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The Healing Power of Tea: Ancient Roots, Scientific Branches


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Speaker: Ken Cohen

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The Healing Power of Tea: Ancient Roots, Scientific Branches

  1. 1. The Healing Power of Tea Ancient Roots, Scientific Branches Kenneth 高漢 Cohen
  2. 2. HEALING IN TEA HISTORY Healing the Body
  3. 3. HEALING IN TEA HISTORY Healing the Mind
  4. 4. HEALING IN TEA HISTORY Healing the Spirit
  6. 6. BEN CAO GANG MU ROOTS & HERBS COMPENDIUM By Li Shizhen (1518-1593)  Lists 1,892 medicinal substances  11,096 Prescriptions  Extensive sections on Cha (Tea)
  7. 7. PHASE Earth Metal Water Wood Fire COLOR Yellow White Black Green Red TASTE Sweet Spicy Salty Sour Bitter YIN ORGAN Spleen Lungs Kidneys Liver Heart YANG ORGAN Stomach Large Int. Bladder Gall Bladder Small Int. SEASON Late Summer Autumn Winter Spring Summer 五行 FIVE PHASES
  8. 8. PHASE Earth Metal Water Wood Fire COLOR Yellow White Black Green Red TASTE Sweet Spicy Salty Sour Bitter YIN ORGAN Spleen Lungs Kidneys Liver Heart YANG ORGAN Stomach Large Int. Bladder Gall Bladder Small Int. SEASON Late Summer Autumn Winter Spring Summer YOUR ANSWER? Fresh picked tea is bitter and green. Which organ(s) is it good for? A Tea Ceremony includes earth (ashes), metal (brazier), water, wood to make a fire, green tea, and fire to heat the water. What organs does tea ceremony benefit? Cheat Sheet
  9. 9. • 苦 Bitter • 甘 Sweet • 微寒 Slightly Cold • 無毒 Without Toxicity LI SHIZHEN: MAJOR PROPERTIES OF TEA
  10. 10. 茶苦而寒, 陰中之陰 ,沉也 ,降也, 最能 降火,火 為百病 ,火降則上清矣。 Tea is bitter cold, yin within yin, sinking and descending, most suitable for reducing fire [“fire”=inflammation in modern terms]. Fire is the essence of a myriad diseases. When fire drops, clarity rises. ACCORDING TO LI SHIZHEN
  11. 11. DEGREES OF BITTER AND COLD • Green Tea & White Tea: Bitter, Cold • Aged White: Sweet, Cool • Lightly Oxidixed Oolong: Sweet, Cool • Heavily Oxidized Oolong: Sweet, Neutral • Puerh: Bitter, Warm • Black Tea: Sweet, Warm • Dark Tea: Bitter, Warm
  12. 12. “Clears the throat, brightens the eyes, boosts original qi, benefits mind and spirit, and clears the seven orifices (eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth). It’s sweet flavor benefits earth (stomach & spleen). It is good for neutralizing toxicity from old or stale food…It is invigorating, with the qi of early spring.” LI SHIZHEN 雨前茶 BEFORE RAIN TEA
  13. 13. • Puerh: Expels phlegm clears the intestines. Neutralizes greasy food and toxins found in beef and lamb . • Puerh Paste 普洱茶膏 cure-all, sobering, aids digestion, clears the stomach, disperses abdominal swelling, brings relief from summer heat • Yan Cha (Ground/Powdered Tea) eliminates feng shi (arthritis), relieves hunger and over-eating LI SHIZHEN ON VARIOUS TEAS
  14. 14. LEI CHA 擂茶 (PESTLE TEA)
  15. 15. Lei Cha Recipes  Mint, Cilantro, Basil, Sesame Seeds, Peanuts, Dried Green Tea Leaves (May use as topping on rice and vegetables or other dishes)  Pumpkin Seeds, Raw or Roasted Peanuts, Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Black or White Sesame Seeds, Dried Green Tea Leaves (May add condiment mix of raisins, goji berries, crystallized ginger, raw sugar) Source: The Hakka Cookbook
  17. 17. CONTEXTUAL KNOWLEDGE My Outrageous Opinion: Chinese medicine does not need to prove itself to Western science any more than Western science must prove itself to Chinese medicine!
  18. 18. BUT THIS DOESN’T MEAN TEA IS SNAKE OIL! A Wealth of Research Demonstrates the Benefits of Tea For
  19. 19. • Cancer • Heart Disease • Diabetes • Alzheimer’s • Viruses (e.g. influenza) • Bacteria (e.g. staph, salmonella, dysentery, cholera) • Dental/Oral Health • Oxidative Stress
  20. 20. 40,530 adults who drank 5 or more cups of green tea/day = 26% lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke & 16% less risk of death from all causes compared to those who drank less than 1 cup/day. Harvard Medical School Health Publications Dec 1, 2012 171,940 women aged 25-55 studied for 30 years. Conclusion: Just a few cups of black tea daily linked with 31% reduction in ovarian cancer risk. Source: Intake of dietary flavonoids and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer, Aedín Cassidy, et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.088708, published October 2014
  21. 21. Analysis of black tea consumption and diabetes in 50 countries: more tea = less diabetes. BMJ Open, Jan 2013 Study of 1,003 subjects aged 70+, inverse relation between degree of cognitive impairment and green tea consumption, highest effect at 4-6 cups/day. American Jnl of Clinical Nutrition 2006, Vol 83 AND THOUSANDS MORE LIKE THIS…
  22. 22. Effects of AND, ascorbate/EGCG (AA+EGCG), and gemcitabine (gem) on MPM tumor development and other symptoms in REN-injected NOD-SCID mice Volta V, Ranzato E, Martinotti S, Gallo S, et al. (2013) Preclinical Demonstration of Synergistic Active Nutrients/Drug (AND) Combination as a Potential Treatment for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58051. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.005805
  23. 23. WHAT ABOUT CAFFEINE? “The effect provided by tea is like being gently encouraged to do something by Mother Teresa, while coffee is like being kicked in the butt by a military officer.” -- 8 oz. coffee: 95-200 mg caffeine 8 oz black tea: 14-70 mg caffeine 8 oz green tea: 24-45 mg -- Mayo Clinic Website
  24. 24. NOT ALL STIMULANTS ARE CREATED EQUAL Chocolate: theobromine, no caffeine. Tea: theobromine & caffeine. Coffee: only caffeine. Cacao Pods & Beans, Photo by Ken Cohen, Museo de Cacao Yucatan, Mexico
  25. 25. THE NOSE KNOWS POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF TEA AROMA Olfactory impulses processed in the rhinencephalon (“nose brain”) portion of the limbic system help regulate heart rate, respiration, hormone levels, emotions, sexual behavior.
  26. 26. More Questions than Answers  In the last fifteen years scent receptors have been found on the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, colon, brain, skin, skeletal muscles, testes.  These receptors are proteins that coat the surface of cells, allowing them to sense and respond to their environment.  It is likely that the scent of tea permeates the entire body, and these effects are yet to be measured! Alex Stone: “Smell Turns Up in Unexpected Places” NY Times, Oct 13, 2014
  27. 27. Sorry British and Indian Friends: Caseins– milk proteins– inhibit tea’s anti-oxidant and positive cardiovascular effects Mario Lorenz, Nicoline Jochmann, Amélie von Krosigk, Peter Martus, Gert Baumann, Karl Stangl and Verena Stangl. European Heart Journal, doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehl442, 2007 BUT TEA IS NOT A CURE-ALL; BENEFITS MUST BE SUPPORTED BY HEALTHY DIET & LIFESTYLE!
  29. 29. 壺茶 中裡 日乾 月坤 長大 In my tea is the greatness of heaven and earth; In my pot is the longevity of the sun and moon.
  31. 31. 189 Taiwanese adults randomly assigned to an intent-treated tea group or untreated tea group. Each evening for 7 days, they took the “Profile of Mood States” questionnaire as well as health, personality, and well- being inventories. Days 3, 4, and 5, each drank 2.5 cups (600 mL) of organic Oolong tea.
  32. 32. Protocol: Lu Cheng, respected Buddhist Master and two senior monks focused on bottled tea for 22 minutes, concentrating on the phrase, “An individual who consumes this tea will manifest optimal health and functioning at physical, emotional and mental levels, and in particular they will enjoy an increased sense of energy, vigor and well-being. This enhancement is only to this batch of tea.” The untreated tea bottles were kept in a distant room.
  33. 33. RESULTS Treated tea group: 200% improvement in mood compared to untreated tea group. Beliefs and Placebo also examined. Those who correctly believed that they were drinking treated tea showed a 700% improvement in mood.Effects noted on: • Vigor • Fatigue • Anger • Tension • Depression • Self-Esteem • Confusion
  34. 34. HOW CAN WE SENSITIZE OURSELVES TO CHA QI AND OPTIMIZE BENEFITS?  A Mood of Leisure 無事  Get Rid of Selfishness 無我  Practice Qigong 修練氣功
  35. 35. 南 無 茶 Namu Cha I BOW TO TEA
  36. 36. 無我茶會 No Self Tea Gathering
  37. 37. THANK YOU! Website: Email: