China is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to medicinal plants. Before Western science was out of the cradle, China had a long and storied history with plant, animal, and mineral medicine. Even today, many of these traditional cures persist. We don’t know how, or if all of them work as intended, but many traditional Chinese medications have become accepted around the world.
Since the history of tea is well established, below is a look at some of the best Chinese detox teas. We’ll also give you some great recipes so you can try them yourself.
If you want to sample wholesome Chinese detox teas without great expense or effort, try pre-made formulations. These include Detox Tea from Pukka Herbs, Flor Essence Gentle Detox Tea from Flora, and Cleanse & Detox Herbal Tea from Gaia Herbs.
This way, all you have to do is heat some water and dunk a teabag. You can observe the effect then decide if you want to go deeper into this remarkable tea tradition. If so, here are some recommended places to start.
True Teas and Their Effects
All true “tea” (black, green, oolong, and white) from China comes from a single plant: Camellia sinensis. The difference between these teas comes down to cultivation practices, growing duration and location, and preparation after harvest.
Black tea, for example, is allowed to oxidize longer than green, oolong, or white teas. During this process, the leaves wilt and go from green to black. This results in a product with a flavor that is stronger and lasts longer. The flavor of black tea lasts longer than that of the other varieties to the extent that bricks of black tea have been used as currency.
Of course, a tea’s flavor profile is not necessarily indicative of its potential benefits. Subtler green and white teas may be just as effective at detoxifying the body, and may accomplish this goal in different ways than the more strongly flavored oolong and black teas.
What are these effects? Some scientific studies indicate that some Chinese tea varieties support a healthy cardiovascular system by helping to support the structure of cell walls, supporting sugar metabolism, and promoting an overall sense of wellness. Whether or not you include these effects under the umbrella term of detoxification is up to you, but the purported benefits of Chinese detox teas are, at this point, established.
Chinese Detox Tea Recipes
The easiest Chinese detox tea recipe starts with adding dry tea leaves to hot water, allowing them to steep, then consuming the drink when the resulting mixture is cool enough. This is the way tea has been enjoyed for millennia. However, you may not enjoy the taste of tea, or may wish to spice up the practice to feel excited about it.
For black tea, try making Chai in the Indian tradition. Steep black tea with black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. A well-spiced mixture is best, though no two recipes call for the same spice quantities. Once you have a richly flavored base, consider adding milk or sugar to taste.
Green and white teas tend to play well with fruit. Pulverize citrus fruits like pineapple or orange in a container of iced green or white tea, then enjoy when you need a refreshing beverage. Sugary fruits like mango or peach marry well with black and oolong tea, and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
The best way to enjoy a Chinese detox tea is the way that gives you the most pleasure. As long as you consume a high quality product from a trusted source, you hope to feel support for your overall wellness. You may not perceive these benefits directly, but if tradition and science tell us anything, your body is experiencing the difference in important ways.