The Magic of Coffee

In a world where too many cups of coffee slide down your throat each day, making you feel awake and comforted but also guilty ( because of the health risks associated with it as well as the social and enviornamental consequences of the coffee trade practices as we know it), good medicine can be labelled as an hazard.
When we moved into our new home in Tepoztlan, I was delighted to find two Cafetales (coffee plants) in the garden.
Since this small tree like partial shade, one of them grew beside the lemon tree and the other one under the avocado tree.
Back then in January, the tree branches were heavy with red, fleshy fruits.
I picked one to try its taste. It was somehow sweet but tangy and dry like a blueberry.
An elderly neighbor recommended not to eat them because they can "close your throat".
Spring came and new beautiful fragrant flowers appeared on the branches. The fruits turned a dark purple, dry and wrinkled.
The flowers are white and small and their smell is very sweet, almost a mix between a rose and a jasmine.
The coffee you drink is made up of the kernels that are found inside the coffee fruit.
The kernels are roasted and grounded to be enjoyed at will.
But the kernels are not the only jewel on this amazing plant.
The leaves can be brewed into tea and provide many benefits to your health.
The coffee leaves tea has in fact antioxidant properties, it lowers the risks of heart disease, and reduces inflammation.
The coffee leaves are also used to treat the flu, asthma, migraines, diabetes and fainting.
The drink made by the kernels ( coffee as we know it) is a good cardio tonic, it releases diarrhea, headaches and prevents cancer.
So if you are lucky to live near the coffe plant, try using the leaves for tea as a substitute for green or black tea.
Its taste is not as bitter and provides many health benefits.
If tea is not your cup, enjoy your life long love for coffee knowing that taken in moderation, your cup also contains a lot of good stuff for your health.
To be on the safe side, maybe choose coffee that is organically grown and to be on the ethical side, look for fair trade and locally produced coffee beans.
Cheers from the Earth Pharmacy at Ixchel Healing Arts Studio