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Coffee is one of the most controversial beverages in healthcare nowadays. It boasts many benefits but at the same time several downsides to consider. Many holistic healthcare practitioners encourage their patients to stop drinking it all together. Even some, refuse to accept you as a new patient until you have weaned yourself off completely.

Here are some considerations to think about the next time you reach for your cup of joe:

Studies have shown it fights cancer. As a rich source of antioxidants, coffee has been shown to fight off oral, uterine, prostate, brain, colon, breast and liver cancer. However, each of the studies involved a certain amount of coffee. Some as high as 6 cups a day.

Coffee boosts your energy…with a price? From a western medicine perspective, coffee causes vasodilation and increases your heart rate. Perfect before an intense workout. From a Chinese medicine perspective, many practitioners argue that the extra energy is being borrowed from future reserves for a quick boost now. They explain this is why you go through caffeine withdrawal when you stop drinking coffee.

Coffee makes you more regular. With its downward-draining nature, you may notice you have more bowel movements when you drink coffee. That is due to its bitter properties. If it does cause diarrhea, consider drinking less to prevent dehydration.

Of course, in the end, the choice is yours. Drinking one cup of black coffee a day may be beneficial for your health. However, if you have problems with sleep or experience palpitations, consider switching to herbal teas. Dandelion teas are a great substitute due to their coffee-like flavor. No matter what you choose, enjoy it!

Read more about coffee in this excellent article: Coffee in China by Subhuti Dharmananda, PhD.

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