Coffee Substitute with recipeSean Russell
Shawn, 43, writes me “I have difficulty with the acid in coffee and have been searching for a substitute. I am also predisposed to diabetes. Dandelion interested me because of it affect on pancreas and liver function, but if it is used for constipation well…My question is… coffee drinkers tend to drink alot of coffee so, at what amount does dandelion coffee become harmful and how would it affect the bowel and other systems of the human body?”
Coffee substitution has become popular, as quitting isn’t as easy as it seems. Like smokers find out, even when you get over the nicotine its the habit that gets you. What a coffee substitution will allow you to do is continue your daily routine with a less harmful drink.
Shawn asks a great question here. Let me explain. Most people relate the negative effects of coffee to the really high content of caffeine. From a holistic point of view one of the bigger problems with coffee is the high acid content that people are ingesting into the body. But, lets get back to the caffeine first. There are little bags over your kidneys that hold your adrenaline, adrenal glands. This is your bodies reserve energy that has powerful effects on the body. In our competitive world we strive to highest levels and this, in most cases, make us push our bodies past the threshold. To get through the moment we find ourselves pouring some coffee or get an energy drink. This is fine for occasional use, but we often find conflict with moderation don’t we? Instead of making up our over-usage with rest, quality food, and light exercise we struggle through the day and continue to ingest caffeine. This leads to burnout over time and a serious complication. You find yourself in a state of fatigue and the only answer is to ingest more caffeine. At this point you are now seeking energy from a source that is actually going to make you tired. I’ve read a simple test to judge your adrenal exhaustion. Ingest a cup of caffeine or a 16oz energy drink and if you sleep is not effected (considering you sleep on normal schedule) you have something to worry about. But don’t put out that hit on Juan Valdez yet, I will have some tips to help out.
Lets talk about the Alternative Medicine view of coffee. First off is the high acrid levels of coffee which is also Shawn’s concern. High acid levels of the body lead to blood and digestive tract toxicity. This bring out alot of other problems like skin problems, acne, herpes outbreaks, digestive complaints, hemorrhoids and so much more. In Oriental Medicine caffeine has the effects of Heating and Dampening. When you heat and you dampen you create a very nasty effect on your body. Think of 100degree heat and 100% humidity, not good! Lastly, the adrenals are governed by the Kidney. The Kidney ‘governs’ our bodies Qi. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it helps in urination, and if your not suffering from water retention this can put extra strain on your kidneys. By overworking your kidneys you are already overworking your energy, or Qi, due to excessive urination.
Tips: Depending on the severity of your case, it will most likely take a month or more to recoup. First thing first is get a substitute and start drinking that instead. You may need to actually gradually cut down on coffee while gradually increasing your substitution. The BEST IDEA would be to start using Green Tea for caffeine. Green Tea first and foremost has anti-carcinogenic properties and the caffeine content is quite low. Also, Green Tea is also Cooling and Drying, the complete opposite as caffeine and can in turn help reverse the negative effects of previous caffeine usage.
Coffee Substitute: Can be made with dandelion and chicory. Roast the chicory the same way as coffee beans. Add 1 part dandelion root to 1/2 part roasted chicory root to a coffee grinder. Grind the mixture up and use this powder the same as you would some store bought coffee. This mixture brings the aroma, smell, and color your used to, but the taste is a bit different, but surprisingly close! It will also be a bit bitter tasting, herbally speaking, as that is common to herbs with liver affluence.
Dandelion has nothing but good things here. High in Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, and others. Dandelion treats dysentery and has positive effects on the digestive tract, but overdose can actually cause mild diarrhea. In the case of our recipe above you would be possibly in the overdose range in about 6 cups of coffee. As far as its effects on the body dandelion has properties that will help eliminate toxins in the liver and the blood, it has heat elimination properties, helps clear skin conditions (this is from cleaning blood), it aids in bile secretion so helps dissolve stones and regulate the bowels. Dandelion also has an interesting effect that Shawn will love, it regulates blood sugar levels which will help with diabetes and hypoglycemia!
Lastly Dimmak Herbs also sells a Herbal Remedy called BURNOUT that will help in this situation, you can also check out their line of products for fatigue.
I would also like to give one last comment regarding the blog post. Skin ailments are often causes of high acid levels in the body. Also, if you know that you have high acidity levels (greasy food, bad diet, caffeine) Seaweed is a great remedy. Kelp is easy to come by or get in a habit of having some Miso Soup daily. Interestingly enough Dandelion also works great for this as does Fennel, Slippery Elm and more.