The hardy rubber tree is an unusual plant which was first found in central China. It can reach as high as 60 feet in the warmer climates of the world. The technical name for the tree is called Eucommia ulmoides, and the tree contains latex or gum. Eventually, the bark of the tree was used for medicinal or health purposes. The extract is considered to be of balanced and acrid consistency and has been historically used in an oriental tea or Chinese tea blend. Traditionally, anywhere from 7 to 10 % of a medicinal tea will consist of extract from Eucommia ulmoides.
The hardy rubber tree must be at least 10 years old before material is suitable for harvesting. The trunk bark is typically gathered between April and June in three large sections. During these spring months, the potency of the medicinal elements is at their highest. To process the extract, the bark is folded in on itself, with the inner surfaces touching each other. The bark is then left for several days until the inner areas turn black. The next step is to allow the bark to fully dry via sunlight exposure after the outer layers of bark are removed. During growing months, the tree’s living bark is cracked regularly to expose and collect white latex threads.
Eucommia serves to treat mainly ailments when prepared in oriental tea or Chinese tea. It is used as a detoxification element and promotes kidney cleansing, colon cleansing and urinary tract health. Reduction of genital itching is also a known benefit of the hardy rubber tree plant. As an overall detoxification agent, Eucommia will assist with expelling toxins from the blood. It will also aid in boosting the overall immune system, effectively helping the body to fight off disease and illness.
Medicinally, Eucommia is used to treat lower back pain and knee pain. Deficiencies in strength of the lower body can be attributed to kidney and liver health. Eucommia cleanses the liver and kidney which in turn strengthens the lower body. The oriental tea or Chinese tea made from the hardy rubber tree plant will also promote joint lubrication and functionality as well as bone strength and health. Eucommia is said to have age defying properties when used regularly and used to make its drinkers light of mind and light of age. Finally, drinking teas made with Eucommia can promote weight loss and long-term weight management.