The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

The Pros & Cons of Coffee

Coffee has long been a controversial drink, both in the alternative health community and in mainstream medicine. Some see it as an elixir, instant energy and the only way to begin the day. Others see it as liquid evil and a cause for many health problems.

Actually, coffee is a mixed bag. It has many health promoting chemicals including the antioxidant chlorogenic acid. Yet for some, its stimulating and drying energy can be too strong.

The final verdict on coffee? Whether it is helpful or harmful depends on the type of roast, what else is added to the cup, the time of day it is drunk, the amount consumed and the constitution of the person drinking it.
Be informed of its pros and cons. Use the links below to get the most current and in-depth information on coffee’s affect on our health.
John Douillard, a well known Ayurvedic teacher, shares a combination of Western medical research and Ayurvedic views of coffee. This article gives a brief overview of coffee’s  affects on the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.
If you only read one of these links, this is the one. Paul does his usual phenomenal job of laying out both sides of the discussion and goes into depth on each point. Includes research on cardiovascular disease, glucose tolerance, longevity, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia and adrenals.
This author, Donnie Yance, is one of the most respected writers and teachers in the Western herb community, especially in regards to chronic, degenerative disease. Here he shares coffee’s role in liver health, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.
The author if this article, Subhuti Dharmananda, is a well respected instructor in the Traditional Chinese Medicine community in North America. The content is in-depth enough that some previous study in TCM is helpful although not essential.
Karen Vaugh is a outstanding TCM practitioner and instructor in New York. Here she shares coffee’s relationship to C-Reactive Protein and inflammation along with many possibilities for combining other herbs with java.
Both of these links are more mainstream, neither are written by or for herbalists. Yet they provide helpful views on cultural and medical views of this beverage.

A tip from India… One of my favorite ways to prepare my morning java is to include a large pinch of fresh ground Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) seeds along with fresh roasted coffee beans in the grinder, then steep these together in a French press. Besides tasting great, the added Cardamom helps reduce the acidity of the coffee.



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