Health Benefits of Tea – An Ancient Remedy [And More!]

Health Benefits of Tea

Dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient China, tea has been used for hundreds of years for its health benefits and great taste. In the beginning, tea was used in ritual offerings. Over the centuries, tea leaves have also been used medicinally and various other ingredients like spices, orange peels and ginger to name a few have been added to tea for additional health benefits and added taste.

Health Benefits of Tea

 

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world as well as one of the healthiest! The health benefits of Tea are great. Tell me – are you a tea person?

Health Benefits of Tea

All tea is produced via cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub (bush) native to East Asia.

Health Benefits of Tea

Tea is not to be confused with herbal teas or “Tisane” (such as chamomile or roobios for example) made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots steeped in hot water. Herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas.

 

HOME-BREWED VS. STORE-BOUGHT

Health Benefits of Tea

Nutrition labels on bottled tea beverages sold commercially are typically plastered with declarations of their rich antioxidant content. However, studies suggest, if you’re looking for high doses of healthful antioxidants, you’re better off brewing your tea at home!

In addition, bottled beverages often contain large amounts of sugar and ‘other’ ingredients, such as flavorings which have no nutritional value, in them.

With home brewed – you have more control over the all around quality of your tea.

 

LOOSE LEAF VS. TRADITIONAL TEA BAGS

Health Benefits of Tea

The differences between loose leaf tea and traditional tea bags are numerous. The leaves used in most tea bags are actually the “dust and fannings” from broken tea leaves. This is a huge compromise in quality from full leaf tea. Finely broken tea leaves have lost most of their essential oils and aroma and antioxidant potency.

Another factor to consider is that tea leaves need room to expand for full-bodied flavor. This is the reason most tea balls are not ideal for brewing loose leaf tea. Standard tea bag material is often low-flow, preventing the brew from diffusing beyond the inside of the bag. Paper tea bags collapse onto the leaves, preventing their natural unfurling.

Lastly, the quality of the tea bag itself can be of concern – i.e. what it is made out of. While looking for organic helps – it is not full proof to ensuring quality materials.

Bottom line – whole leaf teas provide you with more flavor, aroma, antioxidants, and pleasure than the tiny leaf bits and tea dust in most mass-produced tea bags.

 

HOT VS. COLD BREW

Health Benefits of Tea

There is a lot of controversy between hot and cold tea lovers between which is better. In terms of health – steeping your tea in boiling water initially is essential to reaping all the beneficial properties of your tea.

After the initial steeping process, you can enjoy your tea at what temperature you prefer. Keep in mind, some studies suggest drinking scalding hot beverages can greatly increase your risk for esophageal cancer due to damage to esophagus membranes. In addition, extremely cold beverages can hinder digestibility.

 

HOW TO PROPERLY STEEP TEA

Health Benefits of Tea

What you will need:

1. Tea Kettle
2. Tea pot
3. Tea infuser or leaf strainer  (a lot of tea pots come with an infuser basket)
4. Fresh water (preferably filtered or spring)
5. Tea(s) of your choice (Plan on about one teaspoon of tea per six-ounce cup)
6. Any extra ingredients you want to add to your tea like lemon or honey
7. Tea cup

Preparation:

1. Pour fresh, cold water into your tea kettle, filling it up. Allow the water to heat to a rolling boil — unless you’re making green or 100% White Tea. In that case, stop short of boiling to avoid “cooking” the delicate tea leaves. Approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit/ 70 degrees Celsius (for green tea) to as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit (for black, oolong, or herbal tea).

2. Place your loose leaf tea in the infuser basket or infuser ball and into the teapot if that’s what you are using. Otherwise, you will need to use a tea leaf strainer when pouring.

3. Pour the heated water from the kettle over the tea in your pot, cover, and infuse to taste. Different teas take well to different infusing times. Experiment to find your ideal time, but take care – don’t steep for too long or you’ll find your tea has gone bitter.

Note: Just as water temperatures vary greatly with different tea types, so do steeping times. The longer teas steep, the more likely they are to develop bitter flavors. As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended to steep tea for 1 to 5 minutes, making sure to taste every 30 seconds to achieve the best flavor. Different types of tea require a specific amount of time for steeping.

Follow these general guidelines to steep tea:

*Black tea: 3 to 5 minutes for both loose leaf and tea bags
*Pu-erh tea: 2 to 4 minutes for both loose leaf and tea bags
*Green tea: 2 to 4 minutes for loose leaf, 1 to 3 minutes with tea bags
*White tea: 2 to 3 minutes for loose leaf, 30 to 60 seconds with tea bags
*Oolong tea: 5 to 7 minutes for loose leaf, 3 to 5 minutes with tea bags

4. Remove the infuser, or use a tea strainer for the leaves. Pour the steaming tea into a cup and let it cool for a moment.

5. Sip and enjoy!

Health Benefits of Tea

Fun tip!
Adding lemon to your tea can help prolong the life of antioxidants. It can also increase the potency of the tea plus it’s tasty!

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEA

Health Benefits of Tea

Tea is a refreshing beverage that contains no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar. It is virtually calorie-free. Tea helps maintain proper fluid balance and may contribute to overall good health thanks to it’s antioxidant properties.

All tea contains powerful antioxidants called poly-phenols. Tea poly-phenols are bio-active compounds, such as flavanoids and tannins, found naturally in tea. Depending on how the tea is harvested, handled, processed, and brewed, the poly-phenol level can vary. These bio-active compounds are believed to help neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe, over time, damage elements in the body, and contribute to chronic disease.

Tea also has caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.

Each of the following teas have been found to have their own unique benefits, such as:

1. Green Tea – Has a high concentration of EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.

2. Black Tea – May protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

3. Oolong Tea – Can help lower cholesterol levels and may aid in weight loss.

4. Pu-erh tea – Reduces bad cholesterol and aids in weight loss.

5. White Tea – Has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.

 

STORAGE

Health Benefits of Tea

Storage conditions and type determine the shelf life of tea. Black tea’s is greater than green’s. Others, such as pu-erh, improve with age.

To remain fresh and prevent mold, tea needs to be stored away from heat, light, air, and moisture. Tea must be kept at room temperature in an air-tight container. Black tea in a bag within a sealed opaque canister may keep for two years. Green tea deteriorates more rapidly, usually in less than a year. Tightly rolled gunpowder tea leaves keep longer than the more open-leafed Chun Mee tea.

Storage life for all teas can be extended by using desiccant or oxygen-absorbing packets, vacuum sealing, or refrigeration in air-tight containers (except green tea, where discrete use of refrigeration or freezing is recommended and temperature variation kept to a minimum)

 

SAFETY AND SIDE EFFECTS

Health Benefits of Tea

While tea is generally safe – it is good to note that Tea does contain naturally occurring caffeine – theine – (milder in some teas than others) and is not recommended for those with caffeine sensitivity or who are on certain medications that it may interfere with. In addition, tea is not recommended for the following individuals:

1. Breast feeding women. The naturally occurring caffeine – theine – stimulant can increase risk of miscarriage.

2. Those suffering from anemia. Tannins are responsible for minerals such as iron from vegetable sources not being absorbed properly by the body. People who are anemic should limit consumption of tea when eating iron-rich foods.

3. Those with hypertension. A stimulant effect due to the naturally occurring caffeine – theine – can cause increased anxiety, stress and/or tachycardia.

4. Those with gastrointestinal issues such as IBS or chronic constipation. While tannins have beneficial properties, they also have an astringent effect which can increase risk of dehydration and exacerbate conditions such as IBS or constipation. In addition, tea increases the production of acid in the stomach. For this reason, it is not appropriate to consume Tea in cases of gastric problems such as gastric ulcers, stomach pain, gastric reflux, heartburn or vomiting.

 

Overall, unless you have a specific condition or take a certain medication that Tea may not pair well with – tea is safe to consume in moderation. Most adverse reactions occur with over-consumption. In general, up to 3 cups a day should be safe.

It is always recommended to be sure to consult your physician first to ensure tea is right for you!

 

CONCLUSION

Health Benefits of Tea

I hope with this article you get to have your tea and enjoy it too! Especially the health benefits :). My personal favorite is green tea. Do you have a favorite yet?

If you would like a recommendation for a place to shop for high quality teas – one website I like and use is Paromi.com. Paromi sells whole-leaf teas, since the size of a tea leaf plays an important role in the way it tastes and the health benefits it provides. The leaves are sifted to get rid of leftover dust and bits. Paromi sells its loose leaf tea in glass jars, which keep it fresh and fragrant, and bags made of biodegradable, non-GMO cornstarch. Not all Paromi teas are certified fair trade, so be sure to search for that specific criterion before buying.

If you have any thoughts or questions or recommendations of your own, please don’t hesitate to comment below!

Kind Regards,

Sherry S.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea
https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits#2
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055352/
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/upshot/what-the-evidence-tells-us-about-tea.html
https://matcha-tea.com/tea/temperature-rising-hot-vs-cold-tea-debate

16 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Tea – An Ancient Remedy [And More!]”

  1. Hello mdparve! I appreciate you sharing my articles with your family! I hope they enjoy them as much as you and find them helpful and insightful :).

  2. Hello Khobayer! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment! I am glad you found my article insightful. You are quite welcome! 

  3. Hello Jeff! Thank you for taking the time to share your enjoyment of and experience with tea! I am glad you gleaned some new information from the article as well! 

  4. Hi Sherry – I am a big tea fan…specifically green tea! I really enjoyed reading your post and learned a few new things that I didn’t know about tea. Thanks for pointing out the MANY health benefits of tea…especially green tea, a great endorsement that I am on the right path by drinking green tea daily. I find that tea just relaxes me, it puts me in the right state. I also find it helps me to focus and have a sense of “internal” cleansing and peace. Thanks for putting this information out to the world and being a tea advocate for good health!! 

  5. Hello Sherry,

    This is an educative and helpful article about the Health Benefits of Tea. We know that tea is good for health. Tea has tonic acid it helps us to refresh our mind. In your article, you describe tea very clearly. I know that tea has two kinds of one is black and another is green but after reading your article I knew many things. Today I know that tea is five kinds of and also known their benefits. Every day morning I am drinking tea for refreshment. It helps me to keep awake. And without tea, I cannot think about a day.

    Thanks a lot for sharing an important article for us.

    Again Thank you so much.

  6. Hi Friend, Thank you so much for sharing such a tea article. I am very excited to read your article because I myself also drink tea. Everyone in our family drinks tea. I made tea by myself and gave it to everyone. Tea makes the body reinforced. After a lot of work, a cup of tea gives peace to the mind. We drink spices, lemon and ginger tea. I have shared this article with all my friends.

  7. Hi Sujandar! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your thoughts on my article and am glad you enjoyed it! Happy steeping!

  8. Sujandar Mahesan

    Wow this is just amazing. In the days where everyone use modern medicines people don’t understand that there is cure available through nature to us via tea. You explained all the health benefits of tea in your article. I was really surprised to see how much benefits it can offer.

    I also learned how to steep tea properly. I will be trying that very soon.

    Thank you very much for sharing this informative article.

  9. Hello Dave! I am so glad you enjoyed this article and gleaned a lot of useful information from it! I enjoyed researching further into the teas I love. I learned a lot as well! And I am so happy to share what I have learned with you and the rest of my readers :). Hope to see you around again! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. Feel free to return and let us know how it goes with the variation in steeping time!

  10. Hello Jannatul! Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. I am glad you enjoyed this article and found it informative! Come back for more insightful and helpful posts 🙂

  11. Hello Aksha! Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! I am so glad you liked my article and even gleaned some new information from it! 🙂

  12. Hello Agnes! Thanks so much for visiting. I am glad you enjoyed the article! I love lemon. Unfortunately, I cannot use it as often as I’d like as the acidity causes me to get canker sores :/. But I know many people who have no problems with it! When it comes to adding it to your tea – I don’t think it matters exactly when you add it. Especially if you are adding the juice concentrate and not the whole slice. If you are adding a slice with the skin and not squeezing out the juice – it may take longer for the juices to be derived from it and get the full taste and benefits. With a whole slice – I would think the hotter the water, the quicker you can derive the juice. 

    As far as tea for stress – traditional tea contains natural stimulants which could make stress worse. Traditional teas aren’t known for stress relieving properties but instead antioxidant and energy giving properties. Most teas that help with stress and relaxation are herbal teas, or “tisane” like chamomile or lavender tea. 

  13. Thank you for the thorough review of teas.It was interesting to read about the story of tea as well here. I must admit I’m a tea-lover and drink 3 cups of tea every day. I drink my tea hot in spite of the fact that I know there are good cold drinks as tea. I mainly prepare my tea for myself and always add lemon to it and a sweetener. Do you think that lemon should be added while the tea is still hot or wait some time before adding some to the tea? Which would you recommend for lessening stress: green or any other teas?

  14. Wow, wonderful article Sherry. I’m a 100% tea person and writing this comment while having tea,  🙂 

    I never knew about 5 different varieties of tea, you have listed. I know only Green tea and black tea. And, Green tea is my favorite as well. Also, your article is very educational, as it listed some awesome medical benefits of having tea. 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this article. I must take a physical print of this article, it’s valuable. And, of course, I’ll share it as well. Keep up the good work. I wish you the best. 

  15. Jannatul Ferdaus

    Hi, I have read your article very carefully . I am very excited to read your article because I have learn many important tips about health benefits of tea. I am very appreciated to your post. The health benefits of Tea are great.  Your discussion about 5 types of tea is very interesting. Tea can be beneficial to our whole body ,boost our brain and mental ,Help protect from heart attack and stroke, it may keep our smile bright , it contains antioxidants and so many others benefit of its.  I like this post very much. Thanks for the post.

  16. I am a lot better informed about teas after reading this thorough and useful article on the subject. Over the years I have started liking tea a lot more due to the many benefits it offers for health and well-being, and especially since working in China over a decade ago.

    There they love tea, of course, as in many other parts of the world, and they have many flavorful and healthy varieties to choose from. I drank Kung Fu Cha often, as that one was one extremely popular in the Hangzhou area where I spent a lot of time. 

    After reading through this article, I now understand why most Chinese only drink the full leave tea versus the bags. Convenience aside, the health benefits are definitely not there as opposed to using the full tea leaves. In the west, typically they use the bags and the cuttings you mention.

    Overall, what I have learned here after reading through the article is going to help me to enjoy my tea even more, and I will play with the steeping time to see if I can improve the flavor even more for my taste (it could be that I am steeping the tea too long, I would like to see what the results are for a lesser time).

    Thanks so much for this post, for tea lovers like me you packed a lot of punch into this! 

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