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The Healing Effects of Hwangchil (Dendropanax Morbifera) Tea

The Healing Effects of Hwangchil Dendropanax Morbifera Tea
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Grace Moon shares her story of change and healing after she began consuming the Hwangchil Tree herb.


I have been experimenting with Hwangchil Tea for the past few months in various ways and have come to experienced some truly amazing benefits. My mind is clearer and my body is in a more balanced and calm state. My energy level stays consistent throughout the day, but I am also able to fall right asleep.


What is Hwangchil Tea?

When I tried to find some more information online about the herb (which comes from the Hwangchil Tree), the history and its benefits specifically, I was disappointed that there was nearly no information available at all. I came to learn about the dark and violent history that wiped the Hwangchil Tree from the history books and culture of Korea. I won’t get into this now, but there is a glimpse of it here.

Ever since my mentor Ilchi Lee started sharing this healing herb with the wellness community, he has inspired research in various institutes in Korea including Seoul University. He is determined to bring the Hwangchil tree back to life.

The Hwangchil tree’s scientific name is Dendropanax morbifera and is endemic to the the southern regions of Korea. In Greek, "Dendro" means tree and "panax" means panacea. The genus Dendropanax is a widespread group of flowering plants occurring mainly in wet tropical regions throughout the warm temperate areas of the world. Hwangchil is an adaptogenic herb and makes it an excellent tonic for your nervous system.

This evergreen grows to about 15 meters and has oval leaves which look like duck feet. Its flowers bloom from June through August and then change into a black fruit between the end of September and November.

The Hwangchil tree has an excellent golden color. In Korean, hwang means golden color and chil means to apply (as in a coating of its lacquer). The sap collected from Hwangchil trees growing in the wild is extracted into a lacquer and used as a varnish for wood and metalwork. Once collected, the sap forms a protective coat and the underlying material is preserved for thousands of years. Because of this, it is called a "legendary varnish." Historically, it was a health food highly sought after by royal families.

As a medicinal plant, Hwangchil's most noted quality is that it restores the immune system as it continuously eliminates toxic substances from the body and revitalizes basic capabilities. It also contains antioxidants and benzoin resin (Styrax Benzoin Dryander), which has soothing properties. This herb can then be used to create the Korean tea, for easy consumption.

Benefits of Hwangchil Tea

  1. Liver Function Improvement – Relieves hangovers, alleviates fatigue, has multiple detoxification effects, and helps with lethargy and lack of motivation.
  2. Prevention of Adult Diseases, Including High Blood Pressure and Diabetes – Hwangchil tree roots contain large quantities of saponin, which clears the blood and lowers cholesterol through improvement of blood quality and circulation.
  3. Immunity Enhancement – Promotes growth of immune cells, helping strengthen early immunity and biological defenses against the causes of various diseases.
  4. Blood Purification – Decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body. Cleanses the blood, promoting blood flow, healthy blood pressure, arterial and physiological functions. Also highly effective for prevention of cerebral infarction and stroke.
  5. Antimicrobial Action – It exhibits antimicrobial activity against malaria, pathogenic bacteria, and bacteria involved in food spoilage. It's effective for fighting bacteria, and for treating insomnia and constipation.
  6. Suppression of Cancer Cell Proliferation – Experiments have shown that it suppresses proliferation of liver, lung, stomach, breast cancer and leukemia cells, reducing overall cancer risk.
  7. Antioxidant Effects – Promotes anti-aging, skin-lightening, and wrinkle-preventing functions.
  8. Hard Tissue (Bones and Teeth) Regeneration – Promotes the functions of bones and teeth, reducing risk of tooth decay, gum disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Helps children grow, and assists the elderly and others with weak bones, by contributing to the proliferation of osteoblasts (cells that create bone).
  9. Promotes Brain Activity – Improves memory and concentration, and prevents dementia when taken by the elderly.
  10. Sedative Action – Benzoin resin has sedative effects, and is excellent for relieving depression, insomnia, and stress.

Hwangchil Tea Ingredients and Effects

  1. Α-CUBEBENE: Treats epilepsy, neuropathy, insomnia, fainting, hysteria, migraine headache, depression.
  2. BETA-ELEMENE: Used for treating male hormonal problems and depression by stimulating central nervous system and endocrine system.
  3. BETA-SELINENE: Appetite stimulant, also effective for treatment of vomiting, diarrhea, and morning sickness.
  4. BETA-SITOSTEROL: Major component of therapeutic agents for prostatic hyperplasia.
  5. Α-MUUROLENE: Used for digestive illnesses, and in tonics, diaphoretics, and sedatives.
  6. GERMACRENE D: Used for treatment of neuralgia, irregular menstruation, headache, hematuria, and for hemostasis.


The Hwangchil Tea in the ChangeYourEnergy online store, which is where I order mine, only uses good quality, unprocessed plants growing in the southern regions of Korea. Special pot cauldrons that emit negative ions are used to give the tea its deep, gentle flavor without destroying its nutrients. In the fermentation, roasting, and cooling process, the tea is carefully brewed to bring out Hwangchil Tree's useful ingredients.

It's best to drink Hwangchil tree leaves, wood or roots as a brewed tea or take it as a resin extract. Taking a good Hwangchil resin extract is especially effective because it's optimized for absorption in the body.

Hwangchil Tree

Drinking this Korean tea over a long period of time has no side effects. It's most effective to regularly drink Hwangchil tea on an empty stomach and in between meals.

At first, I drank it scarcely—2 or 3 times a month—and I started feeling slight changes almost immediately. Alternatively to brewing tea, I also tried a Hwangchil supplement in capsule form for 2 weeks, which gently calmed my digestion and diarrhea and improved my appetite.

After seeing the positive effects drinking the tea had for me, a coworker of mine wanted to try the tea as well. She started drinking Hwangchil tea brewed with a total of 2 liters of water a day for over a month now and has seen the healing effects in her entire body. This has really helped relieve her fatigue, and now she's able to get up early in the morning, effortlessly and with a clear head. Also, she has overcome her addiction to coffee.

At my coworker's suggestion, I started drinking Hwangchil tea every day too, and I noticed that it had a big effect in stabilizing my nervous system and calming my mind and body. You can also brew it over and over again without it turning bitter. I brew mine in the morning in not-too-hot water (60-80 degrees C, 140-175 degrees F) and drink about a couple cups throughout the day.

One of my favorite things about Hwangchil tea is that unlike green tea or yerba mate, I can drink it on an empty stomach without upsetting it. I have a sensitive stomach, and it's the only tea I can drink first thing in the morning where the taste, smell, and feeling in my stomach are comfortable, warming and pleasant.

These are just some of many positive benefits I've experienced investigating Hwangchil tea. I highly recommend drinking it 3 times a day for optimal effects. Hwangchil tea is pricey compared to other teas out there, but is more than worth the price. There are no side effects for drinking too much hwangchil tea.


By Grace Moon, Graphic Designer



Hwangchil tea, loose leafHwangchil tea, tea bags

Written by Morgan Garza
Morgan is a free spirit, world traveler and a lover of light. She loves to write about and research our inner healing power to help people realize their true potential. An avid practicer of yoga and meditation, Morgan is continuously evolving. She encourages all of us to follow our dreams by taking that first step into the unknown and truly practices what she preaches.
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