Monday, October 27, 2014

Tea and Fluoride--thinking differently

Though I am personally not a tea drinker (Both green and black tea are energetically cooling and I tend to be cold), a recent article stated, ""It turns out that both green and black tea products contain high amounts of naturally occurring fluoride. Tea leaves accumulate more fluoride (from air and soil pollution) than most other edible plants." What  should that mean for us?  Does that mean that one should avoid drinking tea?

From a Traditional Jewish Medicine perspective, I wouldn't be concerned about tea, and I am not simply sticking my head in the ground like an ostrich!   The fact is that the Western model is flawed, and here's why: One of the important lessons we learn from thinking "Eastern" is to not look at minutia, nor substances in isolation.  So much in Chinese medicine cannot be explained biochemically, ie. why certain formulas may be effective to completely resolve certain conditions whereas the individual constituents do not have properties that would seem to be useful or effective, but synergistically or in-vivo, they do work.  

A second important consideration that Western naturopaths and other "health" proponents espouse and which I believe is flawed is the myth of nutritional content.   It is largely irrelevant how much of a certain nutrient a food or substance contains,  but what is really important is the degree of absorption.  For that which is ingested and is not utilized by the body can put  a toxic  burden on the body.  The same may be true with certain toxic minerals or chemicals such as fluoride. Tea may very well contain other constituents which bind or transform the fluoride, rendering it benign and easily allowing it to be eliminated from the body.  Empirically, is there any history of fluoride poisoning by those who drink 2-3 cups of tea daily?  The classic symptoms of fluoride poisoning are mottling of the teeth, and (like with mercury) hypersensitivity of nerves. So if someone is exhibiting these symptoms, indeed they should avoid tea, but others?  I personally wouldn't be concerned.

 Third, and here I speak from an esoteric Jewish perspective:  (and this also relates back to the first point).  According to Jewish tradition, all substances in nature have biochemical properties, which can be explained, but they also have non-explainable, mystical healing properties which are not governed by the laws as nature and will never be able to be rationally explained, no matter how advanced or developed biochemistry becomes.  Sometimes people of science just have to have the humility to accept that which is beyond their scope.  So too, here.  If a food or drink has been used for thousands of years safely, and yet it contains a toxic chemical, fluoride,  maybe, the fluoride in tea is different than the fluoride synthetically prepared?

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