A slimmer figure is every girl’s dream, especially in summer when they want to wear skimpy clothes. But losing weight is a tough task, and most people will quit the process because they can’t stick to a diet or the physical exercise involved becomes too much for them.
TCM suggests that some herbal teas may help ease the process due to their health-giving medical functions such as benefit spleen and promote urination.
Though eating too much is a direct cause of overweight for most people, a poor digestive and metabolism system also plays an important role.
TCM holds that the spleen is responsible for sending nutrients from the stomach to all the organs, and also for expelling excess fluid. If the spleen doesn’t function well, excess fluid will collect and turn into fat. Fat collects not only on muscles, destroying a nice figure, but also on organs and in the blood, which can cause health problems.
Pathogenic dampness and stagnant water is usually what bothers the spleen according to TCM. Therefore, foods that help the spleen while promoting urination will help prevent fat gathering and promote dispelling it through metabolism. Tea is one of the best choices. Most teas can help promote urination while some teas can even help prevent sugar and fat absorption, such as famous Pu’er and Oolong teas.
Here are some popular teas that could help you shed those extra pounds.
Lotus leaf tea can serve as a “cold” tea that helps dispel pathogenic heat, promote urination, benefit the spleen and stomach, and stop bleeding. It has long been recommended as a slimming drug in China.
Lotus flowers, leaves and seeds can all help promote urination and move the bowels, thus helping lose weight and dispelling excess fat as recorded in many herbal classics including “Bencao Gangmu” (“Compendium of Materia Medica”) by herbalist Li Shizhen in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
It is especially recommended for those who gain weight from eating too much fatty and greasy foods.
The first-poured strong tea usually has the best function, with its effects decreasing sharply if it is poured a second time. You don’t have to cook the tea; just pour boiling water in a mug with a tea bag and cover for about five to six minutes. It is suggested you drink three to four cups of lotus leaf tea six times a day, each time using one fresh lotus leaf tea bag. It is better to drink on an empty stomach. And you don’t have to go on a diet, as most people will naturally find themselves less attracted by greasy foods after drinking it for a while. Drinking four cups of lotus leaf tea a day can also help relieve constipation, which will help lose weight more efficiently.
Chi geng teng (gymnema sylvestre)
Gymnema sylvestre is a “neutral” herb that is widely used in TCM to help dispel pathogenic heat and wind, relieve pain and detoxify. But in Indian medicine it is more widely used as a “sugar killer” that can help decrease desire for sugar as well as the absorption of it.
It can help people with an irresistible desire for desserts to lose weight.
The special elements in gymnema sylvestre can block the channel between taste buds and sweetness while leaving the buds for bitterness and sourness alone. People who drink gymnema sylvestre will find any dessert tasteless for at least an hour, which helps decrease their desire for it. Moreover, modern research also shows that the tea can also help restrict intestines absorbing glucose by about 35 percent. Excess glucose usually isn’t dispelled, but turns into fat. Drinking gymnema sylvestra tea can help prevent this happening by both decreasing eating and glucose absorption. It is better to drink before eating sweet things. Chewing leaves will function even better.
Jue ming zi (Semen Cassiae)
Semen Cassiae is a “cold” herb that helps dispel pathogenic heat and dampness, improve eyesight, move the bowels and promote urination. Drinking it often can help normalize metabolism and thus aid weight loss.
It is especially recommended for people with constipation problems in damp and hot areas.
Drinking Semen Cassiae tea can often have results similar to a laxative, which can help decrease nutrition absorption. But Semen Cassiae usually functions more mildly. In addition, pathogenic heat and dampness in southern regions of China usually disrupt the metabolism of the body. That sometimes results in fatness, as the body cannot dispel excess nutrition and stores it as fat. Therefore, dispelling heat and dampness is equally as important as decreasing nutrition absorption in this case.
Pour boiling water in a mug or tea pot with about 30 grams of Semen Cassiae and drink it often.
It can be repeatedly poured throughout the day.
Oolong tea is a “warm” half-fermented tea with rich microelements such as iron and calcium, as well as effective elements that help promote dispelling fat.
Drinking oolong tea often can help prevent the body absorbing much sugar and fat from foods and promote fat burning.
It is also a good choice for those who gained weight from eating too much fatty foods.
Drinking a cup of oolong tea before and after a meal can help promote resolving and dispelling fat before it is absorbed by the body.
It is suggested that you drink oolong when eating very greasy foods, as it can both help make you feel full quickly and help dissolve the fat.
Others that can help
Function: helps promote urination. But too much may cause kidney problems.
Function: beneficial to the spleen and helps promote urination. It can also help decrease blood sugar, reinforce energy and improve immunity. It can be drunk often.
(Shanghai Daily August 18, 2009)
Green tea protects against Parkinson’s disease
Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found that a component in green tea may help protect against Parkinson’s disease, a local news channel reported on Tuesday.
The researchers at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine identified an activation process involving a component in green tea and a protein in the human body that can provide cellular protection against the disease, Channel NewsAsia reported.
The green tea component, known as EGCG, is found to trigger AMP kinase, a protein in the body, to help prevent brain cells from dying under stress.
The EGCG is found in red wine, too.
The researchers experimented on engineered fruit flies which had developed Parkinson’s and found that the EGCG-treated flies exhibit much better movement ability and show significant preservation of their brain neurons, compared to untreated flies.
The team hopes to partner with pharmaceutical companies to formulate a drug which can be administered to Parkinson’s disease patients.
The potential medication would offer neuro-protection. Current treatment for Parkinson’s is usually in the form of a drug known as L-DOPA, which only offers symptomatic therapy, said Lim Kah Leong, an associate professor from the school’s department of physiology.
“There are benefits of drinking green tea but in this case we have something even more potent than drinking green tea. So hopefully medication centred around AMPK activation can provide real and faster benefit to Parkinson’s patients than green tea could at that stage,” he said.