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Chinese Health Tea

by: Dang Yi, Wang Huizhu, and Peng Yong

Beijing China: New World Press 2001, Paperback
ISBN: 7-80005-554-X

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2002 Issue: 9(1) page(s): 24

This second printing is of a 1999 volume, if you missed it, allows for catching up on tea. It reports this beverage can maintain health and prevent disease. Included are chapters about tea use for promoting intelligence, reducing weight, improving vision, beautifying hair, treating a sore throat, increasing appetite, alleviating mental depression, and dozens of other uses. In each of them, are specific recipes for specific teas discussed according to taste, properties, meridian classifications in traditional Chinese medicine, and more, and each ends with the Chinese source; given in Chinese, of course.

The very first recipe in the book is well-organized and as such is similar to the several hundred that follow. They are in thirty-odd chapters, each addressing another health-specific use of tea. The first one, illustrative of their form, is for maintaining health; it begins a section titled: For Promoting Intelligence, and is called Renshen Cha. The ingredients are: Renshen and Ginseng or Radix ginseng. It comes, as do all of the recipes, with directions on how to make the tea. For this one: Make as tea with boiling water. Cover the cup and let sit for thirty minutes before drinking. Then the recipe gives its functions: To strengthen the immune system, activate the nervous system, reduce blood sugar, promote synthesis of protein and nucleic acid, enhance heart contraction, and inhibit cancer cells. The section goes on to advise it is regarded as above average medicine in Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic provided the correct amount is prescribed. It continues, advising it is safe for long-term use to prolong life.

Nowhere in the above recipe, does it even mention intelligence; that is curious. There are similar omissions in other recipes. The reader is left to wonder why this recipe is in this particular section, categorized as it is. Another question can be in the characteristics the book says these health teas have. They are given as: Good taste and smell; Safe and effective; easy to make; and Potential for product development.

As a reference, this can be a resource that provides ingredients and functions for many teas you may have read about elsewhere. Every recipe is listed in Chinese and it is also listed in alphabetical order in its transliterated Pinyin. This volume has more than seven hundred tea recipes for treatment or prevention of diseases. Many cupfuls to digest!

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