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The Story Of Tienchi Herbal Tea

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Some of the most well-known teas in the world, like rooibos, mate or Jasmine tea are not actually “true” teas made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Rather, these herbal teas, or tisanes, are teas made by infusing flowers, herbs, spices or other plants in hot water. Perhaps the most prestigious, yet lesser-known, herbal tea is made from the Tienchi Flower, an unusual looking and tasting flower that purportedly offers some great health benefits.

The Tienchi flower (Panax notoginseng) is a pseudo ginseng found in the wild in the Yunnan and Guang Xi provinces in China. The word “ginseng” means “cure-all” in Latin, and the plants and its often used roots, have been described as being responsible for some of the healthiest ointments and beverages in the world. The flower itself has tiny green buds that resemble a dried broccoli floret and it has a somewhat bitter, minty taste that lingers for quite a bit. What makes Tienchi flower tea so unique and expensive is the fact that it grows and is harvested only once every three years.  

The Tienchi plant, particularly its root, has been a popular herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for its pain relieving properties. The flowers from which the tea is made similarly boasts a number of health benefits, including helping to flush toxins from the body, as well as helping the recovery of skin lesions and eruptions. Other benefits include helping with insomnia and dizziness, providing a boost in energy, battling allergies, providing stress-relief, and maintaining fluid levels when dealing with a cold or the flu for instance. It is important to note, as with all health claims surrounding tea, that more research is needed to provide conclusive evidence.  

As mentioned before, the Tienchi flower is quite rare and it can therefore fetch up to 350 dollars per pound at its highest quality. There is a distinction between Tienchi flower extract and essence, with the latter often coming in bags and containing only a small amount of the actual flower. So if you do manage to find some Tienchi flower buds, either through a specialty tea store or some online vender, make sure you know what you are buying. Once you do however, the brewing process is quite easy. You can use about 3 grams of flowers for every 250ml of water and steep it for 4-5 minutes in water that sits just below its boiling point.

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