Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Drink your tea the right way

We often talk about tea in terms of its technicalities, the types there are, how it's grown, how it's processed, how to brew a good cuppa and so on. However tea drinking has been a way to pursuit spiritual growth aside of physical and spiritual health for thousands years. In the US and spreading back wards to the east are hypes of health benefit with scientific proofs along with products printed with TEA on cans bottles containing very little tea benefits. Are we regressing here? It has long been documented the benefit of camellia Sinensis thousands years ago plus its effects and side effects.

As long as I remember, my parents taught me not to drink tea brewed for a long time, especially tea left in a pot over night. I also read various articles in Chinese which talked about acid in tea become oxidized when left in open air for hours. Like anything become oxidized, it's no longer healthy for your body, or even intoxicates your cells. The harmful effects of left over tea are hardly brought up by scientists of the west. Iced tea, bottled tea, instant tea, powder tea mixtures that are made to meet the demand of today's fast pace, easy to prepared consumer mentality. They are still advertised as cancer preventitives. Made belief media hypes are really not educating our consumers with correct information. Anything spells T E A is not automatically healthy for your body.

My mother also taught me never take medication or vitamins with tea. It's a common knowledge among Chinese that only warm water is suitable for taking medication, unlike western medicines recommend water or juice. It's logical that you want to limit chemical reactions of medicine and liquid to take with. PH in anything other than clean water can alter the property of medicine. I try not to drink tea 1 to 2 hours before and after taking medications, which is recommended by many Chinese herbal doctors.

If you were already a tea drinker, you might as well drink it the right way to FULLY benefit from it.


~ Phyll said...

I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote above! I think those who drink tea solely because "it's healthy" are missing the point, although not a bad incentive altogether. And you're right, tea is not the all-solution and is not healthy if drunk improperly, as you pointed out above. My parents also warned me not to take tea with medicine. My old shifu told me not to brew for him too much greener tea because it's too much yin energy for his old body. But of course this is rarely heard here because the marketers are too busy shouting the health benefits of green tea for its EGCG etc. and the general US public is rather new to all this stuff. Besides, talking about qi is rather like talking about voodoo.

Imen said...

When I saw the Lipton green or white tea commercial of this white dude climbed up hundreds if not thousands stairs up to a temple asking what is EGCG, replied by an Asian monk (I supposed), it's an anti-oxidant help you lose weight. I shake my head and a sense of sadness I feel for the general public.

First of all, there is very little tea in that plastic bottle, the sugar in the tea is going to put 5lbs fat on you despite 1 gram of fat EGCG burns off.

Second, tea has been brewed for a long time has more negative effect on your body than good when it's fresh.

Third, putting up an Asian character in the commercial is appalling. Other than its comical effect, I don't see why he would endorse such un-natural drink given that his image is supposed be a knowledgeable tea drinker. How much junk is in the media world?!

~ Phyll said...

Imen, do you have any good reference for negative effect of tea that has been brewed a long time. It's a common knowledge for me, too, but I never read that in hard writing. Maybe it's something that I can talk about at T Ching...since they are very health oriented in their approach to tea.

~ Phyll said...

Wow, something didn't go right with Blogger. Please delete the repeated comments, Imen. Sorry.

Imen said...


I found this in Chinese. I assume you read Chinese here.. If you don't, I can only translate 60% at max.

Some of the "don't"s are debatable, such as don't drink tea before and after meals. What about eating while drinking tea? I assume it has the same effect as before and after meals, but it's been a tradition to eat and drink tea at the same time. Dim sum, high tea are popular social events involving eating and drinking.