Most people don’t know that, technically, tea is derived from one single plant: the Camellia Sinensis.
This evergreen shrub is the plant that gives us caffeinated black, oolong, green, and white teas. The leaves are harvested in early spring and processed in different ways to create different varieties. The small young leaves and leaf buds are used for making green tea, while the older larger leaves are for oolong and black tea, and the buds are for white tea. From a Chinese medicine perspective, even these common tea varieties have different medicinal properties based on how they are processed. While they all contain powerful antioxidant properties, green and white tea are considered cooling, and black and oolong teas are considered warming.
Chinese medicine uses a unique system for every individual herb. The flavor refers to its general action, and the temperature refers to the thermogenic action the herb has on the body. The meridians represent channels that cross the terrain of the body and move energy to and from the different organs, influencing their associated physiological functions in the process.
Traditional green, white and black teas can be used in combination with other herbs to treat various health conditions.
You can also choose your teas based on the seasons. In the summer on hot days you can choose green tea to keep your body cooler whereas on a cold winter morning black tea can warm your inner fire.
Herbal infusions/teas or tisanes are herbal teas infused with leaves, fruits, bark, roots, flowers, seeds, minerals, or any edible, non-tea plant. We use these or combinations of these herbs in TCM to create customized formulas based on each person’s individual constitution. Because these formulas can be complex, I recommend working with a TCM practitioner or licensed herbalist.
Drinking simple daily teas has huge health benefits, so have fun exploring all the amazing teas available at your local store or farmers market, and always choose organic.
Some of my favorite simple herbal teas and their benefits:
Ginger I use fresh ginger brewed in hot water with local honey for colds and flu, nausea, coughing, and lung issues. Found in our Revitalizing Peach Ginger Probiotic Tea Tonic.
Ginseng is great for fatigue, balancing blood sugar, and supporting the immune system.
Spearmint is great for colds, flu, and sore throat. It is good for red irritated eyes as well as an upset stomach. You can add goji berries for added eye benefits. You can enjoy spearmint in our Matcha Mint Latte or in our Mint Cacao Chip Shake.
Hibiscus can lower blood pressure, great for coughs, colds, and flu, and hangovers. Found in our Revitalizing Strawberry Hibiscus Rose Tea Tonic.
Rose Warming, is good for PMS, menstrual cramps, and feeling blue, and is also found in our Revitalizing Strawberry Hibiscus Rose Tea Tonic.