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Can Chinese Medicine Help You Replace Coffee & Energy Drinks?

TCM herbs to replace coffee

Does using TCM herbs to cut down on coffee consumption and reduce your reliance on “false energy drinks” work? Many people rely on caffeine or sugary energy drinks for an energy boost. But the problem with energy drinks is that they often lead to energy crashes. After the caffeine (or sugar) wears off, you’re right back to where you started: dead tired. 

The point of this article is not to debate the health merits of coffee; several studies support its consumption in moderation. However, excess caffeine consumption and sugar-laden energy drinks are unequivocally harmful to health and they are false-energy boosters. 

These beverages do not strengthen the body internally, and overtime, they may weaken the body’s organ system. 

But the good news is that if your goal is to have rock-steady energy throughout the day, and possibly reduce your caffeine consumption, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may help. 

How Does Using TCM Herbs To Cut Down On Coffee Work? 

Sure, caffeine can really make you feel more mentally alert. However, over time, you can develop caffeine resistance; one cup a day may turn into a multi-cup habit in order to feel the effects of the caffeine coursing through your veins. 

Another problem with caffeine is that it doesn’t specifically build up the body’s overall internal Qi, or vibrant energy that promotes homeostasis (balance) of the 12 paired organ systems of TCM theory. 

TCM remedies may help reduce caffeine dependence by building the central Qi and nourishing TCM organs such as Spleen.

(Not to get too technical, but coffee may actually help dredge stagnant Qi in the Liver channel. But excess caffeine consumption may harm overall Qi flow rather than build it.)

So in order to feel naturally energetic throughout the day, which essentially means you feel neither hyper nor tired, but centered and grounded, you have to maintain an abundance of internal Qi throughout the organs. 

People who can get through the day only by consuming a lot of caffeine or sugar have a Qi deficiency. Certain TCM herbs may help support energy levels by building the central Qi and nourishing TCM organs such as Spleen. 

Although Chinese herbal medicine that builds internal Qi does not work instantaneously like a venti 24-ounce coffee, over a period of time, TCM may help. 

Best TCM Herbs To Build Internal Qi

If you’re looking for a natural supplement that may help support your body’s natural energy levels, start with a couple time-tested Qi tonics. 

Qi tonics tonify (strengthen) the body’s capacity to increase energy. And we’re not just talking about the esoteric Qi energy that governs the cosmos, the Earth and your internal organs. Taking a Qi tonic may result in a visceral, tangible boost of physiological energy. 

One of the most popularly prescribed Qi tonics in TCM is Astragalus (Huang Qi) root. Although not exactly a household name like other herbs used in TCM (turmeric, ginger, licorice, etc.), astragalus is legendary, having been used for centuries to support the body’s physical energy. More recently, astragalus has been used by elite athletes for endurance.

Another well-regarded Qi tonic in TCM is Ginseng (Ren Shen), which is also used to calm the spirit and generate precious bodily fluids, according to TCM theory. 

One critical way in which astragalus and ginseng both increase the body’s internal Qi is by nourishing the Spleen. 

Not to be confused with the spleen of western anatomy, Spleen in TCM controls digestion and fluid metabolism. If you have Spleen Qi deficiency, which is one of the most common TCM diagnostic patterns, poor digestion and nutrient absorption results. And if your body isn’t properly uptaking nutrients, your energy level will suffer. 

Other herbs help build internal Qi by nourishing the Blood. One such herb is Angelica root, known as Dang Gui in TCM. In TCM theory, Dang Gui may help support female energy levels during the menstrual cycle.

The Best TCM Energy Supplement To Reduce Coffee Consumption

To reiterate, this information is not intended as a missive against the evils of coffee. It’s worth repeating that drinking a cup or two a day of coffee may in fact offer some health benefits. However, many people have a strong physical dependence to it that causes anxiousness or jitters. Some of these coffee connoisseurs who can relate may want to reduce their reliance on caffeine. 

If you’re looking to support your internal Qi, there is one TCM formula that contains Astragalus and Angelica—plus eight others. 

And that formula is QiVive..

Available in tablet or capsule form, QiVive supports energy levels, physical strength and endurance, and digestion.

There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee or two in the morning to fire up your brain synapses and help you conquer the day. But if you want to use TCM herbs to cut down on coffee and build up your Qi from the inside, consider using QiVive. 

Suggested Reading From The ActiveHerb Blog:

Is Coffee Healthy? The Stimulating Answer According to TCM