China is currently dealing with worsening levels of air pollution. (Photo : YouTube/DB (English) BBC News)
China is currently dealing with high levels of air pollution. According to reports, the smog or haze episodes have made citizens concerned for their health, with some turning to remedies such as “anti-smog” tea to clean their lungs.
However, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) expert said that these so-called teas have no effect on the body, and that these types of beverages could cause further health problems in the long run.
Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine president Liu Quanqing told China Central Television (via China Daily) that these “anti-smog” teas have no beneficial effects at all.
“I’ve looked at many formulas,” Liu said. “They all contain ingredients that are medicines and can’t be used as food, which may cause health problems if taken for a long time.”
Liu also said that apart from the teas, other remedies which have been claimed to aid in cleaning the lungs such as consuming radish, kelp, or wood-ear fungus, have not been proven at all.
Apart from respiratory problems, it appears that China’s smog problem has also been affecting the public’s mental health. According to Liu, there have been patients who have been admitted not because of actual respiratory problems, but because of mental health problems connected to the fear of getting sick due to the smog.
Meanwhile, Forbes reports that people have been going on more haze-free vacations as they seek to take a literal breather from the poor air quality in China. The media outlet reports that search engines saw a rise in searches on where to go to “wash the lungs” as a result of the country’s smog problem.
Online travel site Ctrip revealed that in Dec. 2016, more than 150,000 Chinese citizens travelled abroad to seek fresh air. According to the site, the fresh air destinations for Chinese travelers include Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, among others. Some are even reportedly opting to go as far as Scandinavia and Antarctica, as the latter has been dubbed as the “world’s last pure land.”
As China’s smog problem continues to engulf the country with unhealthy air particles, citizens are advised to maintain good eating habits and to stay in a positive frame of mind to be able to deal with the country’s pollution crisis.