This tea is very simple to brew and it has wonderful health benefits to both ladies and gentlemen. I had been drinking this tea for around 7 years now and it's time to introduce to all of you.
I started to drink this tea with only red dates and wolfberries but I had now improvised it with more ingredients on the advice of my Traditional Chinese Doctor.
Chinese Wolfberries (Other names : Goji, 枸杞, Barbary matrimony vine, Mede berry, Red medlar)
Chinese Wolfberries are grown on vines in Mongolia, Tibet and Ningxia, China. The best Chinese wolfberries are grown in Ningxia, it tastes sweeter as well. You can get it in any TCM shops at around $12.50 per 500g for the bigger ones. Smaller ones cost around $11.50. If you decide to get it at the branded TCM shops in the malls, the price is $25.50 per 500g.
While I was munching on my potato chips in Tibet, I observed that the native children's snack was Chinese wolfberries. No wonder they are so healthy and have that radiant look on their faces!
1) One of the highest antioxidant fruit - more beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant, than carrots. Antioxidants may have anti-aging and cancer-fighting effects.
2) Believed to be good for vision - due to its antioxidant properties, also helps in improving eyesight. The antioxidants protect the eye from free radicals that may cause loss of eyesight, cataracts, and other eye-related disorders. It's widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) remedies to improve eyesight.
3) Good for our skin - In TCM, the berries are believed to promote youthful-looking skin by nourishing yin and improving blood production.
4) Helps to strengthen our liver and kidneys - In TCM, the berries are used to reinforce the Liver, invigorate the Kidneys and replenish vital essence.
5) Increases semen and sperm quality - it has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac. Scientific studies on it’s aphrodisiac properties concluded that it can reduce the damage caused to the testes and provides protection against oxidative stress by hydrogen peroxide, which can decrease semen count, as well as sperm quality.
6) Cardiovascular Protection - Free radicals can also attack the heart, just as any other organ. When heart muscles are attacked, the result can be that the heart will be weakened. Although this happens over a long period of time, it is still required to take precautionary measures. It can act as a protective measure, as it contains anti-oxidant chemicals that can protect the heart from the attack of free radicals. Recent studies have noted significant free radical scavenging in the heart by wolfberries extracts.
7) Lowering of bad cholesterol - Recent studies have shown that the intake of wolfberries reduces high cholesterol levels. In particular, LDL cholesterol levels are reduced.
8) Lots of Vitamins and Minerals - contain 18 types of amino acids; 21 trace minerals; 29 fatty acids, phytochemicals such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthinp; vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin E and a great amount of vitamin C. And these are not all! What is important to note is that wolfberries are exceptionally rich in phytochemicals, which are able to protect our skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation. In addition, they can also protect our collagen and elastin fibres because they contain fatty acids.
Red Dates (Other Name: Jujubes, 红枣)
Heralded as a superfood and as the King of Nuts in China, Red dates are often present in TCM prescriptions and brewed herbal tonics.
Chinese dates can strengthen the spleen and stomach Qi (energy) which helps to digest food, tonify blood and tranquilize the mind. Chinese medicine considers that the formation of blood is through good digestion and absorption of food which is mainly helped by the spleen and stomach. If spleen and stomach Qi are weakened it will affect the blood supply and its function, this may lead to blood deficiency (iron deficiency) and may also have the following symptoms, such as; poor appetite, lack of energy, pallor, lack of muscle on the arm and legs, overweight, diarrhea, sluggish bowl movement or bowl movement straight after eating, bloating after eating, stomach craps or diarrhea from eating cold food, or light and shorter menstruation and insomnia. Some people may also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, under-reactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), miscarriages or infertility.
Medical studies have found that jujube fruits and extracts have the capacity help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products used to diminish wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn pain.
1) Lots of Vitamin C - If you think your daily intake of grapes and apples are good sources of Vitamin C, think again. Chinese red dates have 70x to 80x higher levels of Vitamin C!
2) Wide array of nutrients - Red dates also contain loads of Vitamin A, B1, B2, protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.
3) Enriching and replenishing blood - drinking red dates tea regularly for a few months can help to re-balance the body’s Qi and blood deficiency. This allows for period regularity and higher chance for pregnancy!
4) Anti Aging - There is a saying in Chinese " 3 Red Dates a day will help to maintain your youth, 一天三枣，永远不会老！"
5) 8 different types of antioxidant - Scientists have identified eight flavonoids in jujube fruit, including spinosin and swertish, which have sedative properties – undoubtedly the reason jujube seeds are used to treat anxiety and insomnia in traditional Chinese medicine.
Dried Longan (Other Name: Longan Aril, Arillus Longan, Longan Flesh, dragon eyes, 龍眼肉 and 桂圆)
Dried Longan has been used for medical purpose as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). In China it is primarily produced in Guangdong, Fujian, Taiwan, Guangxi and other places. It is normally picked in the summer when the fruits become mature. And then it needs to get through a few more steps before the use – shell and pit removed, dried in the sun, and stored in dry place.
1) High nutritional value – containing abundant high carbohydrate, proteins, amino acids, vitamins B, C, calcium, phosphorus, iron, tartaric acid, adenine, etc.
2) Strengthen Your Bones - A study published in 2013 in "Maturitas" reported that postmenopausal women who had lower levels of minerals such as copper were significantly more likely to develop osteoporosis as they age. Adults should consume about 900 micrograms of copper each day, and 3.5 ounces of fresh longans supplies over 19 percent of this recommendation. Dried longans are an even better source. A 3.5-ounce serving of dried longans has 807 micrograms of the mineral, almost 90 percent of the RDA.
3) Prevent Eye Problems - Riboflavin is an important vitamin that's part of the B complex. Men need 1.3 milligrams of this vitamin each day, while women should have 1.1 milligrams. According to an "Archives of Ophthalmology" study published in 2005, not consuming adequate riboflavin could increase your risk of eye disorders, particularly cataracts. Raw longans contain 0.14 milligram of riboflavin in each 3.5-ounce serving, but dried longans have 0.5 milligram per serving. Eating 3.5 ounces of dried longans supplies 38 percent of the daily riboflavin requirement for men and 45 percent of the RDA for women.
4) Fill Up on Iron - Vegans and strict vegetarians are more likely to become deficient in iron than those who eat meat. That's because the iron supplied by plant foods is not absorbed as easily as iron from animal-based products. Pregnant women, endurance athletes and teen girls may also need more iron than other groups. Dried longans can help increase your iron intake, with each 3.5-ounce serving containing around 5 milligrams, or about 62 percent of a man's daily requirement and nearly 28 percent of a woman's.
5) Anti Aging - It contains an active anti-aging ingredient. And this ingredient can inhibit the activity of flavin protease – monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B), which is deemed to be something that makes people age. This discovery confirmed an old claim made by China’s first pharmacy monograph “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic” – longan could help weight loss and keep people young.
6) Boost Your Vitamin C - People with diets rich in vitamin C may be less likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration and certain types of cancer. Raw longan is an excellent source of vitamin C: 84 milligrams in approximately 3.5 ounces. This amount supplies 93 percent of a man's recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which is 90 milligrams, and over 100 percent of a woman's 75-milligram daily requirement.
Root of Wild American Ginseng (Other Name: 泡参, Pao Sheng and Panax quinquefolis )
American Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the US and in China, perhaps most well known for its traditional use of boosting memory and energy levels. However, it has many other uses. For starters, ginseng is considered an adaptogen, which means it helps your body to withstand mental and physical stress.
The Root of Wild American Ginseng are often sold for very high price. In Singapore, you can get good quality old root wild American Ginseng at around $250 / 两 （37.5g) in normal medical halls, it will be more expensive in branded TCM shops in the malls (Remember that you are paying for their high rental cost for the same item). The medicinal properties are much better for wild ginseng compared to farmed ginseng and the older the better.
American ginseng is also used for low iron in the blood (anemia), diabetes, insulin resistance related to HIV treatments, cancer-related fatigue, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping (insomnia), nerve pain, erectile dysfunction (ED), fever, hangover symptoms, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blood and bleeding disorders, breast cancer, dizziness, headaches, convulsions, fibromyalgia, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), memory loss, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, improving athletic performance, improving mental performance, as an anti-aging aid, menopausal symptoms, complications during pregnancy or childbirth, and for nervous exhaustion (neurasthenia).
1) Improve Memory - American ginseng was found to improve working memory and mood in both young individuals and middle-age adults.
2) Prevent Cancer - American ginseng has anti-cancer properties that appear to suppress tumor growth. It has shown particular promise in treating colorectal cancer.
3) Aids in Diabetes - American ginseng appears to have anti-diabetic properties. In one animal study, extract of American ginseng root lead to weight loss and lower blood sugar levels in mice with type 2 diabetes. It's also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals.
4) Immune System Function - American ginseng has also been found to stimulate the immune system, helping your body fight off infections and disease.
5) Cold and Flu - Older adults who took an extract of American ginseng had a 48 percent reduction in relative risk, and a 55 percent reduction in duration, of respiratory illness.
6) ADHD - A combination of American ginseng and ginkgo biloba may improve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and teens.
Instructions on brewing this lovely Tea
I guessed most of us are convinced by the health benefits of this tea right now, I will go into the brewing part.
1) As Red Dates are abit heaty in nature, I will recommend to remove the seeds of the red dates before brewing, this will reduce the heatiness of the dates.
2) This tea is naturally sweet by itself, so don't add anymore sugar and those with diabetic issues should consult your doctor before drinking it.
3) I normally brewed it before I sleep,so both of my parents can drink it in the morning when they wake up.
My Recommendations for 2-3 pax
10 Red Dates (Remove the seeds)
10 Dry Longan
1 handful of Ningxia Chinese wolfberries
A pinch of Old Wild American Ginseng Root (immunity booster!)
I will wash the herbs 1-2 times before putting into my 1 litre Tiger hot flask and add boiling water to it. It's so simple and if you are drinking it alone, just halve the amount of the herbs will do. You can also do it the traditional way and boil it, but the lazy way works just as fine. After my parents drank the tea in the morning, I will add more boiling water to it so that they can drink another cup or 2 when they are back from work. My personal observation was they are more energetic and they don't fall sick as often compared to before.
You can also choose to use only Red Dates and Chinese Wolfberries only. Hope you will enjoy your cup of tea as much as I do!