetized. I could feel nothing, and I could feel everything. Like after a trip to the dentist when you are numb but still sense pain. I really didn’t feel much like moving, which was not an option as there was much work to be done today. I found myself in the kitchen, not really remembering walking into the room. I grew up in this house, and my father enjoyed many meals in this kitchen, which was the heart of our home.

I decided green tea would be perfect because while the caffeine is a stimulant, the theanine in tea helps you relax. Vanilla is so soothing, and I found I had one vanilla bean. Vanilla has been studied and shown to not only help memory recall, but was also found to be as calmative as the scent of mother’s milk to a crying infant.1


I took the vanilla bean pod and sliced it open to reveal the fragrance within. My father was a gifted musician and singer, and I suddenly and sharply recalled his singing James Taylor here while I helped my mother cook supper.

Then I gathered cardamom pods, cloves, black peppercorns and star anise from my spice drawer and added some leaves from my cinnamon tree to make this Matcha Chai as I sang James Taylor’s Fire and Rain. It went down like a warm hug. I wish I could share a steamy cup of this creamy, comforting tea with my dad. He would have loved it. I hope you like it, too.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review ( and NaturalPath (, has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.


  1. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2005 Apr;26(2):86-92. The calming effect of a familiar odor on full-term newborns. Rattaz C1, Goubet N, Bullinger A.
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