Chinese herbal teas have been used for centuries to provide healthy refreshment. Each tea can have one ingredient or many. Typical ingredients are dried flowers, dried fruit, roots, leaves or seeds. Each one is prized for its unique value in Chinese medicine. The healing properties have not been proven by modern science; so, check with your doctor before using any of these teas medicinally. As a wise consumer, be sure that your Chinese tea comes from a trusted source, one that tests its products to be sure they are free from pesticides, heavy metals or sulfites. Once you’re assured of their safety, start brewing and enjoy.
Eight Treasures Tea
The treasures in this tea are a selection of healthy herbs, fruits and spices. The mixture varies slightly from one manufacturer to another. According to the food blog Camemberu.com, typical ingredients are: chrysanthemum, red dates, dried lily buds, jasmine or green tea, wolfberries, dried longan, lilyturf root and rock sugar. Eight Treasures Tea is consumed to soothe the nerves, promote digestion and restore vital energy
Chrysanthemum is one of the most popular Chinese herbal teas. On her Appetite for China website, Diana Kuan says that chrysanthemum tea has "the taste of spring." In Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is considered cooling. Although the theory is not supported by Western medicine, chrysanthemum tea is thought to reduce fevers and, possibly, lower blood pressure.
The gingko is one of the world’s oldest trees, and it seems appropriate that gingko tea has a woody taste. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes that gingko is best known for its possible ability to enhance memory and improve mental clarity, and several trials and studies were launched to investigate these properties.
The highly fragrant osmanthus flowers are used in Chinese cooking and make a tasty tea. Osmanthus tea can be enjoyed by itself or blended with other teas like green tea and Oolong tea.
Honeysuckle tea is considered detoxifying and cooling. It has a slight medicinal taste with a bit of sweetness and is used in a variety of tea blends. Honeysuckle is thought to help prevent sore throats.
Qian Ri Hong/Globe Amaranth Flower
Qian Ri Hong means “Thousand Days Red,” which refers to the long time the flowers stay in bloom. The tea has a pleasant, sweet herbal taste. In Chinese medicine, Qian Ri Hong is considered rich in essential minerals and vitamins and is thought to relieve coughs.
Lavender tea is enjoyed in many cultures, including China. It is considered calming and thought to be a remedy for insomnia. This aromatic tea is tasty by itself or in blends. The tea website Teaspring.com recommends blending lavender with mint leaves for a special treat.