Friday, June 12, 2020
Ba Bao Cha 八宝茶 - Eight Treasures Tea
This recipe is based on a 13th century tradition of the Hui people in the Northwestern part of China, who would serve a special drink with eight ingredients composed of tea, fruits, flowers and sugar to guests and older relatives in order to nourish and revive them. It became famous throughout China during the Qing dynasty when the Empress Dowager Ci Xi ordered her physicians to make her a formula of tea that would keep her body youthful and her mind clear and calm.
There are many adaptations of this royal tea, and I have written one specific to our pandemic times that is safe for all ages and conditions.
The combination and amounts of the ingredients in this tea have the TCM actions of calming the spirit and mind (shen 神), promoting circulation of blood and qi, nourishing and protecting the lung qi, clearing wind heat pathogens from the lungs, nourishing and harmonizing the liver and spleen qi, and quelling fire from heat exhaustion and stress in order to brighten the eyes.
While Ba Bao Cha is not a medical prescription, it is very supportive to the practice of “yangsheng” (literally “nourish life”), for those who wish to improve and protect their health through qigong, self-massage, breathing, healthy eating and a moderate lifestyle. Enjoy!
2g chopped almonds (blanched, or without skin)
2 slices of pear
2g ju hua (Chrysanthemi Flos, chrysanthemum flower tea, Chrysanthementee)
2g gou qi zi (Lycii Fructus, goji berries, Gojibeere)
1 hong zao (Jujubae Fructus, Chinese red date, Chinesische rote Datteln)
2g mei gui hua (Rosae rugosae Flos, rosebud tea, Rosenknospe)
½ g chen pi (Citrii reticulatae Pericarpium, dried Mandarin tangerine peel, getrocknete Mandarinenschale)
1-2g white granulated/rock sugar (Kristallzucker/Kandiszucker)
Soak the Chinese red dates (hong zao), and dried tangerine peel (chen pi) in a small bowl of cold water for about half an hour.
Place all eight ingredients in a teapot, pour freshly boiled water over it (about half a liter) and let steep for 10 minutes. You can leave the ingredients in the pot, and refresh the tea one more time.
Note: Organic goji berries and rosebuds can usually be bought in stores that sell organic food or specialty tea shops, and hong zao and chen pi from reputable TCM herbal medicine suppliers or better Asian grocery stores.
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