Tea Suggestions for Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year marks a period of merry eating and drinking. However, there is also a Chinese proverb that says “illness comes from what goes into the mouth”. Hence, to let you maintain a well-balanced body during the CNY period, here are a few tea suggestions to help counter the effect of festive eating, as well as tea suggestions for serving guests.

1. Heat Clearing Tea for Constipation
CNY treats like bak kwa, egg rolls and pineapple tarts have a “heaty” effect on our body which can cause problems like sore throat, acne and constipation. Here is a tea that helps to clear Lung heat to prevent sore throat and acne, and also make the toilet trip smoother.

Chrysanthemum flower (ju hua), 1 tbsp
Dried mulberry leaves (sang ye), 2 large leaves
Cassia seed (jue ming zi), 2 tsps
Wolfberry (optional) 1 tbsp
Water 500ml
(Serves 2 cups)

Wash ingredients and make as tea. Adding wolfberry gives the tea a sweet edge which makes it taste nicer. Honey can be added for sweeter taste if desired. This tea is also beneficial for the eyes; it makes vision brighter and clearer.

2. Hawthorn and Plum Tea
This is a slimming tea that can help to counter the effect of excess fatty food and calories during the festive season. Both hawthorn and plum aid digestive functions and are beneficial for slimming. Plum also has other benefits such as curbing chronic diarrhoea, improving liver function, purifying blood, relieving thirst, etc. Hawthorn is beneficial for heart and artery health by improving blood circulation and preventing hardening of arteries.

Dried hawthorn (shan zha), 15g
Dried black plum (wu mei), 15g
Roselle, 6g
Dried orange peel (chen pi), 3g
Licorice root (gan cao), 6g
Water, 500ml
Honey (optional)
(Serves 2 cups)

Add ingredients (except honey) into water and bring to boil. Turn to low flame and boil for 15 minutes. Add honey to taste before serving.

3. Peppermint and Ginger Tea
Taking too much food at one go can make one feel bloated. This tea helps to get rid of excessive gas in the digestive tract and leaves a peasant aftertaste in the mouth. Hence it is great for serving guests as well. Reduce the amount of ginger if preparing for children.

Dried peppermint leaves, 1 dsp
Fresh ginger, 2 pcs (about 1 inch in diameter and 2mm thick)
Water (500ml)
Honey, 1 tbsp
(Serves 2 cups)

Add ginger into water and bring to boil. Turn to low flame and boil for 10 minutes, then turn off flame and add in peppermint leaves and steep for another 5-10 minutes. Add honey before serving.

4. Mixed Fruit Tea
This delightful DIY fruit tea is great during warm weather and for serving guests during day time. It is a versatile drink as you can vary the fruits with whatever you have on hand. Do have at least one sweet fruit for best results. The pleasant and fresh look of DIY fruit tea is one way to entice children to take fruits. Using different coloured fruits for a better visual effect and cut them into smaller pieces or different shapes for children.

Water melon
Agave syrup or other natural sweetener (optional)

Cut water melon into cubes, starfruit in to star shapes, and peel and deseed lychee. Add water to the fruits and add in suitable amount of agave syrup if desired. Put into the refrigerator for 1 hour or more before serving.

(by Tan Shiau Tse, TCM Physician, Copyright® HST Medical Pte Ltd)