This is a large (357 gram) tea cake of 2019 aged blended raw Pu'er tea and 2017 Chen Pi—aged tangerine peel, a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb which offers a natural citrus zest as well as medicinal benefits. Chen Pi is known for its benefits to the digestive system and ability to dispel internal dampness, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-phlegm properties. By ounce, aged chen pi is worth more than gold.
Chen Pi, translated as “aged peel,” is prepared with a special production technique involving soaking, drying, and aging for several years. Chen Pi has been extensively studied in research trials and found to promote blood circulation and help protect against chronic heart failure, liver injury, and cancer.
First appearing in the classical medical text Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, recorded between 206 BC - 220 AD, Chen Pi has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It is most commonly recommended for digestive problems (which is why it’s an ingredient in several of our digestion-improving formulas including Xiang Sha Liu Jun Wan and Bao He Wan).
Chen Pi is also frequently blended into Pu’er tea, as both Pu’er tea and Chen Pi are often recommended for those with stomach issues, and the light citrus fragrance complements Pu’er’s taste. Chen Pi also is one of the top herbs recommended to dry dampness and dispel phlegm, as well as to decrease nausea (making it popular for morning sickness) and relieve lung inflammation.
This herb also has other remarkable health properties:
In a 2022 review published in Molecules, Chen Pi was singled out as a novel anticancer agent: “many studies have confirmed that [Chen Pi] and its active ingredients have inhibitory effects on cancer… [its] flavonoids have outstanding performance blocking the cancer cell cycle to resist proliferation.”
A 2021 pharmacology study concluded that Chen Pi may counteract liver injury—one of its flavonoids significantly inhibited AKT1 phosphorylation, mediating the activation of certain pathways against liver injury.
A 2020 animal study showed that Chen Pi protects against chronic heart failure.
Aged raw Pu’er has lower levels of caffeine and higher levels of GABA, an important amino acid for relaxation and mental health. Thus, aged raw Pu’er will afford a much more relaxing and grounding drinking experience than ripe Pu’er. Although both raw and ripe Pu’er are consumed for their weight loss properties, raw Pu’er is considered the best tea for weight loss, especially when consumed immediately after meals.
Pu’er is an aged fermented tea from China’s Yunnan province. Not only does the fermentation process lend Pu’er its distinct flavor, it also boosts its medicinal properties—Pu’er tea is high in antioxidants, and studies show it can fight oxidative stress, promote weight loss, and regulate blood sugar. Pu’er tea also possesses anti-cancer properties. It has a lower caffeine level, less than coffee and green tea, which make it a great choice for drinking late into the day.
It’s also a highly-coveted tea with an obsessed fanbase. As one writer said, “Pu-erh, which is processed in a special way to encourage microbial fermentation after the leaves are dried, ages more dynamically than any tea out there. It does not have fans. It has junkies who buy kilos of the stuff at a time to bliss out on days-long brewing sessions, only dropping out of their highs long enough to argue over the best pu-erh blends, growing regions, and storage methods. There are grasping amateurs who buy, gift, and drink the tea to gain social status among Chinese elite.”
Pu’er has been called China’s best-kept secret for weight loss. Animal and test-tube studies show that it can help synthesize fewer new fats while burning more stored body fat. In one animal study, pu’er was also the only variety of tea capable of raising the level of good cholesterol and lowering the level of bad cholesterol.
Note: You can repeat the above steps and brew the tea leaves throughout the day until the steeps have lost their taste. Add approximately 30 seconds of steeping time longer per additional steep.