When I started drinking pu’erh tea nearly a month ago, I wasn’t thinking about weight loss. So imagine my surprise that I’ve lost the two annoying pounds I typically pack on in January and lug around until May!
It’s not that I hadn’t read about the alleged health attributes of pu’erh, which include weight loss. It’s that my primary interests were to learn more about a legendary tea that the Chinese and other serious tea aficionados spend thousands of dollars to purchase at auction. A tea from 500- year-old trees tended by hill tribes in southern Yunnan. A tea that is known to provide energy to those who imbibe it.
Now that I’ve experimented with this tea for enough time to evaluate it, it’s a double-thumbs-up and I will continue to drink it. Not just because I’ve lost weight drinking it, though that’s a powerful incentive, but because it absolutely boosts my energy without the jitters I typically experience when I consume caffeine. Oh, and did I mention that it tastes good?
The Chinese refer to pu’erh as a “miracle tonic” or the most medicinal of teas. For thousands of years the Chinese have observed the use of foods, beverages, herbs, roots, tree bark, fungus and other natural ingredients to determine how they affect the body’s energy fields (qi) and if body imbalances respond to specific ingredients or a combination thereof. Here are some of the health benefits attributed to pu’erh:
It is credited with slowing down the aging process, helping in the prevention of heart disease and cancer, managing diabetes, removing toxins, curing dysentery, decreasing internal inflammation, aiding digestion and weight loss, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol and improving blood circulation.
There is scientific proof that naturally grown, organic foods contain more antioxidants than those produced in a “conventional” manner. Science has also proven that teas of all varieties are high in antioxidants, known to slow down the aging process, help the heart, protect against some cancers and lower internal inflammation. If the heart is doing well, it follows that circulation would improve.
Pu’erh tea is unique among teas in that it is considered a “living tea.” There are active enzymes in pu’erh as the tea is fermented and composted. Even when the tea is compressed into its signature shapes, the fermentation and enzymatic process continues. The enzymes most likely act to lower cholesterol, aid digestion and assist in burning fat, which would stimulate metabolism and trigger weight loss.
In traditional Chinese restaurants serving dim sum dishes, it is customary to serve Pu-erh tea. Its ability to break down oily and fatty food and aid digestion makes it an ideal drink to serve with heavy meals and high fat foods.
Among the less provable claims, the belief is that the 500 year old tea trees, which grow at high altitudes and are cultivated naturally without chemicals, contain powerful qi. That’s a difficult claim to discount.
Finally, Numi Teas produce a pu’erh tea with magnolia blossoms, my personal favorite. I did a quick Internet search today to see if there are health benefits attributed to magnolia. Indeed, there are. The bark and the buds are both used in traditional Chinese medicine, and one of the alleged benefits includes weight loss.
While there are no guarantees that pu’erh will help you lose weight and keep it off, there are compelling reasons to give it a try. I’m sticking with it, that’s for sure!
Further information on pu’erh’s health benefits are listed below. There are additional studies on the Internet addressing pu’erh and its health properties.