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Technetium said

New to loose green tea, trying to come up with the perfect blend of ingredients

I’ve been taking green tea once a day for a few years, and just recently I decided to switch from the pre-bagged Good Earth brand I’ve been using to mixing my own tea. I bought a kg of green tea along with some dried ginkgo leaf and dried jasmine. It came out remarkably well for my first effort, so I’m feeling pretty good about this.

I’m mostly interested in tea for health benefits and I’ve been reading a bit about chinese herbalism, trying to come up with a list of the best stuff that people in China have been using for thousands of years for premium health and longevity. I want to know if it is practical to consider adding all of the following ingredients to a tea concoction, and if so, how much per cup of tea?

Gotu Kola (Asiatic Pennywort): This is in dried leaf form, it’s very healthy and has no side-effects so I’m not worried about taking too much.

Goji Berry (Wolfberry): I can buy these dried. They are kind of expensive. I’m thinking I can chop them up into tiny bits to mix in the tea, since the smaller the pieces the more will be absorbed into the tea. One berry per cup okay?

Lingzhi (Reishi mushroom): This comes as a powder. It’s supposed to be very bitter. I’ve read that if you are brewing a “hot water extract” from the mushroom it takes several hours. I’m wondering if I can just add a small amount of the powder directly to the tea. I’ve also read that you should ideally consume about 6 grams of it per day, which seems like a lot, even split up into the 3 cups of tea I aim to drink per day. Will it still be beneficial in lesser quantities?

Ginkgo leaf: I’m already using this, about 1/3 as much Ginkgo as green tea. I’ve heard that it is possible to take too much Ginkgo so I want to know what the limit should be on it.

Ginseng: I want to get this eventually. I’m holding off now because the root is extremely expensive (It seems $150 per pound is common). If I do get it, it will probably be a very small amount per cup of tea.

He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti Tieng): Another root that comes in small black dried slices. I have no idea how much to use, and haven’t ordered any yet because it does have some minor side-effects (occasional diarrhea supposedly).

Any suggestions?

7 Replies
Uniquity said

Honestly, with the questions you’ve posed I would advise talking to a doctor, naturopath or other professsional, especially concerning what might be “too much” of a given ingredient.

For myself, I’ve only had Goji Berries from your above list. Since I don’t enjoy my tea for health benefits I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they might do or not do for you, but I can say that they are tasty in tea, but you have to be careful with your proportions.

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I would agree with Uniquity. Definitely check with a doctor. I know with Gingko Leaf you need to be cautious if taking blood thinners. I have no idea what that mixture would taste like, maybe bitter. Depending on the type of green you are using, powders might not mix well and goji berries might not mix well. In both cases they may end up at the bottom of your tea container. For blending, start with a small amount of green and use small amounts of herbs/berries. No point in wasting all your tea or herbs if you don’t like what you’ve made. To get a true taste of what your blend will taste like this mixture should sit for a few days or a week if possible.

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You really should check with your regular dr. I also recommend checking with a Chinese herbal medicine doctor. Find one with a md degree from China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. You want to be very careful with ginkgo, especially when you plan to use it long term. Please check with your dr first.

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Technetium said

I’m going to stop using the Ginkgo until I can talk to an expert on it. I wasn’t aware of the potential side-effects. I don’t think I would have a problem since I am not taking any medications and have no existing medical conditions, but I might as well be on the safe side. The goji berry, gotu kola, and lingzhi, as far as I have been able to find information on, doesn’t have any side effects, so I’ll go ahead and use those as I get them. I think I will try each of them separately with the tea rather than all at once so I can get an idea of how they each affect the taste. Also if any of them make me feel loopy I will know which one. I’ll see if I can find a Chinese herbal medicine doctor… not sure how easy that will be to find, though.

Uniquity said

I was going to make a point about how most of these things sound like they would taste awful, but I figured I would stick to the medical aspect for now. : ) I’ve had some lovely blends with goji berries but they can be finnicky. I haven’t had any teas with the rest of your ingredients.

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You need to know that other than the goji berry, everything else you listed are medicine used to treat medical conditions in traditional Chinese medicine.

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Technetium said

They are, but what I’ve read is that they are also used for “general health”. For example, lingzhi mushroom is used medicinally for assistance in treating hepatitis and chemotherapy. However, it’s also used by healthy practitioners for benefits in strengthening the immune system, cancer prevention, prevention of certain liver diseases, and prevention of acquiring the flu.

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