Based on traditional Chinese medical theory, different flowers or herbs to blend with different teas is for different health benefits, using different herbs for different health benefits has a very long history. And the use of all kinds of herbs is based on the following principles:
The goals of using different herbs to get health benefits are:
1. Maintain longevity
2. Maintain healthy energy for the liver and kidneys, keep eyes and ears clear and healthy.
3. Keep the body flexible with good energy
4. Keep the heart and kidneys healthy so that the mind stays clear
The keys to reaching those goals are:
1. Keeping the liver and kidneys in strong healthy
2. Nourishing your blood and keeping Qi flow in your body
3. Keeping your kidneys warm and driving cold from your body
4. Maintaining strong energy inside your body to keep the teeth strong
So based on this principle, to create tea blending recipes, you’ll need to understand the functions of each herb so that you can blend them correctly with teas. Otherwise, the effect could be the same as poison: you’ll not only not get health benefits, but could also hurt your body.
In traditional Chinese medical theory, different herbs can bring different benefits for our body. Basically, we can separate the herbs into 4 different categories:
1. A tonic for Qi
2. A tonic for blood
3. A tonic for Yin
4. A tonic for Yang
So based on these four major tonic functions, we must know which herbs are good for Qi, which for blood, which for Yin, which for Yang. (If you don’t understand what Qi is, or what Yin and Yang are, please check our online courses #2 ITA Certified Tea Course - Chinese Tea Ceremony & History, and #3 ITA Certified Tea Course - Ancient Chinese Science & Art of Brewing Tea and our tea book the 5 Element Tea). If you mess up the herbs’ functions, your body won’t get benefits from it.
And one more important thing I would like to mention here is that “herb” as I’m using the word refers to anything you would like to use to blend with tea that isn’t the tea plant itself (camellia sinensis). In fact, any food we might use to blend with affects our body. An herb should actually be considered as a type of food. So, let’s discover more how different foods (including herbs) we might use to blend with tea and how it works for our body.
Before we discover how to blend foods with different teas, and which functions they have, we need to first understand what type of body we have.
First, I would like to share a Chinese word with you, called 虚 (xu). In traditional Chinese medical science, Xu means weak. So, when we want to choose different foods and herbs to bringing health benefits to the body, we need to understand which part of the body need which tonics. To understand this, we need to find out which part of the body is weak so that we can find right tonics to treat the weakness. After that, the body can achieve perfect, healthy balance.
No matter whether you were born with very strong and healthy genes, or you’re very into living a healthy lifestyle, every day of our movement, every day of the weather changing, the air changing, and all kinds of other different elements could influence our health. In Chinese, we say everybody eats things from the Earth, so no one can escape from disease. The only thing we can do is avoid disease as much as we can. The best way is to understand which part of your body is weak, and find the right food or herbs to fit with it. Here we have 4 major ways to judge which weakness you have and the methods for choosing the right food and herbs to treat your weakness:
1. Tonics for long-term weakness or disease.
2. Tonics for Yin energy weakness. (People with weakness of Yin energy usually look very thin, feet and hands always have a burning feeling, and even when they don’t do any exercise, they still sweat a lot and always feel thirsty, and the tongue always looks red and dry.)
3. Tonics for Yang energy weakness. (People with weak Yang energy have faces that look white like a piece of paper, always feel tired, feet and hands always feel cold, the tongue looks white, they can’t eat cold food, and they always feel sad and despairing.)
4. Tonics for extremely weak people or people who have serious diseases. This type of tonic can help treat critical illnesses.
Those four methods are the basic methods for understanding what types of weakness you have and what types of food or herbs and teas you should choose for your body.
Besides these four methods, there are 3 other important elements we need to consider together:
The When means season. In different seasons the body changes, and if you choose the wrong food, herbs or teas, you could make your body’s weakness even worse.
The Where means the physical geographical location and local living habits. This is an important element lots of people ignore nowadays, but since we live in different places, and different places have different weather and different geographical environments which have a strong influence on the body, we must find the most suitable lifestyle for ourselves so that we can be strong and healthy. But today, lots of people move around and travel, or the natural environment has been destroyed, and everywhere are the same cities, with people eating same food, which is the worst situation for our health.
The Who means ourselves. In the world, it’s difficult to find another person who has the same face and same personality as you – even twins still have significant differences. Which means we’re a typically biodiverse species. Our genes have been mixed through varied ancestry, we grow up in different conditions, we meet different people, facing different lives, and all these differences make us different from others. So, when we choose different foods, herbs, teas or whatever lifestyle to keep ourselves living in health, we need to consider how we’re different from others, so that we can choose correctly. Always remember, we are not robots, so we need to treat ourselves as special. Some food might be right or good for other people, but might not be right for you; some tea might be good for other people, but might not be right for you. Understand yourself first, then you can find what’s right for yourself.
So, based on the 4 methods and 3 elements, let’s dig deeper to find the perfect, healthy tea blend for ourselves.
To understand Who we are, what type of body style we have; at what times we should drink, eat, or exercise; What type of place is suitable for us to live in; What weakness of our body we’ve had since we were born – all of these are keys to figuring out how to find the right tea blends to live long and healthy. This leads to following an important law of the Earth: The 5 Elements.
In our previous course #3: Ancient Chinese Science & Art of Brewing Tea, we gave the explanation of the 5 Elements and how it relates to tea and daily tea brewing. If you haven’t checked out this course, we suggest you take a look, as it will help you understand more about the content that we're sharing now: #4 ITA Certified Online Tea Course - Ancient Chinese Science of Tea Blending and Wellness
For more informations. Please check
• Tea book 5 Element Tea
• Tea Book Tea Poison
Comments will be approved before showing up.