The medicinal qualities of the coffee bean often gets overlooked and overshadowed by the potential negative effects of its caffeine content. While considering this is important, it's also good to understand and appreciate the many benefits that come from the coffee bean. The aromatic qualities alone can be considered comforting and stimulating, and is often admired by those who don't drink coffee at all.
Firstly, the quality and ethics surrounding the harvesting of the coffee bean is extremely important! Purchasing fair trade coffee helps you avoid the indirect support of poor and unfair working conditions, over-harvesting, and deforestation. The fair trade symbol is usually easy to spot on the package, and you can always ask your favorite coffee spot how and where their coffee is sourced.
Coffee arabica is what you should be purchasing if you're looking for the best quality and most benefits. Besides caffeine, the coffee bean contains antioxidants which help with inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that most people actually get their antioxidant intake from coffee! This misunderstood herb can also be considered a diuretic, and can aid those dealing with edema, as well as help avoid the development of kidney stones. Coffee is also known to help reduce blood sugar levels.
The method used to prepare your coffee also contributes to the amount of medicinal benefits you'll be able to extract. Decoction, which is simmering the bean in water over time, is the best option. I usually allow it to simmer in a covered pot for up to 10 minutes, making sure to keep an eye on the water level. Once it's done, I strain and add a tsp of raw sugar to cut through the bitter bite. The longer it simmers the more bitter the decoction, which can also serve a medicinal purpose. Bitter herbs help us to eliminate waste from the body, which is why coffee was often used as a laxative back in the day. Well, I know the elders in my family did.
Just like any other herb, coffee is not for everybody. Those who metabolize caffeine slowly need to be mindful of their consumption and take notice of their body's reaction. Jitters, anxiety, insomnia, and gut upset after drinking coffee is an indication that you may be sensitive to caffeine. While feeling jumpy and queasy are temporary, lack of sleep can lead to long lasting effects on our adrenals and nervous system. Just think about it, caffeine is produced by the plant as a defense mechanism, and when we consume it, our body is, in a way, on guard by staying alert and amped. Some herbalists combine other herbs with their coffee to offset the stimulating and lasting effects of its caffeine content. Ashwagandha and cinnamon are great to try, and may be helpful to those of us who will continue to start our day with a warm cup of coffee. #coffeelover #coffeebenefits #coffee #antiinflammatoryherbs #diureticherbs #holisticwellness #wholisticwellness #caffeine