Here is the latest update on my “2012 Year of Teas” quest to find out what’s good for diabetes in other parts of the world. When I went to China this summer, I had to ask “What’s a good tea for diabetes?” I asked this question at a few different locations, but overwhelmingly the response was “Bitter Black Leaf Tea.” Even when someone didn’t mention it, I’d bring up the name and they would say, “Oh yeah that one is better.”
I’m finding a trend with teas that are good for diabetes…Bitter is better! When it comes to diabetes herbal teas this one is by far the most bitter one that I’ve drank yet. I wonder if that means it gets down to the cellular level of the pancreas faster or more efficiently?
The first tea I blogged about was the Bitter Melon tea. I had it in its dry form–making it just right for tea, but when it is fresh you can cook it, stir-fried it, or boiled it. I wouldn’t advise eating it raw, I tasted it raw and OMG!! it was almost as bitter as aloe). I gave the tea a score of 4 out of 5 for the bitter taste.
However, now after taking the Bitter Black Leaf tea, I am going to have to change it (Bitter Melon 3/5 for bitterness and Bitter Black Leaf tea 5/5). I cannot think of ANYTHING more bitter than this tea. After drinking the Bitter Black Leaf tea, I realized that I didn’t know what the taste of bitterness was until now.
In my last post, there was a picture of me drinking the other tea. This tea, however, caused my face to contour into facial expressions I didn’t know that I had (this was also the case with my mom and grandma who agreed to try the tea with me, even though they are not diabetic). After having a cup of Bitter Black Leaf tea, I went back and drank the bitter melon tea for old times sake and it practically tasted like Kool-Aid. LOL It wasn’t that sweet, but I realized that it wasn’t as bitter as I thought compared to this tea.
When the tea was done, it unraveled (which I thought was very neat). So, while I thought the tea was just a dried piece of stick, it was actually a real bitter black leaf. In the picture above, you can see how the leave unfolded as it was brewing.
Taste: EXTREMELY bitter. This leaf has earned its name. 5 out of 5 for bitterness factor
Cool Factor: This tea gets a 5 out of 5 for cool factor. This is a rating I’m creating just for this tea because of how neat it is to watch the leaf unfold while it’s brewing. This is the number one reason why I’ll taste the tea again.
Health Claim: Because I was in China and the translations were not always the best, I am not exactly sure HOW this tea helps diabetics and what part of the body it targets. I’ll keep trying to find an answer. So, for now there is no score.
Ability to Purchase: I have to give this tea a score of 1 out of 5 because I have not seen this tea in America. You can get Bitter Melon tea online, but I’ll have to check with the nearest Chinatown to see how accessible this tea is for us in America. I’m glad that I have about a 3 year supply of it. I was told that I could use each leaf three times.
My quest continues…
up next, a tea (or root) that I bought in the Caribbean. I haven’t gotten the courage to try it yet because it takes “organic” to a whole different place. But I will try it in the coming months. I looked at it 2 weeks ago and it’s growing out the bag. See picture below. I’m not quite sure how I feel about a thing growing without water for several months, but I’ll try it anyone in due time. :-)