What Is Pu-erh Tea?

Pu-erh tea originates from the Yunnan province of China. It is named after the town in which it was first developed. Pu-erh tea (pronounced “poo-air”) is post-fermented, which means that the tea leaves go through a microbial fermentation process after they have been dried and rolled, causing the leaves to darken and change in flavor. This process allows the teas to not only improve with age like a fine wine, but many pu-erhs are able to retain their freshness for up to fifty years! Pu-erh teas can be found in compressed brick form or in loose leaf form and can be made from both green and black tea leaves. It is made from ancient trees with mature leaves that are said to be between 500 and 1000 years old. These trees are grown in temperate regions and although they can be harvested year-round, the opportune time to harvest is in mid-spring. Various conditions and environmental factors can impact the flavor profile of pu-erh, resulting in a rich experience for the tea drinker’s palate.

History of Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea can be traced back to the Yunnan Province during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220CE). Pu-erh was transported by mules and horses in long caravans along established routes that became known as the Tea Horse Roads. Traders would barter for tea in the markets of Pu-erh County and then hire the caravans to carry the tea back to their respective homes.
The increasing demand for a tea that could be easily transported and did not spoil on long journeys sent suppliers on a frenzy to come up with ways to preserve the tea. It was found that with fermentation of the leaves, the tea not only stayed fresh, but it actually improved with age. People soon discovered that pu-erh also helped with digestion and cancer, provided other nutrients to the diet, and because it was so affordable, it quickly became a popular household amenity. Pu-erh tea was highly prized and it became a powerful tool for bartering amongst traveling merchants.
Pu-erh Tea Today
Today, pu-erh continues to be regarded as a highly prized commodity. Even in modern society, a well preserved pu-erh still maintains its value and remains a household treat. In western society, the popularity of pu-erh tea is only just now being introduced to the mainstream population of tea drinkers. It is only a matter of time before the beauty and benefits of pu-erh tea become commonplace household knowledge. I learned about pu-erh tea through Dr. Steven Gundry in his latest book The Longevity Paradox and I found it to be a refreshing variant to kombucha tea. Your good gut bugs will love it, as it helps to strengthen the gut barrier!
Pu-erh Tea Types and Variants
There are two different ways a pu-erh tea can be classified: raw (sheng) and cooked/ripe (shou). This is due to the amount of processing that occurs after the tea leaves are picked and withered.
With raw processing, the leaves are withered then heaped into piles, much like a compost pile, allowing bacteria to ferment. This is the most important step of the process, called “Wo Dui” (moist track). This is the point where the character of the tea begins to develop. The leaves are then partially pan fired in order to halt enzyme activity, lightly rolled and kneaded, then left to dry in a “Dry Storage” environment with enough moisture to allow the tea to slowly oxidize over time. At this point, the tea is immediately compressed into cakes or left in loose leaf form.
The cooked processing method was developed in the early 1970’s by the Yunnan Kunming tea factory to speed up the process of production. With cooked processing, the tea leaves are picked and withered then mixed with a bacterial culture created to replicate the bacteria that would be created during natural fermentation. Then, the pu-erh is left to fully oxidize for up to 40 days in a hot and humid environment before firing, creating a dark, earthy infusion.
Pu-erh Tea Tips & Preparation
Fill your teapot or tea bowl with about 1 Tbsp tea leaves per 8oz water, and ‘awaken’ them by quickly rinsing with hot water. Immediately flush out the water and re-steep. The best Pu-erh teas can be steeped up to 10-12 times before beginning to lose their flavor. Pu-erh tea is best enjoyed when slurped. This allows for exposure to the air, which will activate the diverse flavors while providing greater contact with your taste buds. Post-fermentation by aging breaks down the caffeine levels in pu-erh, meaning that the caffeine content naturally diminishes the older it gets. This means that a very old pu-erh might have trace amounts of caffeine by the time it is consumed in comparison to a younger pu-erh. That being said, the actual caffeine content present in a cup of pu-erh tea varies upon how long the tea is steeped. The longer the steep time, the more caffeine the tea will contain. Caffeine content will lessen each time tea is re-steeped.
I buy organic Pu-erh tea at my local food coop. You can order some wonderful varieties of Pu-erh tea from the Art of Tea. Please note that I adapted the above information from the Art of Tea website, making modifications for this post. To read more about the benefits of pu-erh tea, Cup & Leaf has a great list of the top 8 benefits. Enjoy!

In good health,

Van
FMHC: NB & GCP

I am a certified functional medicine health coach (FMHC), here to help you with wellness coaching, nutritional and lifestyle programs, Vibrant Labs microchip testing, detoxification protocols, hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), heavy metals, wheat & gluten disorders and with a variety of physical & autoimmune conditions.

Learn more and contact me through my website: www.vhhealth.com.

For the BEST near infrared sauna, please visit SaunaSpace.com.

Nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat or cure any condition. It does not constitute medical advice.

Copyright © 2019 vhHealth.com, All rights reserved.

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Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that support your healthy gut. They can be found in your gut and in a variety of foods, as well as in some fermented supplements.

Probiotics maintain the integrity of the gut lining, boost immune function, promote healthy inflammatory responses, improve digestion, help heal inflammatory bowel conditions, manage and prevent skin conditions, fight food-borne illnesses, and improve psychological function.

What are some of the best probiotic-rich foods?

  • Fermented foods: Yoghurt (dairy and non-dairy), Lassi (Indian yoghurt drink), kefir (dairy and non-dairy).
  • Fermented soy: Natto, miso, and tempeh (avoid if soy-allergic or soy-sensitive or soy-intolerant).
  • Veggies: Sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, and kimchi.
  • Tea:  Kombucha.

Prebiotics are carbohydrate-based sources of fiber that are food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotic fibers help your probiotics to grow and thrive. They are helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”). They also help to regulate bowel function, and form a foundation in your gut so that your probiotics can grow and stabilize.

What are some of the best prebiotic foods?

  • Vegatables: Onions, chicory, garlic, leeks, leafy greens, asparagus, artichokes, and tomatoes (skip the tomatoes if omitting nightshades).
  • Fruits: Berries, bananas, kiwis, cherries, apples, pears, mangos.
  • Grain: Oats (omit if on a gluten-free diet) and quinoa (pressure cooked).
  • Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, white beans, black beans (pressure cooked).
  • Seeds & Gums: Flaxseed, acacia gum.

In addition to heathy probiotic and prebiotic foods, eating foods that are rich in polyphenols can help to further balance your gut bacteria.

Some of the best polyphenol-rich foods are: Green tea, yellow onion, dark red wine, dark chocolate (must be 72% or higher), cocoa powder, cloves, peppermint, celery seed, black elderberry, cherry, green olive, European chestnut, flaxseed, basil, Mexican oregano, blueberry, plum, pecan, and hazelnut.

Note: If you have an allergy, sensitivity, or an intolerance to any food, avoid it. If you have been advised by a health care practitioner to abstain from any food listed, avoid it. Not sure if a food is okay for you? Contact me to find out more about Vibrant laboratories microchip testing. Mayo Clinic says Vibrant is ushering in a “new era” of laboratory testing. These tests are 97-99% accurate, unlike any other tests in history. Contact me to do the Vibrant Zoomer testing and find out what your triggers are!

Wishing you health & happiness,

Van

FMHC: NB & GCP

I am a certified functional medicine health coach (FMHC), here to help you with wellness coaching, nutritional and lifestyle programs, detoxification protocols, hair testing mineral analysis (HTMA), heavy metals, wheat & gluten disorders and with a variety of physical & autoimmune conditions.

Learn more and contact me through my website: www.vhhealth.com.

For the BEST near infrared sauna, please visit SaunaSpace.com.

Nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat or cure any condition. It does not constitute medical advice.

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What is Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut)?

Hundreds of books are being written about intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.” I want to share with you the great explanation my mentor Dr. Tom O’Bryan wrote in The Autoimmune Fix.
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Summer Reads

Recommended Books To Help You On Your Healing Journey

In addition to staying up to date on research for my Nutritional Balancing program, I spend another 40 hours a month reading additional research. Here are some books I have read (and re-read!) for you to read as you progress on your healing journey:

Genius Foods – by Max Lugavere with Paul Grewal MD

The End of Alzheimer’s – by Dale E. Bredesen MD

The Loving Diet – by Jessica Flanigan CN

The Wahls Protocol – by Terry Wahls MD

Perfect Health Diet – by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet, PhDs

Grain Brain – by David Perlmutter, MD

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – by Izabella Wentz, PharmD

Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? – by Mark Hyman, MD

The Autoimmune Fix – by Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN

Sauna Therapy For Detoxification & Healing – by Lawrence Wilson, MD

The last 17 years have been unparalleled in human history with an explosion of quality medical research! Unfortunately, it takes an average of 17 years for this research to trickle down to a conventional medicine doctor’s office. Fortunately for us, this new information is coming out right now through books and lectures.

May you read well & be well!

Copyright http://www.vhHealth.com 2018

Need to Quit Wheat & Gluten?

I just graduated from the top Certified Gluten Practitioner (CGP) program in the world!

I began studying gluten-related disorders in 1985 due to life-long problems with eating wheat (something I did daily in my Dutch-American family the first 29 years of my life). In 2010, research led me to the work of world -renowned gluten specialist, Dr.Tom O’Bryan. Thankfully, Dr. Tom (www.thedr.com) developed a practitioner course to teach doctors and other health practitioners about gluten/wheat sensitivity, celiac disease, and related autoimmune disorders. In this course I learned that many gluten symptoms remain silent for years, that gluten KILLS people, and that gluten is the basis for at least 300 autoimmune diseases.

As a CGP, I can now offer you the newest state-of-the-art blood testing to give you definitive answers to these questions: Am I celiac? Am I non-celiac but still gluten sensitive? I am allergic to wheat but not to gluten? Can I eat wheat? If I cannot eat wheat, can I still eat barley and rye? What is the difference between being allergic to wheat or sensitive to gluten? Can I eat wheat once in a while without harming my body? Do I have intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”)? Continue reading

Gluten

Gluten

A gluten intolerance is the body’s inability to digest or break down the gluten protein found in wheat and certain other foods and products. Gluten intolerance (or gluten sensitivity) can range from a mild sensitivity  to full-blown celiac disease. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 1 out of every 133 Americans has celiac disease. This is a severe autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption that can damage the small intestine. And another 18 million Americans are estimated to have NCGS: “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” (https://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity/ ) Continue reading

CoEnzyme Q-10: Clearing up the Confusion

Many of us already have heard about Coenzyme-Q10, the natural antioxidant synthesized by the body, found in many foods, and available in supplement form. It comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form, which the body partially converts to ubiquinol. Continue reading