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Kuding tea is a traditional Chinese tea typically made from the leaves of the ilex kudingcha, a type of holly plant. Other names for this drink include bitter tea, solitary leaf, gaolu tea, fuding tea or, chading. The leaves are twisted together into a distinct shape that is long and thin, resembling a nail or spike. Most drinkers only need about three of these leaves to achieve the desired potency.
This tea is believed to possess many medicinal properties. It is generally consumed for its health benefits only, and not for its taste. Kuding tea has a very bitter flavor. Though the first bite of bitterness is followed by a slightly sweet taste, most tea drinkers do not enjoy the taste enough to consume this tea for that reason alone.
One of the best known properties of this tea is its purported ability to lower blood pressure. It is believed to do this by increasing healthy circulation throughout the body. This effect may also help to bring down inflammation in various parts of the body.
This type of tea is also considered to be an effective weight loss aid. Fans of the drink tout it as an extremely effective weight loss treatment. Many believe that it can help to both decrease one’s body weight and to maintain a healthy weight once it has been achieved. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim, however, and some believe the tea only eliminates water weight rather than helping one reduce actual body fat.
Some individuals may drink Kuding tea to treat a cold or flu as well. It is said to assist in clearing mucous and fluid from the head and sinuses. This tea contains many antioxidants, which can help cleanse and detoxify the body.
As is the case with many teas, Kuding contains caffeine. This is one of the few drawbacks to the beverage, as those who do not tolerate caffeine well will probably be unhappy with the tea. Aside from the bitter taste, this tea has no other adverse side effects.
For those who are trying Kuding for the first time, it is recommended that only one or two leaves be used in the first pot of tea, to reduce the bitterness. Kuding tea leaves can be infused multiple times. The water should be boiled for a longer period of time with each subsequent infusion.