Snoring is a common condition that affects over 40 million Americans as they sleep. Snoring is the result of obstructed airflow of breathing during sleep, and the wheezing, gurgling, and snorting noises that accompany snoring are made by the soft palate as air is forced through the oral and nasal cavity at high speeds. Snoring, while not a particularly serious condition itself is often associated with sleep disorders of a more potentially harmful nature, such as sleep apnea—a condition in which the sufferer stops breathing for up to 90 seconds. Other conditions and activities that may cause snoring are obesity, asthma, smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating a poor diet. If left untreated, snoring may create a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
How can I treat Snoring?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers snoring to be the result of dampness. Living in Vero Beach on the Atlantic coast, we live and breath in an environment that is continually damp and that damp can lead to Qi (energy) stagnation. Treatment focuses on dispelling the dampness and unblocking the energy through a treatment plan that includes a wholesome diet rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Preferred foods for preventing snoring include quinoa, brown rice, yams, beets, carrots, spinach, broccoli, papaya, mangoes, citrus fruits such as limes and grapefruits, black mushrooms, ginger, and chrysanthemum flowers. Other remedies include gargling with warm salt water and drinking green and chamomile teas. Recommended exercise includes 30-minute walks, meditation and practicing Tai Chi or Qigong.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Snoring?
It is important to avoid foods that produce mucous and dampness, including cold and raw foods, oily and greasy foods, dairy products, white flour and sugar, soft drinks, wheat, chocolate, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Other things to avoid are evening snacks, alcohol, antihistamines, stress, and lack of sleep. Perhapse the worst causitive factor I see among patients is cigarette smoking.
Green Tea and Snoring?
Many people assume that the “green” in green tea means herbal. The fact is that there is actually a tea plant, Camellia sinensis, which is related to the ornamental shrub known for its beautiful and fragrant flowers. Manuscripts in Asia harking back to 3000 B.C., relate the use of C. sinensis as a beverage plant. Its real popularity did not begin until around the second century A.D., and up until the 18th century all tea was green tea.
There are hundreds of distinct varieties of green tea and one can become as much a connoisseur of green tea as of fine wine (which also has medicinal value). The top producers of tea in the world are China, Japan and India. Depending on the region and elevation in which it is grown, the time of year it is harvested, it’s processing and environmental conditions such as rainfall and days of sun all combine to produce differences in flavor and quality.
The “green” of green tea indicates that it is processed to retain its fresh color. Black tea is usually dried and fermented which gives it the black color. Green tea is processed very little and the best types are processed by hand and either sun dried or pan fried. A great deal of art goes into the processing of green tea and shaping the leaves and the processing often contributes to the name given the tea. “Gunpowder tea” is rolled into tight balls resembling gunpowder pellets, “eyebrow” tea is shaped into crescents and “silver needle tea” is a thin rolled leaf with a silver color. The shaping and processing of tea also controls the release of flavor as the tea is brewed.
The beneficial properties of green tea are due to antioxidant polyphenols, researchers believe that drinking 4-5 cups of green tea a day may help reduce cholesterol and lower high blood pressure. In addition studies have shown that cardiovascular disease, blood sugar disorders and the body’s resistance to infection can all be helped by daily ingestion of green tea.
Caffeine content of tea is a concern to a lot of people but green tea contains 1/3 to 1/2 the caffeine of an equal amount of coffee. There is also growing evidence that the caffeine itself is not the responsible component of coffee jitters, rather it is the tannins in coffee that are virtually absent in green tea.
The Chinese and Japanese cultures have refined tea brewing into a high art that can take years to master, but if you want a cup quicker than that you can start with a cup (Glass or ceramic), of water that has been brought close but not quite to a boil. If there are tiny bubbles just forming from the heat, the water temperature is just right. Then take a small amount of green tea, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon should be about right, and gently drop the leaves right into the water. My Chinese teachers used to let the tea soak until it sank to the bottom of the cup, then the tea was done. My Japanese teachers, on the other hand, only let the tea steep for one to two minutes depending on the desired potency and then they dipped out the leaves. The length of brewing will obviously affect the taste and character of the tea so you have to experiment a little but the rule of thumb is longer steeping will produce more bitter tea.
Weather you try Japanese of Chinese styles of brewing, adding tea to your diet is considered by all to be highly beneficial to your overall health. Bottoms up!
Yours in Health,
Robert Kienitz, DTCM