Tea and Health
- If you are cold, tea will warm you,
- If you are too heated, it will cool you,
- If you are depressed, it will cheer you,
- If you are to excited, it will calm you
- William Ewart Gladstone
The health benefits of tea have been long known. In China, where tea was first discovered and cultivated, it was originally a medicinal drink to help with colds, indigestion and to function as a tonic, strengthening the body's own healing system. The renaissance of tea is in part a result of scientific studies that seem to substantiate this age-old wisdom.
Over the past 20 years, researchers have designed studies to examine tea's possible health attributes. They found that tea contains flavonoids, naturally occurring compounds with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help the body to neutralize free radicals, which, over time, can damage genetic material, and contribute to chronic disease.
Overall, studies conducted on green tea and black tea have yielded similar results and even though green tea is more often associated with health, drinking black tea is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Whether green, white, or black, tea may also play a role in bone health, as the findings of a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indicated.
Flavonoids are not the only component of the plant Camellia Sinensis which positively affect our health, as the list of constituents and their related health benefits (from Green Tea and Human Health by Dr. Itaro Oguni) shows.
For more information on tea's health benefits, please visit the following websites:
- Specialty Tea Institute
- Dr. Andrew Weil, MD
- Tea Experience
- Cancer: American institute of Cancer Research
- Autoimmune Disorders: Georgia Medical Collage Press Release
- Heart Disease: Health Bulletin