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Remember how you used to be tucked into bed as a child? Remember how cosy and mellow it felt? The whole experience may only be a hazy memory for you now, but the feeling will always be vivid. It’s similar to sipping on aromatic tea on a chilly or rainy day. It almost instantly refreshes you and puts you in a warm and fuzzy mood.
If you’ve recently given birth and are currently in recovery, chances are you’re craving that familiar warmth above all else. It’s understandable, of course, to want that feeling of comfort that we’re all accustomed to.
Fortunately, that is as simple as sipping a nice, aromatic cup of tea! Even better, make that cup of tea a truly delicious and nutritious one with a slew of health benefits.
You may wonder if tea can be made any healthier than it already is. It sure can! In fact, there is one popular tea that new mothers have been drinking for thousands of years to aid in their recovery during the confinement period – red dates longan tea!
The red dates longan tea (also known as longan red dates drink) has become so well-known as a significant confinement beverage that it earned the nickname “confinement red date tea.”
The thing about healthy foods like dried fruits and Chinese red dates is that we know they’re good for us, but we’re not sure why. And that’s fine because we will uncover the numerous red dates longan tea benefits today.
Benefits of Red Dates Longan Tea
In Chinese tradition, red dates longan tea is commonly consumed by new mothers along with herbal soups throughout their confinement period. This practice is believed to help speed up their childbirth recovery – and perhaps they were onto something. On that note, here are five benefits of drinking red dates and longan tea during confinement!
Red dates (jujube fruits) are well-known for their medicinal and herbal properties. When combined with longans, they produce incredible health benefits such as blood replenishment and aid in wound healing.
These are the reasons women have been drinking red dates longan tea during their menstruation or confinement period for generations.
This begs the question – why?
Why would this particular fruit, berry, or ingredient be so beneficial? Also, how did anyone figure out in the days before microscopes and advanced technology that the red dates would be so good?
We’ll take a look at the traditional understanding of the fruit first.
Jujube dates are plants classified as ‘Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency.’ Tonic herbs are used to treat patterns of deficiency when one of the ‘Four Treasures’ is missing (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Qi tonics are often sweet and enter the Spleen and Lungs because these Organs are primarily involved in Qi production. It also serves a secondary function – tonify the spleen as well as the stomach.
At this point, if you are unsure what Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners mean by “Tonify”, the dictionary definition means to “Increase the available energy of”. In other words, you are giving your stomach and spleen more…available energy.
Also, it is said that the regular consumption of red dates tea is traditionally thought to keep the womb warm and increase fertility.
Now, as fascinating as the TCM views are on the subject, we must delve even deeper into the Western side of things to better understand this wonder fruit.
When we analyse this little plant under the microscope, we find it is high in vitamin C and contains Iron, Fibre, and Potassium. All of them work in tandem to help your body increase the absorption of iron, which is essential in wound healing, increasing red blood cells, reducing the likelihood of constipation, maintaining muscle function, and regulating your heartbeat.
At this point, you might ask – What about the Longan then? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered there too!
Fun fact, did you know that the Longan belongs to the same family tree (pun not intended) as the Lychee and Rambutan? The story behind its name is even more awe-inspiring. The legend goes that its juicy fruit, with its semi-translucent white flesh and glossy black seed, resembles the eye of a dragon – Long-yan. Hence “Long-an”…because we all love abbreviating words and pronunciations.
Now this fruit is said to help regulate heartbeat, replenish blood, may help with anxiety by calming one down, and may also improve sleep.
As usual, we will look at both the traditional as well as scientific reasons for these claims, starting with tradition.
Longans are plants classified as ‘Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tonic herbs are used to treat patterns of deficiency when one of the ‘Four Treasures’ is missing (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Blood tonics are typically bitter-sweet and either warm or neutral. All Blood tonics enter the Liver’s Channel because it stores Blood.
Now that we have that TCM definition out of the way, let’s look at it from the Western point of view.
Longan fruit, like most fruits, has vitamin C, which is one of the reasons why fruit is so important in a healthy diet. Granted, the dried versions of this fruit that are later boiled for the Red Date Longan Tea lose much of its vitamin C, but a healthy amount remains. On top of that, it also contains iron and potassium, which help your body regulate muscle contractions as well as your heartbeats, while iron supports the healing of wounds!
Red Dates Longan Tea
We’ve looked at red dates on their own, and we’ve also looked at Longan. They’re both beneficial separately. What happens when we put them together, then?
Well, here, too, they’re beneficial. However, brewing them in the heat will degrade the Vitamin content somewhat. Even then, this concoction still contains a good amount of potassium and iron to help regulate heartbeat and muscle function, replenish blood loss, improve Qi, promote calmness, and improve sleep.
Contains Vitamin C
Red dates and longan are good sources of Vitamin C. New mothers need to maintain a healthy diet, and the best way to stay healthy is to consume foods high in Vitamin C during their confinement. This is due to the fact that Vitamin C helps to improve the absorption of non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is typically derived from plant-based sources such as green, leafy vegetables, which are already a part of our daily diet.
Additionally, Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen in the body and it can also promote wound healing and the formation of red blood cells, both of which are essential for postpartum moms who are recovering after giving birth, especially because they will have lost some blood.
Mothers can expect to get their daily dosage of Vitamin C from a hot cup of relaxing red date longan tea because they are also wonderful sources of Vitamin C.
Tonify Qi and improve blood circulation
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, red dates, also known as jujubes, are herbs that provide health benefits to mothers and help tonify the Qi in our bodies.
A mother’s Qi may be drained during childbirth, making them more susceptible to illnesses and malnutrition risks. Additionally, mothers should keep their bodies strong and maintain good health during confinement, as a prolonged weakened body can pose long-term health issues. Caring for a newborn baby is bound to make more feel more tired as you get less sleep and rest.
Consuming herbs like red dates and dang shen can help improve Qi and your body’s blood circulation, thus improving your energy levels and keeping you strong.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, consuming longan during confinement can help you sleep better. Longan is thought to be calming and relaxing for mothers, thereby assisting mothers in alleviating their insomnia and palpitations induced by heart and spleen deficiency.
In addition to that, red dates also play a part in helping mothers feel calm. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that red dates can nourish your blood whilst calming your spirit. This calming factor of longan and red dates is beneficial to mothers who are especially anxious during their postpartum period.
On that note, it is no secret that our red dates tea benefits new mothers and is the best companion for our wide variety of confinement herbal soups, as it perfectly enhances the abundance of benefits our soups provide.
In case you didn’t know, at Tian Wei Signature, each meal from any of our packages comes with a complimentary serving of red dates tea (so much red dates tea that one might call it a red date tea confinement!) and, yes, they would be delivered to you warm and tasty with preserved flavours!
How to Make Red Dates Longan Tea?
The steps could not be simpler! You simply need the following items:
Red Dates 28 gm
Codonopsis 2 gm
Dry Longan 6 gm
Rock Sugar 18 gm
Plain water 1 litre
Brown sugar 25 gm
To make your very own refreshing pot of red dates longan tea, follow the steps below:
- Simply rinse the longan and red dates
- Combine them in a pot of water.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
- You may add an amount of sugar to your preference to slightly sweeten the tea.
- Serve it! For the best experience, consume your red date longan tea while it’s warm.
For Variations: Add one to three slices of fresh ginger in Step 1 to simmer with the red dates, dried longan and codonopsis*. Adding fresh ginger to your tea can help treat an upset stomach and nausea and alleviate stomach cramps.
*Goji berries are also optional, but they are a popular ingredient in traditional red date and longan tea, as they are usually added for that extra boost of natural sweetness!
There you go. That has got to possibly be one of the simplest ways to make your very own red date longan tea. It goes without saying that you are free to add any other ingredients that you believe will improve the flavour or enhance the red date tea benefits.
Don’t forget that our menu includes a variety of confinement herbal soups that can be consumed alongside the red dates longan tea. Check out our menu to see more!