Medicinal Use of Tea

A popular request I get is related to the medicinal use of tea. I’m finally writing this article after discussing this topic with various Chinese friends who have nearly 20 years of experience in the tea business. After discussions with them and other trusted tea connoisseurs I’m ready to post on this topic. I suggest reading a previous post about understanding the world of tea in order to get more familiar with the major varieties of tea.

You’ll find that two major substances in tea do most of the leg work: epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and polyphenol. Remember: I’m not a doctor and the following is a collection of information told by friends, which I’ve cross-referenced with scientific studies. Continue reading Medicinal Use of Tea

Chinese Black Beans

Chinese Black Bean
Chinese Black Beans

I wouldn’t really call these “Black Beans”, but they are black and from the bean variety… so, there you go. Actually, these are Fermented Soya Beans and require a little work to get ready, but are a nice savory addition to Chinese dishes. I bought my first box of 豆豉 “Dou Chi”, while preparing Ginger Fish with a leader at my university here in Guangdong province.

If you want to buy authentic beans, look for this package:

Yang Jiang Dou Chi
Yang Jiang Dou Chi

How to prepare: Basically, consider these black beans as raw materials that have residue from the fermentation process. They are dirty and need a little washing. Rinse them through warm water and let them sit in a bowl while preparing the other ingredients for your dish.

Read about Japanese “Nattō” on wikipedia, which is a watery version and consumed as a breakfast food. Here are some highlights of the medicinal benefits:  Reducing the likelihood of various types of blood clots; Preventing or treating “amyloid-type” diseases such as Alzheimer’s[*2009]; Due to large amounts of vitamin K it can assist with bone formation and prevent osteoporosis; It may have a cholesterol-lowering affect[*2006]