Do you suffer from constant dehydration?
I did, and that is why I got interested in mulberry leaf tea
Hydration is not as easy as we think. Our body needs at least 64 ounces of water a day to function, but the recommended amount is 80-100 ounces, more for physically active people or when it is hot.
It can be hard to keep track of how much water we consume each day. When we drink caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, we have to drink even more water to compensate for these diuretic drinks. As we age, we might have more difficulties hydrating ourselves due to physical inactivity or taking medications.
It is not an understatement to say that illnesses could be caused by dehydration.
I ended up in the emergency room from severe dehydration one day at the age of 40. All I needed was a glass of water, but the doctor stopped my heart for a moment and did some other unnecessary procedures that cost me and my insurance company thousands of dollars.
Unless I am very thirsty I usually don’t pick water as my first choice of beverage. Somehow, water gives me a queasy feeling in my stomach. So, I tried all kinds of non-caffeinated teas on a market, but their strong flavor meant that I couldn’t drink more than one cup a day. Even organic herb teas gave me stomachaches. I tried all kinds of sports drink as well, but they didn’t satisfy me once I looked at the ingredients. Zero calorie, flavored carbonated water didn’t do much good for me either.
Then one day, I came across a comment that a four year old boy made to his father. He asked his dad why humans don’t eat oak leaves and nuts like squirrels do. The little boy thought oak leaves are big and green and look good to eat. Somehow this comment kept me thinking, why can’t we eat the nature around us?
So, I did some research. People in Japan many centuries ago knew oak leaves had antiseptic properties because they contain tannin and Eugenol, so they came up with idea of wrapping food with oak leaves to prevent spoilage. A well-known traditional Japanese sweet called kashiwamochi is usually made in the beginning of May, when oak leaves are still fresh. The mochi (steamed rice cake) with sweet bean paste inside is wrapped in steamed oak leaves.
I made some kashiwamochi, and they were absolutely delicious. I even ate all the leaves which usually people don’t consume. The leaves have a nice fragrance that compliments the sweet rice.
After that, I experimented with all kinds of plants growing on my 8-acres of land. I saw several mulberry trees, so I made a classic Greek dish called Dormadakia (stuffed grape leaves) using mulberry leaves instead of grape leaves. It was delicious. My family did not notice the difference.
Then one day I made tea with mulberry leaves, remembering my grandma who used to make green tea in her backyard under the sun. She picked Camellia sinensis leaves, steamed them briefly, and then macerated and dried them under the sea breeze and sun on a straw mat for a few days. I didn’t have a straw mat or sea breeze, but I put the tea on an oven tray and dried it on the roof of my house. The roasted leaves tasted like Hojicha which is dark roasted Japanese green tea. Mulberry leaf tea does not contain caffeine, so it tasted different from green tea; but it was delicious. I eventually ground the tea, and I discovered something amazing: it tasted just like Matcha!
Later I found out about the unbelievable benefits of mulberry leaf tea. I always thought that anything healthy is usually unpalatable or only grown on some remote mountain. But mulberry trees grow everywhere in Kansas. I started drinking this tea throughout the day, and I bring this tea with me wherever I went. I even drank mulberry tea during my ultra-distance trail races. It didn’t cause any upset stomach or other side effects typical of green drinks like wheatgrass. I just love the taste so it was easy to consume daily. I feel like I don’t have to eat extra vegetables to get more fiber, because mulberry leaf has tons of fiber. I literally was eating 100 leaves the size of a person’s palm every day. The leaves grow wild, and the tea is minimally processed, so it is the purest form of food one can imagine.
Since then my body is no longer dehydrated; I feel nourished; I sleep well; and I feel happy for the first time in my life.