For many of my acupuncture patients, especially those who have weak thyroid and adrenal conditions, I recommend switching from their daily coffee routine to tea. When choosing a beverage you consume once or even multiple times each day, the energetics of tea and coffee are important to understand--in other words, the internal effect each has on your body.
In Chinese Medicine we understand coffee to be more Yang. It’s internally warming and it disperses and scatters energy (or Qi) in the body. Coffee consumption causes the kidney’s adrenal glands to release adrenalin, producing a temporary increased energy high, but eventually a down-cycle of fatigue later in the day. Over time, excess coffee can over-work and deplete your adrenal energy, or Kidney Jing as we acupuncturists call it. I like to describe this as borrowing money from a bank account (your adrenals) daily without making any new deposits. Pretty soon, you’re experiencing major debt (adrenal burnout).
Coffee is also a diuretic, and diaphoretic, causing the body to lose excess fluids or Yin, and can create symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes and urinary dysfunction.
The energy of tea, on the other hand is more Yin. It is cooling and astringent by nature. Tea can help consolidate energy in the body rather than scattering it. When you drink caffeinated tea you will typically experience increased energy, but a smoother, more even-keeled flow without the highs and lows. I find that drinking tea during the day gives me the level of alertness I’m seeking without the racy feeling or late afternoon crash of coffee.
The Chinese believe that Puer tea has greater health benefits than other teas. Puer tea goes through a special fermentation process that makes it very beneficial to the digestive system, or Spleen as we describe it in Chinese Medicine. Many people in our culture have very weak digestion and excess weight and it has everything to do with food and drink that create “internal dampness” in the body. In Chinese medicine, “dampness” refers to the build up of negative, sluggish energy in the body that results from consuming excessive processed foods, sugars, dairy, alcohol and other substances that slow down digestion and nutrient assimilation. Pu-er tea has the ability to reduce this internal dampness by invigorating the Spleen and the Stomach to work in harmony, aiding proper digestion and elimination. It is often used medicinally to lower cholesterol, remove toxins from the body, cure dysentery, induce weight loss, improve eyesight and promote blood circulation.
I have found Pure Puer Tea to be of the highest quality and smoothest taste, and this is why I carry it in my clinics, Bay Acupuncture Center and Tamalpais Community Acupuncture in Mill Valley, CA.
My patients I have introduced to Pure Puer Tea all agree they have never felt better and don’t even miss their coffee!