Growing up, I suffered from a series of health problems such as asthma and sleep apnea. The medical treatments I received soothed my symptoms on a superficial level, but none actually made me truly healthier or stronger.
Being very young and refusing to resign myself to poor health, I endeavored to fundamentally recondition my body and prevent these problems from arising in the first place.
Being from the east, I started learning about ancient Eastern health traditions and visiting many Chinese medicine experts. I studied meditation and Taoism, and was a student of Qigong meditation and tai chi. I dove into classical texts and visited masters across China, Indonesia, India, the United States, and Canada to learn how ancient health practices could structurally improve my health.
Along the way, I became passionate about the healing properties of plants, and I made the first of many trips to Yunnan province. Situated in the westernmost part of China and the foothills of the Himalayas, Yunnan is home to the largest biodiversity of fungi as well as the oldest tea tree in the world—a whopping 3,200 years old. Yunnan is likely where tea was first discovered by Shennong, the mythical sage ruler of prehistoric China, 4,500 years ago.
Yunnan's ancient tea gardens and prehistoric tea tree forests enchanted me. Hundreds of years old and thriving with a vital life force, these tea trees are completely symbiotic with their environment and naturally immune to pests and disease. With roots that stretch twice as deep into the soil as the tree grows out of it, these ancient food sources draw nutrients and trace minerals from deep within the earth to feed their leaves.
Over the past 5,000 years, a number of essential practices for tea drinking have been established in alignment with both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western scientific analysis. Studying the amazing substance in its natural habitat has proved an incredible experience for me, and I've seen the power of tea firsthand in my own health journey.
It's important to be mindful of these ancient practices when consuming tea, for doing so will help you reap all the remarkable benefits the beverage has to offer. These four myths about tea have formed over the centuries, and it's high time we set them straight: