Coffee Vs Tea: A Morning Wake-up Dilemma
Coffee: The Pro’s and Con’s
I hear many of my patients saying they cannot walk out the door without their morning coffee kick. This morning elixir however has it’s side-effects and for some these are severe. Coffee is warming in nature, is stimulating and is a diuretic. It has a bitter/sweet flavor and is a purgative so it helps to get the digestive system ‘running’ in the morning. Coffee is considered a mental stimulant and in folk medicine it has also been used to treat snakebite, asthma, jaundice, vertigo and headache. Furthermore after a heavy greasy meal some use coffee as a stimulant from the toxic overload. I actually do recommend coffee for it’s external use as a poultice. The wet grounds will speed the healing of bruises and insect stings. Other health benefits for the use of coffee is as an enema. It stimulates the liver to produce more bile and therefore acts as a strong detoxifier.
The downside to many of the coffee’s sold commercially is that dangerous chemicals are used in the production of the coffee bean. Poisonous herbicides, pesticides and petroleum based chemicals are used to decaffeinate coffee while even more chemicals are used to make it a solvent. Furthermore the oils in the coffee bean easily become rancid; therefore whole organic coffee beans are preferable.
Studies have also shown that coffee drinkers are at risk of developing specific diseases like pancreatic cancer and heart disease. Other studies show that coffee drinkers are 20% more at risk of developing urinary tract and bladder cancer. I always suggest to my patients, particularly those coming to me for fertility treatment to reduce or, even better, abstain from coffee, as consumption increases the rate of miscarriage and birth defects. Even moderate coffee drinking of 2 or more cups can raise cholesterol and for those with digestive issues and leaky gut, the acid in coffee can further eat away at the villi of the small intestine, further reducing the intestines ability to assimilate nutrients.
When you decide to withdraw from coffee, some may find this very difficult and may even have withdrawal symptoms due to the release of toxins. When coffee is stopped abruptly it can lead to drowsiness, moodiness, headaches and constipation, so I recommend to reduce a little every day. In order to help the process drink barley or wheat grass juices to help in the detoxification process, and in addition use nourishing grain and root coffee as substitutes. A good remedy I suggest is carob tea which calms the nervous mind.
Common black tea or green tea has several health benefits. It brightens the eyes, clears the voice, invigorates the constitution, removes flatulence, clears the mind, improves digestion, relieves thirst, is cooling, a diuretic and astringent. As a digestive aid, tea also has a special solvent property that cuts the fats and oils from a rich meal. For its health promoting benefits it should not be steeped but lightly infused.
As a medicinal use it is strongly brewed for cases of diarrhea as well as poor digestion from acute or chronic inflammation like gastritis or enteritis. It is helpful against dysentery and its astringent property dries up herpes and poison ivy outbreaks. For the mildest tea with the least amount of caffeine and most minerals use the branches of certain tea plants marketed as‘bancha twig tea’ or ‘kukicha’.
My morning elixir of choice is therefore tea. Coffee does does some areas where it has health benefits but use it with care.