Traditional Chinese medicine poses numerous benefits which, unlike much of western medicine, centre around a more wholistic form of treatment – whether you're dealing with headaches or joint pain, there's an underlying bodily imbalance at play. Tea in particular is celebrated for its whole-body benefits – take a look at our top 3 traditional teas to get you back into top shape.
Unlike common medications which deal with the symptoms after they appear – and fail to get to the root of the symptoms – traditional Chinese medicine is focused on prevention, overall body and hormonal balance and reducing inflammation to slash your chances of developing diseases and chronic illnesses in the first place. One long-standing belief held in traditional medicine is that certain teas can help maintain health by minimising excess heat in the body, with this heat purported to be the root cause of inflammation. Inflammation is at the heart of numerous health ailments – from digestive issues to autoimmune conditions, with an unbalanced gut microbiome directly linked to inflammation. When this inflammation becomes chronic, it can trigger dangerous immune responses which target otherwise healthy organs, increasing your risk for diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer. Inflammation can be caused by the following:
- Excess sugar consumption and poor dietary choices
- Lack of sleep
While research is ongoing, there are a number of studies that support the safety of the supplementary addition of traditional Chinese medicine to a balanced diet and treatment plan for health conditions.
Note: It’s always important to seek out your doctor if you’re struggling with pain, these teas may assist in reducing the severity of certain symptoms, but evidence is lacking for their ability to cure ailments.
1. Dandelion Tea
Benefits: Weight loss and gut health
Yes, you can actually drink the tea of those plants you find lining the nature strip – you might have even blown the fluff off a few dandelions in your time! But this tea is made from the actual flowers, and you'll find this drink is nothing short of a nutritional powerhouse with gut-boosting benefits packed to the brim of your cup. It’s been found particularly helpful in reducing the severity of bloating. This is because it serves as a diuretic, helping to flush out waste. Some studies have even found that this tea could have comparable results to common weight loss drugs, minus the side effects, though more research is needed. On top of this, it’s believed that dandelion tea may also regulate your appetite and reduce constipation.
2. Chen pi tea
Benefits: The digestive system
Another concept in traditional Chinese medicine is dampness; essentially, this is referring to what we know as water retention. Clogged lymphatic drainage pathways and poor circulation are often to blame – this is where chen pi tea comes in. This tea is derived from an orange or tangerine peel and has exceptional benefits for the digestive system. It not only reduces nausea and belching, but can help with abdominal distention and pain too. In traditional medicine, bitter tastes are believed to be healing for “dampness”, and chen pi happens to rank high on the scale of bitterness, making it the perfect choice for those of you suffering with gut issues.
3. Raspberry Tea
Benefits: Cramps and heart health
Raspberry tea is well-known for its numerous health benefits in traditional Chinese medicine – and for good reason. This stuff is loaded with vitamin E, flavonoids and tannins, all of which are antioxidants known for combatting free radicals and inflammation in the body. These free radicals can lead to the development of cancer and heart disease, making raspberry tea a powerful contender as a preventative tool. But that’s not all this fragrant tea can do – it’s loaded with an alkaloid known as fragine, which is believed to strengthen uterine and pelvic health. The results? Reduced menstrual cramps and pain. But don’t simply drink it when you’ve got cramps, drink it in the lead up to your period so as to fully reap the pain-relieving benefits, after all, traditional Chinese medicine is all about prevention.
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