Cibotium tea has long been acknowledged within Chinese traditional medicine as being a potent tonifying agent of the lungs and kidney.
Cibotium refers to a species of large fern indigenous to parts of China, India, Japan and across parts of Southeast Asia. Growing in warm and humid environments, the cibotium fern grows up to a height of about 3 feet when totally erect. However most of the time, it stands prostrate. The trunk of the fern usually develops orange to brown hairs over time. The fronds of this fern are lacy and have a light green color. The fronds usually measure up to 10 feet long.
For their part, the rhizomes or roots have long, soft, golden-yellow hair coverings, and these have given it nicknames such as “golden hair dog” or “yellow dog hair”. The rhizomes are the parts most used in traditional Chinese medicine. The best time to dig them up is usually from the late autumn to winter months. After the hairs and radicles have been removed, these are then sliced into small pieces and then dried. Afterward, processing into powdered form is usually undertaken for use as supplements and herbal remedies.
Known by its scientific name of cibotium barometz, it is also known by a variety of other names such as gou ji, golden chicken fern, scythian lamb and woolly fern, the cibotium fern was the inspiration for the “Vegetable Lamb of Tartary”, a mythical plant in literature said to bear sheep or lambs as fruits. This may have been due to the appearance of an inverted cibotium rhizome which resembles a woolly lamb with its legs being formed by the upturned stipe bases.
The cibotium rhizomes are composed of 30% starch while the hairs contain tannins and pigments. Other compounds found in the rhizomes are cibotiumbarosides A and B, as well as cibotiglycerol.
Cibotium tea benefits can be derived drinking a hot cup from 2 to 3 times per day. Cibotium tea can be made by dissolving about 2 to 4 grams of powdered cibotium rhizomes in a cup of newly-boiled water. Let the mix steep for about 5 minutes and drink.
The following are the cibotium tea benefits attributed to this brew:
- This tea is believed to help expel “wind” and dampness.
- Believed to help strengthen the bones of the lower back.
- This tea, in combination with other herbs such as cinnamon twigs, is believed to help ease aches, pains and stiffness in the back and in the knees.
- May help fight chronic rheumatism.
- May help ease flaccidity.
- May help counter dizziness, tinnitus and blurred vision caused by yin deficiency in the kidney and liver, according to traditional Chinese medicine.