Camellia sinensis – TCM Actions of Tea
TCM Actions of Tea
by Eric Brand
I’ve been working hard to wrap up my granule book, so I thought I’d introduce my favorite writing ally, tea. There is much to say about tea, given the many different grades and types. Within the context of Chinese medicine, relatively unfermented teas (such as white tea and green tea) are considered to be cool and slightly hard on the stomach, best consumed with food. Relatively fermented teas (black, aka “red” tea, fermented oolong varieties, and pu er tea) are warmer and better for patients with weak digestion.
Pharmaceutical Name: Theae Folium
Source: Theae sinensis L. [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Ktze].
Nature and Flavor: Bitter, sweet; cool.
Channel Entry: Heart, lung, stomach.
Dosage and method of use: 1–3 g in decoctions. It is generally infused as a beverage, but it can also be used in pills and powders.
Actions and Indications:
Disinhibits urine; clears the head and eyes; eliminates vexation and thirst. Treats headache, clouded vision, excessive sleeping; vexation and thirst.
Chá yè is found in the classical formula chuān xiōng chá tiáo sǎn (Tea-Blended Chuanxiong Powder), which treats external contraction with headache. Chá yè may also be used for hangover.
Disperses food and transforms phlegm. Treats food accumulation and phlegm stagnation.
Warning: Contraindicated in insomnia.
Reference: Concise Chinese Materia Medica, Brand & Wiseman, Paradigm Publications, 2008.