Healing Herbal Teas – Houston Chron Interview
I may not be a tea master, but I am certainly a tea fanatic. You can often find me at local tea house, Path of Tea geeking out about my favorite beverage. Patients often ask which herbal teas are best or most beneficial to their health. I tell them, “it depends”. I choose teas according to my mood, activity or ailment. Green teas are cooling yet energizing, so I enjoy them in the summer time or before a yoga session. Oolong teas are complex and can be enjoyed over multiple steeps, so I prefer drinking them over conversation. Oolong was my go-to for a while, but lately I’ve been fostering a love affair with pu-erh.
I recently met up with Houston Chronicle and FeelFoods.com blogger, Marci Izard, at Path of Tea to chat about the health benefits of herbal teas. When I came in, I asked her what kind of tea she’d like to try. She initially declined, citing an unsettled stomach. Relieved that my personal tea choice would also soothe her stomach, I ordered up a pot of Tiger Pu-erh (a pu-erh blend with vanilla bean, mint, and cinnamon). About half a cup into herb conversation, Marci, pleasantly surprised, noted that her stomach started to feel better. I explained that pu-erh is a fermented dark tea from the Yunnan Province in China and a time-tested go-to for digestive issues.
This earthy tea has been a popular choice amongst tea lovers because of its delicious taste and medicinal value. For centuries, pu-erh has been used as a “diet” and weightloss tea as it aids in digestion of rich meals and hangovers. That’s right, it’s a hang over cure. Medical researchers have taken interest in pu-erh’s blood pressure and cholesterol lowering properties. (http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/15656692.html) Studies have suggested that this is due to the natural statins that are produced during the tea’s fermentation process. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), its properties lend to “warming the middle” and invigorating the stomach and spleen; in TCM, these organs are energetically in charge of digestion.
So the next time you’ve over indulged in food and drink, have a pot of dark, earthy pu-erh to soothe your head and stomach. Cheers!
Update – Click here to read the result of my chat about healing herbal teas with Marci Izard from Houston Chron.