In China and parts of Southeast Asia people have consumed Pu-erh tea for centuries. In addition, it was a significant export product on the Tea-Horse Road. Although even back in its homeland of Yunnan people did not dismiss the amazing Pu-erh tea benefits.
Moreover, in Tibet, this tea was popular with monks for its amazing energizing qualities. While in China, people would always drink it after a meal. Especially an oily one, to aid digestion.
What Is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea originated in Southwestern China's Yunnan Province over 2000 years ago.
In brief, there are two types of Pu-erh: Sheng Pu-erh (Raw Pu-erh) and Shou Pu-erh (Ripe Pu-erh). Shu and Sheng Pu-erh are usually made of Camellia sinensis var. assamica. After the fermentation and roasting process, farmers age pu-erh tea for many years. Consequently, this results in its bold, mellow flavor, as well as its iconic dark color.
Pu-erh Tea For Digestion
Naturally, when anything is fermented, there is a variety of micro-organisms that are born to aid our bodies. Hence, pu-erh is no exception. The micro-organisms that live in our post-fermented friend Pu-erh help increase the healthy bacteria in our stomachs and intestines. In turn, benefiting our digestion.
Furthermore, it helps break down oily and fatty foods. It is no wonder that there is a tradition of serving Pu-erh at Dim Sum restaurants around Hong Kong and China. In order to balance all the delicious but greasy foods.
Pu-erh Tea In Traditional Chinese Medicine
Doctors widely use Pu-erh in Traditional Chinese Medicine to drive toxins out of our bodies. Indeed, it is a cooling tea (yin), which means it helps to balance the heat (yang) in our bodies. On the other hand, an excess of heat in our body usually results in inflammation.
Pu-erh is embodied with earth energy and helps ground. When comparing to a light, fresh, vegetal, and floral green tea, Pu-erh, especially Shu Pu-erh, is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. It is robust, thick, earthy, woody, and extremely mellow. It warms our stomachs and helps connect us with the ground underneath.
For some people, the caffeine content and sharpness of fresh green tea is too much for early mornings. For those, we recommend drinking some Pu-erh tea. The enzymes help to wake up the stomach, body, and mind gently. Just bear in mind to have a snack before your first cup of Pu-erh for the day.
Other Significant Pu-erh Tea Benefits
As Pu-erh ages, it stores up higher amounts of a component called Lovastatin. This is responsible for lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body, while increasing good cholesterol.
The micro-organisms that grow as a result of the wet fermentation process that Pu-erh goes through help to remove certain toxins from our blood.
Some people choose to drink Pu-erh as an aid for hangovers. The tea helps drive the toxins out of our bodies and gives us a clearer, more focussed state of mind.
Read about Pu-erh and Cha Qi.
Aids Weight Loss.
Those who come from Pu-erh drinking regions all know of Pu-erh tea weight loss properties. The characteristics of Pu-erh help our bodies suppress and slow down fat production.
Assists With Sleep. This is true not only to Pu-erh but many other types of tea derived from camellia sinensis. It is true that Pu-erh, like other teas, contains caffeine. However, the way that the caffeine in tea reacts with our bodies is different from the caffeine we get from a cup of black coffee. Pu-erh is known to reduce stress levels while increasing melatonin in our bodies, which helps us have better sleep cycles. Shu Pu-erh is the only tea that Chinese would recommend to drink in the later hours of the day.
Naturally, we all have our own tolerances when it comes to caffeine. Don’t start off with drinking caffeine right before bed, but try drinking it after lunch or dinner and take note of how it makes you feel.