All Things Chinese Medicine:

Coffee

When you are reaching for your next coffee, perhaps stop and ask yourself “what is your body really trying to tell you?” If you’re tired and looking for an energy boost, I suggest you try 15 minutes of lying down with your eyes closed, that’s what I do.   Alternatively, try a five minute walk with some deep belly breathing.  Oxygen always helps fatigue.

Why does coffee bother me? Mainly, it’s the dose the bothers me. A daily or twice daily habit over 20 years or so takes a toll on your body.

When I prescribe Chinese herbal formulas, I mindfully choose a dose of between 6-9 grams for each herb. One shot of coffee has around 7-9 grams, but who really drinks just one cup? People often consume 4 times that! A high doses of any herb runs the risk of adverse effects, coffee beans included.

According to Chinese medicine theory, roasting herbs brings out their warming ability. Therefore, roasted coffee beans may aggravate many symptoms if there are already signs of heat or inflammation in the body, or if the liver blood and yin is deficient.

People may experience:

  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • restlessness
  • headaches
  • agitation
  • increased heart rate
  • hot flushesJane Ferguson
  • dryness
  • night sweats

Don’t forget that coffee is a diuretic, which causes your body to lose vital fluids necessary for moistening your skin and intestines.

As a general rule, if it starts with the letter C and ends in an E, say no, e.g. coffee, cheese, chocolate, cake, coke. Instead, drink water and have a nap.

Written by Jane Ferguson

Practitioner of Chinese Medicine

For more on coffee listen to Jane and Nick’s blog below: