010 Homemade Remedy:   Tangerine Peel Brown Rice Tea

Those who read my earlier post “007 Health Tip: Sweat it out everyday”  (007 健康小贴士:天天要流汗), know that I am an advocate of body detoxification through drinking tea. 

In that article written in Chinese, I mentioned about a homemade remedy “Tangerine Peel Brown Rice Tea”(陈皮糙米茶).  For simplicity, I shall give it an acronym, the “TPBR TEA”.

Little did I expect that a mere mentioning was sufficient to pique interest in friends, including those who do not read Chinese articles, to ask me to share more about its benefits and method of brewing.

  • Is it suitable for you?

Let’s first consider who should be drinking this. I recommend the TPBR tea to:

□ Those who eat out often.

□ Those who do not eat much rice.

□ Those who appreciate the importance of gastrointestinal well-being.

If you are ticking all these boxes, this drink is definitely for you. Here are the reasons.

  • Reclaim your autonomy in food choices

No matter how careful you are with your choice of food, you are surrendering your autonomy in food decisions to some extent by allowing others to decide on the ingredients and methods of cooking by eating out often. Brewing tea on your own is an easy kickstart to reclaim control over what should go into your body.

  • You can drink more than you eat

    As to why I recommend rice tea to those who consume little rice, the reason is obvious. Rice is easily stomach-filling. But when it is brewed into tea, you can absorb the nutrients of the brown rice without the trouble of eating too much grains. You can definitely drink much more than you can eat.

    • Promotes Gastrointestinal Well-being

    Mainstream medical researches provide evidence of immense health benefits from taking brown rice. They range from aesthetic gains such as weight-loss and skin beauty to medical benefits such as blood sugar control and improved metabolism. It is even said to be effective in cancer prevention. 

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), on the other hand, recommends drinking brown rice tea as a diet therapy for gastrointestinal well-being by ensuring a smooth flow in three passages (三通) within our body:

    1. Increase passing of urine
    2. Reduce constipation
    3. Promote blood circulation. 

    I have been drinking 2 cups of brown rice tea daily for nearly a month. I can’t tell whether I have become better-looking than before. But what I can tell from the bowel movements is that the toxins are now more regularly purged out from my body. 

    Complemented with dried tangerine peels (陈皮), which is known to address all sorts of digestive problems such as bloating, hiccups, nausea and diarrhea,  this TPBR tea is a perfect homemade remedy to promote gastrointestinal well-being.

    • Are there any side effects?

    There is no known side effect from the literature I gathered. As a matter of fact, the tea is also highly recommended for women who are breast-feeding because of its high nutritional value for both the mother and the baby. Men can be assured, thankfully, that there are no bust-enhancement effect. That I can say for sure.

    Also, if you have concerns that brown rice may cause “heatiness” to the body, I would say that the worry is unfounded. Brown rice is actually considered neutral in Chinese diet therapy. From personal experience as someone who was prone to symptoms such as mouth ulcers and excess mucus in the past, I experienced no recurrence of such problems at all.

    Still, if you have existing medical conditions, it is always prudent to seek professional advice from doctors, especially for advice on possible unintended interaction with other medications that you are taking. 

    • How is the taste?

    Brown rice tea is mildly nutty in flavour, and carries the aroma of roasted rice. Combined with dried tangerine peels, the taste turns into a delicious blend of mandarin sweetness and citrus sourness. 

    You may adjust the taste according to your personal preference through trial and error with the quantity of water and tangerine peels. It is not difficult at all to make a cup of flavourful tangerine peel brown rice tea. Just try it out.


    1. Get your ingredients

    The first ingredient is brown rice. Long, short or medium grains, it doesn’t really matter. You may also experiment with different varieties such as red and black rice, which are richer in antioxidants that provide relief to stress. My personal preference is red rice, long grains. 

    As for tangerine peels, you can buy ready-made ones from Chinese medical shops. Just say that you want ‘chenpi’ (陈皮).

    Alternatively, you can make it yourself by learning from YouTube, using fresh tangerines. There are just a few simple steps to follow, namely peeling, scrapping (inner layer), rubbing (with salt), rinsing and drying. But it will take many many days of sunny days though…

    In the meantime, I am quite happy to use the ready-made ones I bought.

    2.  Mix and Stir-Fry

    Stir-fry dried tangerine peels with brown rice at low heat. Do it till the rice turn darker in colour. As you stir-fry, you will smell a strong burst of fragrance emitted from the tangerine peels. You should stop once you see the grains darken and smell the fragrance subsides.

    3. Store in an air-tight bottle

    After the mixture of rice and tangerine peels turn cool, store in an air-tight bottle. Now, you are ready to brew your tea anytime you want.


    1. Pour some tea mixture into a pot. 

    Two teaspoons of the tea mixture should be sufficient to make 2 cups of tea. Feel free to experiment with the amount to find the taste just right for you.

    2. Start boiling with water

    Add water and start boiling. Very quickly, the liquid will turn brownish. Boil to the point that the rice turn into porridge-like texture.

    3. Your tea is ready

    Pour the liquid into a cup. For the cooked grains, you may chose to eat it if you want to consume the fibre for weight-loss. Add a teaspoon of honey for better taste.  Otherwise, you can dispose it away. Anyway, you got all the nutrients in the tea.

    I always drink a cup in the morning during breakfast and bring the remainder to the office for later consumption. 

    And if you have enough, share it with your loved ones or a friend you care for. It is good for their health and probably heart-warming too.

    William WK Tan

    13 September 2017 (Wed)

    2 thoughts on “010 Homemade Remedy:   Tangerine Peel Brown Rice Tea

    1. Yes, true to the words, the tea tasted very good. Thanks again, William, for not only one but two cups of tea this morning.


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