Hot Tea: KUKICHA (茎茶), or twig tea


Woman Drinking Tea

 

Why not step away from the “Ice” Tea for a minute? Kukicha is a Japanese Green tea made from the stems and twigs of the tea plant. Immediately after taking a sip of this warm and flavorful tea, I feel a warm soothing sensation permeating throughout my body. It is as though I can feel it literally melting away the unwanted fat and toxins. There are times I brew this tea with Chinese Green and Oolong, because each tea has its’ own unique components for optimum health benefits. It seems wrong to call this an earthy tea, mainly because isn’t that where all teas come from? However, when drinking this you get a sense of what the actual twigs taste like inside; a little nutty with a hint of sweetness.

 

Benefits of Kukicha tea

Most of the benefits of kukicha tea stem from its alkalizing properties. Prevention of numerous diseases is achieved through alkalization of bodily fluids and tissues and consequent balanced levels of acidity. The diet containing white flour, sugars, dairy products, eggs and meat, raises the body’s acidity and eventually results in fatigue, premature aging, weakened immune system, heart, kidney or bladder conditions, problems with the weight, joints and bones. The body containing too much acid draws minerals from bones and other organs, and stores fat; then your body maybe working overtime to get rid of toxins. Though you do not see it, it may be happening. Then eventually the system gets jammed and that is where problems may set in sometimes regardless of fitness regimens.  In my opinion, there are absolutely nothing wrong with the foods mentioned above when it doesn’t contain hormones and chemicals….and as long as the body is balanced out with other nutritional foods. There has to be a balance, and if you do not eat plenty of veggies you should consider drinking them via tea (V8 juice is processed, reconstituted veggies w/salt) ;-)

Kukicha twig tea is abundant in minerals like copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, zinc and fluoride, A, C and B-complex vitamins and flavonoids, and like green tea, it contains polyphenols catechins, which are famous for their anti-cancer action. The most powerful of these substances is epigallocatechin, which prevents cancer by discouraging the growth of tumors and stops it from spreading within cells. It is also known to promote digestion. Kukicha tea is virtually caffeine free. Moreover it has a high content of tannin which helps clean the body from toxins. Tannin can even free the body from nicotine and radioactivity which is why it is recommended to people who take many medications.

Similarly to green tea, twig tea also regulates the levels of blood sugar, while by lowering high blood pressure, it prevents strokes and heart disease. Being an immunity booster, it helps combat virus-induced colds and flu. Kukicha tea can also promote weight loss slow down the aging process and prevent ulcers. I truly believe this tea has helped me maintain my weight! When brewing twig tea it is important to use hot instead of boiling water. Once boiled water has cooled it is ready for use, then the tea is steeped for three minutes the most. Personally, I often prefer “strong” tea, so I will steep for 5-15 minutes without adding anything else to it.

 

Kukicha Tea Stems

 

A Little Kukicha and Green Tea Trivia:

Green tea is often classified as one of the so-called ‘super foods’ due to its wealth of health-boosting components that may help fight a wide array of ailments and diseases. ‘Super food’ is the term used to describe foods with high antioxidant and phytonutrient content.

Antioxidants in kukicha tea help fight the ravages of free radicals that are seen as the source of many of today’s debilitating diseases. Did you know that aside from the catechins that are so abundant in kukicha tea, there are many other types of antioxidants?

The Japanese have some of the world’s longest life expectancy rates. The Japanese drink tea after nearly every meal, which may contribute to their longevity. People of the Mediterranean love to have red wine after their meals, which is also potent with beneficial antioxidants.  

The quality of the water used to brew the tea is very important. It is believed that the water used must be free of contaminants and contain enough oxygen to enhance the natural flavor of the tea. Teas made with pure water yield a crisp flavor and a clear brew that is aesthetically pleasant.

EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate is the most abundant antioxidant catechin in kukicha tea. It is found in high amounts in this beverage as the kukicha tea leaves undergo very minimal amounts.

Vitamin C is said to help the body absorb more of the antioxidant content of green tea. New studies have shown that taking citrus juices, like those of oranges and lemons, along with green tea enable more of the tea’s antioxidants to remain after the digestion process is completed.

“Hot” Tea is not just great for women, men and children should drink it too for a healthy lifestyle; especially here in the USA where obesity is on the rise. You can start anytime. But remember: some medicines can conflict with certain teas including ibuprofen.

 

Kukicha

 

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