Chinese herbal tea is a kind of tea made from Chinese herbs with medicinal value and health preservation value.
Chinese herbal tea is a traditional dosage form made under the guidance of the principles of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), based on the combination of dialectics and disease diagnosis. It is used to prevent and treat diseases, and to recover from diseases or health care.
Herbs are made from the flower, leaf, seed, or root of the plants. They are primary medicine in ancient times. At present, there are about 12,000 kinds of medical plants discovered in China. Most of the herbs can be made into tea.
Table of Contents
- History of Chinese Herbal Tea
- Characteristics of Chinese Herbal Tea
- Benefits of Chinese Herbal Tea
- How to Make Chinese Herbal Tea
History of Chinese Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is an important part of the treasury of traditional Chinese medicine. It has a very long history of use and has been recorded in the medicinal books of the past. The earliest record of the prescription of herbal tea was in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). The tea prescription included how to take it and its effects.
In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Sun Simiao, a Chinese doctor, recorded 10 prescriptions of herbal tea in his medicinal book <Qian Jin Yao Fang>. And another Chinese doctor called Wang Tao wrote a medicinal book <Wai Tai Mi Yao>, which recorded the processing and drinking method of herbal tea.
In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), there is a special introduction to herbal tea in <He Ji Ju Fang> compiled by the imperial doctor. In the book, Ligusticum wallichii tea can be regarded as an early herbal tea.
In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), a Chinese doctor Zou Xuan wrote two prescriptions of herbal tea including Salvinia tea and Xanthium tea in his medicinal book, which is about health care for the elderly. In addition, Hu Sihui, the imperial doctor of the Yuan Dynasty, recorded the processing, efficacy, and main treatment of various herbal tea in his medicinal book.
In the Ming Dynasty (1518-1593), the famous Chinese herbalist Li Shizhen recorded many prescriptions of herbal tea in his famous medicinal book <Compendium of Materia Medica>.
In the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), herbal tea therapy was popular and its content, usage, and processing were constantly updated and enriched. Herbal tea has become an integral part of royal medicine.
Since modern times, the health care function of herbal tea has been paid more and more attention by people. A large number of antihypertensive tea, slimming tea, and detox tea have emerged, which has enriched and expanded the types and functions of herbal teas.
Characteristics of Chinese Herbal Tea
Chinese herbal tea plays an important role in medical treatment and health care. It has the following characteristics:
The process of making it is simple and the pertinence of its efficacy is strong. It not only maintains the therapeutic effect of the traditional Chinese medicine decoction but also overcomes the disadvantages of traditional decoction, such as complex processing and inconvenient carrying and storage, etc.
Herbal tea can be increased or decreased the dosage according to the requirements of the disease, and people can choose the appropriate use method according to the efficacy of the herbs.
Herbs are brewed in boiling water or slightly decocted before drinking. This easy method can quickly inactivate the enzymes of herbs, which avoids the decomposition and destruction of the effective components.
It is particularly suitable to make into herbal tea for the herbs that are not resistant to high temperature such as donkey-hide gelatin, and that contains more volatile oil such as mint, honeysuckle, Agastache, and so on.
From the perspective of medicinal property, herbal tea has a gentle and mild property. It has few side effects and no risk of a stomach injury. So herbal tea can be taken for a long time, especially for treating chronic diseases and regulating body functions.
For many diseases, drinking herbal tea for a long time can make the effective ingredients reach the standard level in the body, so that the efficacy is more consolidated and the effect is more lasting.
Benefits of Chinese Herbal Tea
Treat Internal Diseases
Internal diseases can be classified into exogenous diseases and internal injuries. Exogenous diseases mainly refer to febrile diseases such as typhoid fever, wind-cold, heat, and dampness.
Internal injuries can be classified into lung, heart, spleen, stomach, liver, and kidney diseases, and so on. Most of them can be treated with Chinese herbal tea. Ancient and modern medicinal books contain numerous prescriptions of herbal tea for the prevention and treatment of internal diseases.
Treat Surgical Diseases
In traditional Chinese medicine, many surgical diseases such as ulcers, skin diseases, anal diseases, and tumor diseases can be prevented and treated by drinking herbal tea.
For example, cancer is treated by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. If the treatment can be combined with appropriate therapy of Chinese herbal tea, it can reduce the side effects and improve the curative effect.
Treat ENT Diseases
Chinese herbal tea can effectively prevent and treat common ENT (eye, nose, and throat) diseases.
Recover from Illness
In the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty, herbal tea was widely used to regulate the body after illness. It can nourish the stomach, regulate blood, and recover body functions.
Herbal tea has the function of anti-aging, anti-cancer, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, skincare, improve blood circulation, detox, help digestion, weight loss, and so on. It is very suitable for all kinds of people to drink.
How to Make Chinese Herbal Tea
There are three main ways to make herbal tea:
- Brewing: some herbs such as flower herbs, leaf herbs, sliced herbs can be brewed with boiling water.
- Decocting: the active ingredients of some herbs cannot be extracted in boiling water, so they must be boiled.
- Mixing: some herbs are in powder form and must be mixed with a small amount of water to make a paste.