Cheers to Good Health! Green Tea & TCM
Updated: Nov 9, 2022
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh.
Green tea, also known as lu cha 绿茶, has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
It has long been revered for it’s health maintenance abilities and to promote longevity. It’s high concentration of polyphenols may be to thank for that! Polyphenols are antioxidants that have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and cardioprotective (supporting cardiovascular health).
Stay Cool with Green Tea
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), foods, spices & herbs are categorized as either being hot, warm, neutral, or cool in temperature. This “temperature” is representing a physiological effect that takes place in the body, not whether the food is physically warm or cold to touch. You may notice after consuming ginger you feel warm and may start to sweat. Or how peppermint oil rubbed on the skin gives you the chills? That’s what we’re talking about!
In TCM terms, green tea has a cooling effect on the body. So, you may want to ditch your coffee this summer and switch to green tea instead (green tea also helps quench thirst!).
The cooling effect of green tea is also great for reducing inflammation and many other ailments. If you run warm, feel irritable, have acne, suffer from insomnia, have high blood pressure, chances are green tea is going to be your friend.
Green Tea for Digestion
Green tea helps promote a healthy digestion! Frequent bloating and abdominal discomfort? Drink green tea every day to help support proper digestion. Feeling a little full and sluggish after a heavy or greasy meal? Drink warm green tea to help resolve that discomfort (for better digestive support, add dried tangerine or orange peel, AKA chen pi 陈皮).
And please, always drink your tea warm (or at least room temp). Iced beverages are not good for our digestion, and well, pretty much everything in our body! This is especially true if you tend to run cold, have cold hands and feet, suffer from bloating, abdominal pain, painful menstruation, or an achy low back that feels cold to the touch.
Other TCM Properties of Green Tea
Green tea is great for SO many reasons, from a Chinese Medicine perspective it also:
-helps circulate Qi, or "vital life force energy" (think stress resiliency, pain reduction, and disease prevention)
-regulates water (promotes urination while also promoting body fluid production & quenching thirst!)
-eliminates toxins (goodbye acne/boils, hello detox pathways!)
-resolves phlegm (Acute or chronic cough? Sinus congestion? Heaviness of the chest? High cholesterol (LDL)?.) In TCM, we have what we call “visible” and “invisible” phlegm. Basically, it’s a substance that gunks up our body’s ability to feel it’s best and can cause things like chronic fatigue, high cholesterol, depression, mania, anxiety, and so much more.
Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out!
Please consult with your doctor and licensed acupuncturist before making any changes to your diet. If you’re on any medications, it’s especially important to be checking in with your doctor to discuss any possible drug-food interactions.