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Hawthorn Berry TCM Iced Tea: The Healthiest Drink For Summer

Damp Heat in TCM

You probably have never heard of hawthorn berry tea. But here’s why you should think about drinking it this summer…

What’s your favorite drink to stay cool in the summertime? If you said “water” with some self-righteous, healthier-than-thou indignation, here’s something to knock you off your pedestal. 

Sure, water is much healthier to drink than soda and fruit juice. 

But if you’re spending time outdoors and sweating, you’re losing a precious fluid, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory. Yes, sweat is a precious fluid even if you think it’s unsanitary to get all sweaty. Sweat excretes metabolic waste and cools us down. However, it does so at the expense of drawing electrolytes out of the body. 

After we sweat, we need to replace our lost electrolytes. 

Drinking water alone can’t do that. Sure, you can use trace mineral drops but that has no taste. 

One of the most refreshing ways to replace your lost electrolytes and support your health in other ways is by drinking Hawthorn berry iced tea. 

Hawthorn Berry in TCM

Let’s ignore the fact that drinking cold beverages can lead to Spleen Qi deficiency. The reality is that when it feels like 100 degrees outside, most people are not going to settle for warm or room-temperature water. So with this in mind, we’re going to be blissfully ignorant to the fact that drinking ice-cold drinks may present energetic challenges for the Spleen channel in transforming nutrients into cellular-energy-fueling Qi. 

Hawthorn berry tea transforms plain water into a tart and tangy (and mildly sweet) functional drink.

OK, so with that TCM health disclaimer out of the way, we’ll focus on why you may want to consider drinking hawthorn berry tea this summer. 

Hawthorn berry tea transforms plain water into a tart and tangy (and mildly sweet) functional drink. Besides the flavor profile, why is hawthorn berry good for you? 

Known as Shan Zha in TCM (Fructus Crataegi), hawthorn fruit belongs in the category of herbs that helps relieve food stagnation. So if you have trouble with digestion, drinking this herbal tea may help food metabolites move along. 

Hawthorn berry, according to TCM theory, impacts the Spleen meridian. As alluded to earlier, the Spleen organ system’s chief physiological role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Spleen also regulates water retention and excretion. Your Spleen system also is responsible for sending blood to your other organs and muscles,  and plays a key role in immune function. 

In addition to the Spleen system, Hawthorn berry also influences the Liver and Stomach systems. It would take far too long to list all the things the Liver channel does but one major function is acting like a general, and dictating where Qi should move to within the body. 

If your diet has been meat-heavy as of late and you feel heavy because of it, drinking Hawthorn berry may help break up the food stagnation. But there’s more to this herb than that possible benefit…

Hawthorn Berry For Blood Pressure Support

A secondary action of hawthorn berry in TCM is transforming blood stasis and invigorating blood and Qi circulation. Because of these possible actions, hawthorn berries could help support blood pressure. But it’s not just Far Eastern, traditional medicine systems that consider hawthorn berries a natural substance for circulatory support. 

A 2020 study in Frontiers in Pharmacology says that in the last two decades, more than 150 chemical compounds, including flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and organic acids, were identified in Fructus Crataegi. Many of these phytonutrients, the review concludes, support cardiovascular health. 

Where To Purchase Hawthorn Berries

Just as there are several varieties of apples, hawthorn berries derive from dozens of different species. If you live on the east coast of the USA, you may be able to pluck some ripe berries from a hawthorn tree. However, the berries from those trees may not be the same one and only type of hawthorn berry used in TCM. 

To make sure you’re getting the right kind of hawthorn berries used in TCM in the most convenient way, you can purchase extract granules. One bottle of Hawthorn Fruit extract granules is equivalent to 1.5 pounds of the raw dried herb. 

Each bottle contains 67 servings and comes with a scooper. Simply add one scoop to water and mix for a few seconds until dissolved. You can make a whole batch of Hawthorn berry tea and refrigerate it to make a healthy, refreshing herbal summertime drink!

In China, hawthorn berries aren’t just used for TCM and to make herbal tea. They are also used in many culinary dishes. 

Have you ever tried TCM instant herbal tea thanks to single herb extract granules? Tell us what you think…

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