As the world celebrates the trendy matcha, another tea is quietly causing a stir – a catechin-rich variety to fight allergy symptoms and to boost metabolism.
“A tea to lessen allergy symptoms? I’ll sure have a cup!” – such were my thoughts as I read about this miraculous tea. Having successfully tried it last year, I’m starting my 2015 cure now, and here’s why.
I’ve read about Benifuku tea, sometimes also spelled Benifuuku, on the German blog Teepapst after hearing about the tea’s benefits from Din, the Berlin-based triathlon and healthy lifestyle blogger.
Nina, the Teepapst editor, is a true tea expert; and loyal BEAUTYCALYPSE readers might remember her sound advice on the healthiest thirst quenchers during summer heat (which is ahead of us, so better bookmark that post!)
A Japanese 2008 study (view links below) had shown significantly lessened allergic rhinits symptoms in people drinking 700 ml of Benifuku tea daily from December to March.
Methylated catechin – one of the active ingredients in green tea – is known to ameliorate allergic reactions.
Benifuku contains the highest amounts of EGCG or the O-methylated epigallocatechin-3-O-[3-O-methyl] gallate (O-methylated EGCG).
MY 2014 SELF-EXPERIMENT
Thinking that this is a rather impressive as well as a much more beneficial treatment than school medicine injections, and suffering from allergic rhinitis during spring and summer, Yours Truly has been drinking a powdered Benifuku variation (100 ml water + a full teaspoon of powdered tea) during early spring and after a summer break again in autumn of 2014.
I am happy to report that my symptoms such as: itchy, swollen eyes; rhinitis; above all tearing, were significantly reduced despite my dosage based on “trial and error” rather then data – I wasn’t able to find the exact recipe for the tea used during the Japanese study.
My “control group” aka mum 😉 has refused drinking Benifuku, finding it too bitter (well, duh, catechins!) and too “heavy on the stomach”. I must add that she’s not used to drinking green tea regularly and will try to talk her into giving it a go again this year.
A note to matcha lovers: Benifuuku has a less attractive, olive green colour (in the photo above matcha is on the right / in the background, and Benifuuku is the delicious brownish puddle), and an intensely bitter taste.
BENIFUUKU / BENIFUKU HOW TO
The German author and tea connoisseur Jörg Matthias Schweikart warns that the high amount of Benifuku tannins is stressful to our bodies, so a cure of 4 to 6 weeks (1 teaspoon, 100 ml, 80°C warm water; matcha-style preparation) may be the best option for allergy sufferers, while a 10-day cure with Benifuku-infused green smoothies (1 teaspoon per serving) is a great kick-start for everybody’s metabolism.
My 2015 plans:
I’m starting my 10-day Benifuuku cure now, then pausing for a week prior to beginning the allergy cure.”
AN IMPORTANT WARNING:
Schweikart advises against Benifuuku for pregnant women, young mothers and small children. (I would also add: make sure to get organic quality tea checked for toxins and, yes, radiation.) Tea catechins are known to inhibit the folic acid uptake.
That’s why I never tire to repeat: don’t just follow trends and tips found on the Internet! Understanding your body and following a balanced, good-for-you-personally diet is key. For example, I make sure to eat plenty of vegan foods that are rich in folic acid: lentils, beans, yeast; further spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprout, beetroot, rucola, radish, carrots, tomatoes). Also, floating your body with folic acid from supplements is – you’ve guessed it – not a good idea either, but this leads us too far.