Protect Lungs And Intestine With The Fabulous ‘F’ Tea
Traditional Chinese Medicine system has been practiced for more than 50 centuries and takes a broader understanding of laws and patterns of nature and applies them to human body. The goal of TCM is to cure the root cause of illness not just by its symptoms. It views the human person holistically rather than loosely connected pieces. In view of the Chinese people, part of their healthy lifestyle is to use these traditional way of curing illnesses other than the latest medicines we have now.
In ancient times, those people who understood the way of self cultivation, patterned themselves upon the “Yin” and “Yang” which is the two principles of nature, and they believe that these principles can lead them to live harmoniously with the seasons.
In TCM, fall is the beginning of the Yin cycle when the daylight lasts less than twelve hours. It is the time of harvest for winter storage, and pumpkins and squashes are the symbols of bounty. The season of autumn which is the wonderful time of the year is associated with the element of metal, which governs organization, purity, discernment, the mind, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. It’s also the perfect time to begin more introspective, indoor project. To practice healthy lifestyle during autumn season, we should encourage our energy to move inward and downward. We should take time for ourselves to reflect on our lives. It is the good time to concentrate on what direction we’d like our life to go and what steps we can take to get there.
The lungs and large intestines are the internal organs related to fall and the metal element. Lung is associated with the emotion of letting go and sleep is an important aspect of staying healthy in the fall due to longer night time. Lungs is considered in oriental medicine to be the most vital and tender organ because it is the uppermost organ in the body responsible for gas exchange and is very susceptible to infections, wind and cold.
What we take into our body greatly affects our lungs and large intestines, and we must cognizant enough on what we eat and the kind of air we breathe. We need to protect our lungs during this season because it is the time when the wind gets colder, and common diseases are more prevalent than in the other seasons. Some of the diseases that people are most susceptible during autumn season are:
- Cold and Flu
- Skin damage due to dryness brought by strong winds.
- Excess mucus in the lungs which leads to ineffective airway clearance.
- Constipation and Diarrhea which may lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease.
Eliminating or greatly reducing foods in the diet that cause these diseases and alternating foods that can promote balanced nutrition are often helpful.
If you suffer from any of these diseases, Chinese herbs are wonderful for alleviating these problems. Drinking tea is one of the recommended ways for these conditions and it is believed that drinking daily for at least four weeks in the fall can protect, strengthens, and clears mucus from the lungs and large intestines.
The ‘F’ Tea
This one of a kind tea is mainly composed of three natural ingredients which is Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare), Flax (Linum Usitatissimum), and Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenumgraecum) and is collectively called the “F” Tea. Each of these three ingredients has its own health benefits and when combined, will greatly produce more benefits for our body. Fennel is an umbelliferous herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves which is highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses. Fennel is chiefly used to ease flatulence and can relax the intestines and reduce bloating caused by digestive disorders. Flax is the source of linseed oil which contains high levels of dietary fibers and omega-3 fatty acids and it also helps to protect the body against hypertension, inflammation, water retention and decreased immune system. Fenugreek on the other hand is used both as an herb and as a spice and frequently used in curry. It is used in TCM under the name “HU LU BA” and it warms and tonifies the kidneys, disperses cold and alleviates pain.
The seeds of these three natural herbs are prepared as a decoction and simmered for at least 20 minutes. Comfrey was added to this formula as it does extensively treat lung ailments and loosen mucus from the lungs. But now, FDA has replaced comfrey by nettles because comfrey has toxic properties to the liver due to its high concentration of certain alkaloids. Other than nettles, peppermint can optionally be added as an additional flavor or licorice which adds sweetness. People with hypertension should avoid adding licorice to the formula as it may cause elevated blood pressure.
Full Preparation of “F” Tea are as follows:
- 5 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of Fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon of Flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon of Fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon of nettle leaf
- 1 tablespoon of peppermint or licorice
- Combine Fennel, Flax, and Fenugreek seeds (and licorice if using) to 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat; add nettles, steeping for 15 minutes.
- Add peppermint and steep for another 5 minutes.
- Strain, and put it in a cup of tea. Drink 1 cup at least twice a day.
Extra tea can be stored in a refrigerator for 3 days.