September 23rd marks the official transition from late summer into fall, but most of us have noticed the change of season in the cooler mornings and evenings, the shorter days, and the changing colors of the leaves. This is the time of year many of us set aside iced drinks and reach for a warming cup of tea to start or end the day.
Green tea: Important part of ancient Chinese medicine
If you’ve been reading Sei Mee Tea’s newsletters, you know that green tea benefits your health in many ways, including regulating metabolism, assisting with hormonal balance, and protecting brain health. Western scientific research and studies have indicated the positive effects of green tea, but did you know that green tea is also an important part of herbal and food therapy in ancient Chinese medicine? As an acupuncturist, I recommend green tea to my patients for a variety of reasons.
Green tea: Cooling effects–treat headaches and aid digestive systems
In Chinese herbology, we consider the nature, the temperature, and the flavor of plants to understand how they will effect the human body. As a leaf, tea is considered light in nature and is often used in formulas to direct the actions of other herbs toward the head. It is a primary component of one of Chinese medicine’s most famous formulas to treat headaches. Green tea is considered cooling and beneficial to the stomach, which explains why green tea is used as a digestive aid. Indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn are all hot in nature, and the coolness of green tea can help settle ‘stomach heat.’
Green tea: Eliminate dampness–help break down fats
Green tea also has an astringent flavor that according to Chinese medicine helps eliminate what we call dampness. Damp conditions are heavy and slow and sticky. Think of slow digestion, water retention, mucous, and obesity. Consuming a diet heavy in fats can cause dampness in the body, and green tea’s astringency helps break down fats and assist digestion.
Green tea: Lighten the spirit
The light nature of green tea also allows it to open up the acupuncture meridians and lighten the spirit. Many people struggle with the transition from summer to fall, so if you find yourself feeling low, try improving your mood with a warm, soothing cup of Sei Mee green tea. The light, refreshing flavor will benefit your body and your mind.
Amy Zahm, Licensed Acupuncturist