Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tea for your health

Why is tea so hot? Tea was discovered in China. Legend has it , the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nong boiled his drinking water to sterilize it. One day some leaves fell into his water from a nearby bush. The Emperor drank the infused liquid and found it to be energizing. The bush was a tea bush. He ordered tea bushes to be planted in the palace gardens. Hence tea was created.

Today's health and beauty buzz on on the goodness of teas. There are more than 2000 different blends of tea. Teas have been used for their medicinal benefits for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression.

Most of us have heard of the benefits of green tea. Below are some of the teas I have researched primarily for their aid in weight loss and wonderful anti oxidant properties. I have not personally consumed all of them or had any of them in large quantities. I love tea and easily drink 6 or more cups a day but I usually opt for black tea instead of the flavored or herbal variety.
Consult with your doctor before consuming herbal remedies including teas.

Green Tea
There is a compound in Green tea, a polyphenol called EGCG which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits of green tea.
The health benefits of green tea are:
  • Green tea is rich in antioxidants which help to neutralize dangerous free radicals and fight disease.
  • The catechins in green tea have recently been found to protect the eyes against glaucoma.
  • Drinking green tea with antibiotics was found to make the antibiotics much more effective in fighting resistant bugs.
  • A random study in Taiwan found that green tea could modulate the effect of smoking on lung cancer.
A large study in 2010 found that drinking green tea was of no use in preventing breast cancer.
Caffeine naturally occurs in green tea but the amount is less than in black tea and much less than in coffee.

Pu erhTea
Pu erh is produced in the Yunnan mountains in China. Pu erh tea is aged and consumed years after it's production much like wine. Pu erh tea is often served in Chinese restaurants especially after a fatty meal.
The health benefits of pu erh tea are:
  • Pu erh tea is know for it's ability to lower cholesterol.
  • It is said to shrink fat cells.
  • Pu erh tea aids in digestion.
  • It contains polyphenols which attack free radicals thus protecting the body against various diseases such as cancer.
  • May aid in circulation.
  • May remove toxins from the body.
  • May help heal aches and pains.
White Tea
White tea has the least amount of caffeine content. There is no heat or oxidation used in it's preparation so it is also the least processed tea. White tea is made from immature leaves.
The health benefits of white tea are:
  • Researches found that white tea prompted fat to break down in fat cells and prevented the storage of fat. These tests were performed on human cells. It is still to be seen as to whether drinking the tea could fight obesity.
  • White tea has greater antioxidant activity than green and black teas. May hinder cancer causing changes to genetic material.
  • Topically applied, white tea may protect against UV rays. White tea is incorporated into some cosmetics.
  • May boost the bodies immune system.
Chickweed Tea
Chickweed is a plant commonly found all over the world. Chickweed is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. It is an excellent source of minerals with many health benefits.
The health benefits of chickweed tea are:
  • Chickweed tea contains a diuretic. The body can eliminate contaminants through urination.
  • It reduces water retention, bloating and weight gain.
  • Chickweed tea may be beneficial for respiratory ailments caused by infections, asthma and allergies.
  • It contains anti inflammatory properties. If used in a bath, it is said to ease joint and arthritis pain, ease sore muscles and reduce swelling of torn ligaments.
  • It can aid in soothing skin irritation, eczema, rashes and burns.
  • It purifies the blood and reduces plaque in the vessels as well as aiding blood clotting.
Bilberry Tea
The bilberry is a small fruit found throughout the world. It is a wonderful source of antioxidants. It is high in vitamin C.
The health benefits of Bilberry Tea are:
  • Promotes better vision and protects against macular degeneration.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Aids in digestion and upset stomachs.
  • Protects against cancer and heart disease.
  • It has been linked to lowering blood sugar.
  • Relief from joint and arthritis pain has been reported.
Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea has been a popular herbal tea in Southern Africa for generations.The plant is grown in a small area of the Western Cape in South Africa. Rooibos contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants. The flavonoids in rooibos tea are aspalathin and nothofagin. Rooibos tea is low in tannin and does not interfere with iron absorption. It is also caffeine free. The health benefits of Rooibos Tea are:
  • Rooibos tea can ease stomach cramps in adults and colic in infants.
  • High levels of anti oxidants to fight free radicals and prevent disease.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Has anti inflammatory and anti viral qualities.
  • Helps with relaxation, headaches, tension and insomnia.
  • It contains manganese, fluoride and calcium so aids in bone health and strengthens the teeth.
Using teas to aid weight loss:
  1. Drink 2 cups of Pu erh tea in the morning to shrink fat cells.
  2. Drink 2 cups of white tea to prevent fat storage at lunch time.
  3. Drink 1 cup of Chickweed tea for bloating mid afternoon.
  4. Drink 1 cup of bilberry tea in the evening to balance blood sugar and assist with cravings.
As an aid for relaxation, drink a cup of rooibos tea an hour before bed.

Keep healthy, happy and safe.
Consult with your doctor before taking any medication including herbal supplements and teas.

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