Every now and then someone says to me, “I heard that coffee is good for you,” or, “I heard that coffee has such and such nutrients.” Let’s set things straight. Coffee is a plant. Of course it has nutrients in it. More in the beans than after it is brewed. All plants probably do. On the other hand, health and healthy food has become a big, big market. Companies and food industries are all anxious to convince you that their new product or their food is good for you. So anxious, that the ones with money can even afford to pay for research. I know that there is even “evidence” out there that coffee has nutrients and is “good” for you somehow. I’m not even going to look for it or point it out to you or try to tear it apart.
What they leave out is what ELSE is in coffee, or what else it does, basically the side effects. This is where Chinese Medicine shines, so much so, that Western herbalists are realizing that all herbs should be classified according to Chinese Medicine principles. Every food has certain properties, such as temperature and toxicity. Through thousands of years of close observation that far surpasses any research that we have, Chinese herbalists have been able to classify plants based on what conditions they create in the body.
Coffee is hot and greasy. It creates heat in the body, and, if you think about coffee beans, you can even see the oil. This is not in and of itself bad. If you are someone who is very cold and dry, you might need that. The problem is most Americans are already hot and damp. Heat and damp are basically inflammation. All the stuff we love creates heat and damp and so inflammation. Coffee, sugar, meat, dairy, alcohol, smoking, gluten…… We are mostly all a little bit inflamed due to growing up eating all of these. More coffee is not going to help this problem, but only make it worse.
And don’t start thinking that just because you have cold hands and/or feet or feel a little cold sometimes that you are cold and need coffee. This more often comes from stagnation, meaning basically poor circulation. Exercise would be better. Generally, only the very malnourished, the very old, or those working outdoors in the cold a lot are cold enough to need coffee. So coffee isn’t ALWAYS too hot, just wait until you are old, or save it for a cold day.
On top of that, caffeine is both toxic and draining. It is a DRUG, and has to be eliminated through the liver and kidneys. Constantly doing this every day is hard on them. If feels like it gives you energy, but that is not coming from any root source of energy. Ginseng or a good food gives you energy because it nourishes. My herb teacher used to say, caffeine is like using a credit card with no money in the bank. Keep doing it over a long period of time, and you’re going to go bankrupt. That’s exactly what coffee can do to people. Sorry, I know many will be unhappy to hear this, but that’s the truth about coffee. Whatever benefits it’s said to have are probably best gotten another way.