Tea, as medicine
Darlene is an 82 year old, fit, assertive and encouraging wise woman who started coming to me for balancing her blood pressure, reducing her cholesterol levels and finding holistic care alternative from the recommendations of western medicine. She does did not want to take pills. She was ready to put in the work to create and manage balance by changing her diet, life style and using herbs as medicine.
When she arrived at my office (she drove 180 miles to get there), she was carrying a massive box with her. As we sat down she informed me that, in the box, was all the supplements she was taking in order to create wholesome, natural balance in her body and stay away from the pharmacy. My eyes were rounding up as she pulled one thing after another.... "Fish oil, Vitamin D, E, K, B .....and this is the mix of my greens for my daily smoothies", she informed me. Shocked by the amount of stuff she was taking, I nodded my head trying to keep the smile on my face. Then she added; " I am so healthy, I just don't understand why I am getting all these rashed and my blood pressure is not coming down, no matter what I do!".
'Darlene' I said; ' sometimes our body does not have the ability to absorb things no matter how good those supplements or even foods might be!'. This is where the work for her started.
As I explained to Darlene then, the ability for our body to absorb elements, food and vitamins depends on the strength of our Jatharagni (Digestive fire). Ayurveda considers the health of the digestive system the center of optimum health. If you can absorb and assimilate life's experiences, whether physical or emotional, then you are healthy. This means that you can manage life's challenges and will not be held back by past 'meals' or experiences. An undigested meal leaves discomfort as can an undigested experience. Ayurveda teaches you the way to enhance your digestion and digest all your experiences!
I use Darlene as an example because she was very set in her "healthy" ways and initially not willing to give up her cold smoothy (those of you who know a little about Ayurveda, know how we freak out about cold smoothies as they kill your Agni), or take on any of the food suggestions for that matter. So I had to think fast to figure out a way to re-kindle her Agni and show her the changes she could possibly make with that. She did not even like drinking water, was probably clinically dehydrated and really enjoyed having her flaxseed balls for lunch. I then asked her if she would give this tea a try, she accepted. The tea I am referring to is PU'ER leaves.
Pu-erh tea — or pu’er tea — is a unique type of fermented tea that’s traditionally made in the Yunnan Province of China. It is made from the leaves of a tree known as the “wild old tree,” which grows in the region. Although there are other types of fermented tea like kombucha, pu-erh tea is different because the leaves themselves are fermented rather than the brewed tea.
The benefits of PU'ER tea are countless, and they are traced back to ancient Chinese medicine however there is a few I want to share with you today. This is from my own experience and I only suggest to my clients what has worked for me. First, pu-erh tea is fermented, so it can also introduce healthy probiotics — or beneficial gut bacteria — into your body. A source of probiotics, great! But that is not just it, studies have shown that pu-erh tea may help synthesize fewer new fats while burning more stored body fat — which can lead to weight loss. But really, what this means is that this tea can assist your fat cells to efficiently get rid of bad fat and cholesterol and have more resources (because of the probiotics) to create good cells and good fat.
So, by recommending this tea to Darlene, not only did she start hydrating her tissues but also her cholesterol levels started going down...After 6 months of drinking this tea, I received an unexpected phone call from her on a Sunday morning, while I was making breakfast for my family, "Paras", the voice said excitedly! "You will not believe this,"....Oh, what is happening Darlene?!...."For the first time in 10 years, my blood pressure levels are reading normal, and not just one time, I have waited and took my blood pressure everyday of this week before calling you!!"...."Isn't that miraculous!!" She asked. "I think it is the tea!". Well, we had been changing her diet as much as she had accepted to change it, she was off all her supplements that made the environment of her body very USHNA (which means over heated in ayurveda) and she was also taking Neem and other bitter greens to regulate and cleanse her blood but I had to agree with her that it wasn't until she started drinking the tea that we saw an enormous difference. And today she continues to do so and the levels have remained in check!
I am only sharing this with you again from my own experience. You have the option to take it or leave it. You could also try different types of Pu'er tea and maybe with combinations of other herbs and spices that suite your Doshic constitution well. There is usually a reason in the wisdom of the ancestors. These traditional, but simple herbs and foods, traditions and alchemy was working for our ancestors thousands of years ago, it also works for us. Here is a short list of the
Promotes a Healthy Heart
Cleanses Toxins and Free Radicals
Protects Bone Health
"The digestive fire in the intestines (jataragni) is the root of all the digestive fires in the body. As it causes the increase or decrease of the elemental and tissue digestive fires it should be treated with great care."
- Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita