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An Herbal Tea Called Kuding's...

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  • An Herbal Tea Called Kuding's...

    ... health benefits.

    Recently a number of things happened resulting in a variation in my daily beverage consumption and some very interesting, positive outcomes and areas for speculation. But relax, I'm not going to make any claims or try to convince you to modify your diet in any way.

    I've been consuming a large quantity of Pu-erh tea for the last two month, in spite of which I developed a persistant health problem. So I expected Pu-erh to be a health panacea? No, but I'd hoped for something along those lines. Well I started eating some stuff that's rough on the digestion and finally wound up spending five days in the local hospital as a result, Pu-erh tea consumption notwithstanding.

    Note-From Wikipedia - A tisane, ptisan or herbal "tea" is any herbal infusion other than from the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). The English word "tisane" originated from the Greek word πτισάνη (ptisanē), a drink made from pearl barley.

    Coincidental to my hospital stay and its cause, I had ordered a bitter herbal tea (tisane) through eBay that was shipped from Yunnan province in China with an estimated arrival time of three weeks. I had been intrigured by the tea's description in the eBay auction:
    This is a rare and expensive tea grown in Sichuan province. 100% wild, grows naturally, no fertilizer, no insecticides. It is a natural and clean tea.
    Kuding tea is loose whole-leaf tea in nail, ball, twist or roll shape. For one individual consuming at one time, one piece of kuding tea is enough for one cup of brewing. Kuding tea has reputation of "health tea", "longevity tea" and "slim tea". it has been proved that kuding tea can diminish inflammation and ease pain, enhance salubrity and clean out toxins, reduce fat and blood pressure, and keep the body fit. Kuding tea is widely used to cure cold, rhinitis, itching eyes, red eyes, soar throat and headache. Kuding tea is very effective in weight loss.*
    I'd been home four days and drifting back into my old pattern of eating digestively rough stuff and beginning to pay for it, when two things happened more or less at the same time. The first was that I could see/sense that I had brought myself to the same precondition that had lead to the downward spiral that had culminated in my bout of nausea/vomiting and put me in the hospital. I was fearful that I would wind up there in the next few days regardless of what steps I might take to avoid it. I was futher most anxious that I might have something serious, or worse, and terminal stomach cancer loomed its nightmare head. I determined then and there to make every dietary adjustment possible to at least derail the first eventuality if possible.

    The second was the arrival of the Kuding (Wild) Tea from China that I had by that point all but forgotten about.

    I went back to the eBay description of the tea and refreshed myself on it's properties, which are here for your perusal. What a fortuitous situation this was if the tea had even a half of the medicinal value ascribed to it by the seller and by various other googled sources.

    So I adopted a regimen in which I ate only a small amount of easily digested foods daily for a while and drank a large amount of the wild Kuding tea and water. During the first day of this regimen I read further on Kuding and discovered that in China its consumption is fairly de rigueur; that if you were to stay for any length of time as a guest in a Chinese household, you would almost certainly have Kuding tea served you once. I had part of my speculation about that "at least once" part answered when I first started drinking the tea. While the tea is described as bitter (Ku means bitter), that does not quite prepare the average western drinker (me, for instance) for the impact of its bitterness in a strong infusion. Used to offseting the relatively mild bitterness of coffees, at least the way I roast them, with a strong dose of sweetener, I was unprepared for the bittereness of the wild Kuding tea. I used about four times the sweetener I'd have used for strong coffee in the first half dozen or so infusions of the Kuding tea, But I noticed almost at once that there was something very interesting about the taste of this tea. Although the bitterness of it hit my tastebuds intensely as the tea passed over my tongue, that experience was immediatly followed by a very pleasant sweet aftertaste. By the second day of this regimen of light food and Kuding tea, I was relatively sure that my stomach was on the mend. By the third day I started to find in the third and later infusions of each pot, a very positive receptivity of my palate for the Kuding tea and I was almost compleately over all of my stomach/digestive problems. On the fourth day I experimented with eating bacon and had no problems with it. I even baked and ate a little of a Pepperidge Farms frozen apple turnover, usually a surefire way of inducing heartburn, but apart from a single twing of burp-burn, had no problems with it.

    So I'm making no claims for the medicinal/health value of drinking Kuding tea; I do know that I'd been in the same state I'd found myself in (as near as I can tell) just prior to my hospitalization the time before. Before I'd tried Alka-Seltzer and abstinence to no avail. This time I did all about the same with the exception of drinking the Kuding tea and my digestion has been getting steadily stronger. My thinking process also seems to have cleared up relative to what it's been for a while now, which is consistant with detoxification; one of the medicianl properties widely ascribed to this bitter tea. I don't foresee any liklihood of my eliminating the use of this tea as a regular part of my diet. The way I drink it, the cost of consumption is about fifty cents a day; less that a good multivitamin and I'm enjoying it more than most any tea I've ever had.

    *More on Kiding's properties and preparation:

    Kuding tea, also known as "bitter tea" is a unique Chinese tea. It does not fall into any tea categories of green, black, oolong or white tea, which are all made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. Kuding Tea is made from the leaves the holly category of ilex or ligustrum. Kuding tea is made from the leaf of Broadleaf Holly which belongs to the Folium Llicis Latifoliae family. According to the entry in the Herbalist Doctor Glossary, Kuding tea has a bitter taste and a cleansing effect. It cures headache, odontalgia, pinkeye and tinnitus. Medical research shows that Kuding tea contains many important and therapeutic bioactive chemicals: 22 Kuding Glycin, 1.4 aminophenol, 8.8 polyphenols, 41 Vitamin C, 1.2 flavonoids, etc. Kuding tea has been proven to be a highly valuable health drink that has therapeutic powers of cooling, cleansing, alexipharmic, antibacterial, lowering blood pressure, improving digestion and protecting from cancer among medical practitioners throughout history.
    In Chinese, "ku" means bitter, describing the taste, and "ding" means nail, or a small piece, indicating the shape of the tea leaves. Kuding tea has a very special type of bitter taste which is sometimes hard to be accepted by new drinkers. The more you drink, the more you will be able to appreciate the sweet flavor accompanied by the bitterness.

    Brewing Kuding tea: Steep tea leaves in hot water at 80C/176F to 90C/194F for 1 minute for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing. Since this tea has a very concentrated taste, it is suggested to brew this tea with less tea leave and more water.
    Kuding tea can always stand at least two brewings. To avoid over-bitterness of the infusion and guarantee the flavor of next brewing, remeber to take the tea leaf out of the water after sufficient time of brewing.
    Last edited by Juke_spin; 05-29-2007, 03:24 AM.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."

  • #2
    Huh. Ligustrum tea. Those grew, in shrub form, like weeds in my yard in Houston. I gather it has no caffeine? I LOVE the idea of soothing my red thryoid-bitten eyes, but the weight-loss claim concerns me...if it stimulates the thyroid it might do me in.

    I'm a fan of tisanes also. I always like to learn more, so thanks for this post!

    My new tea thing is brewing mint and lemonbalm from my flowerbed. Soothes the stomach and the blasted thyroid, my kind of tea! I have always been a tea freak. For my 13th birthday (the moody years) I asked for tea, teacups and tea accessories for gifts. Ah yes, teacups and Stairway to Heaven. I was so very deep.

    There's a book called "French Women Don't Get Fat" which I'm sure you haven't read and probably won't but I think you should. The author is enviably healthy and fit. She credits whole food, tisanes, light activity and champagne.

    The book has simple wholesome recipes for things like apple desserts that don't come from a box and give you heartburn. You should check it out. I think you're eating Pepperidge Factory apple turnovers, my friend. There really is no Farm in Pepperidge.

    Thanks for the info, and really glad you're feeling better!
    Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


    • #3
      Originally posted by betheny
      "French Women Don't Get Fat" which I'm sure you haven't read and probably won't but I think you should. The author is enviably healthy and fit.

      Thanks for the info, and really glad you're feeling better!
      Well, you're an ex-mod, so I guess I'll read "French Women Don't Get Fat" directly after a mod-recommended book, "Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers". Or maybe I should read it first, what do you think?

      No, er, well, Kuding (wild or "tame") has 5% the caffeine of black tea or virtually none. I wonder how many plant foods contain caffeine. The "diet tea", part of its descrilption, may well be refering to its ability to make us feel no particular need to eat, rather than to making up feel full. At any rate, I'm not eating any more or less that normal.

      Thanks for being glad I'm better; looks like I may well have found a "health panacea".
      "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."


      • #4
        I'm in the process of trying Ku Ding Tea to help reduce my high blood pressure. The results have been surprisingly good, though I still must play around with the strength, frequency, etc. My pressure has dropped an average of 20 - 30 points in the last week. I heard about this tea from my hairdresser, whose customer had good luck with it and gave her some. The research I'm doing shows no harmful side effects, though one Chinese website does mention warnings for pregnant women and some other special populations. I'm especially gratified to read how low in caffeine it is, which means I may be able to have some late at night. Then all I have to do is get my doctor to believe me!
        Last edited by frances771; 09-02-2011, 02:23 PM. Reason: added some important information