Power of Tea

When I was growing up, I was not a tea person. We always had coffee in my house instead of tea. As I have grown, I have begun to develop a taste for it. One of the reasons I have been experimenting with tea is because I was diagnosed with irritable bowl syndrome. I asked my doctor if there was something besides medicine that could help with the pain. Too many painkillers can hurt my stomach more. He suggested I try peppermint tea. I sort of chuckled when he said that, but he was very adamant it would help with the pain. So, of course I tried it. It definitely reminded me of toothpaste, but it wasn’t half bad. It also helped to numb the pain. This inspired me to look into other benefits of tea. I think that the benefits that tea contains are fascinating!

Background:

            Unfortunately, there are no factual records of the discovery of tea, but there are several myths. Beatrice Hohenegger, author of Steeped in History: The Art of Tea, explains the most popular myth of the origin of tea. In 2737 BC China, there was a man named Shen Nong that roamed the wilds in search for plants with medical benefits. While he was sitting under a tree, some leaves fell into his cauldron of boiling water and produced a pleasant smell. He then began to drink it and felt its wonderful soothing properties (Hohenegger). It spread from Asia, to Britain, to here in the US. It is one of the most widely consumed beverages.

Black Tea:

It is produced from the Camellia Sinesis plant. It is the same plant that is used to make all types of tea. The leaves from this plant are withered and they go through a long period of fermentation (“loose”). I recently tried black tea and I must say the flavor was too strong for me. Quite literally, it is not my cup of tea. It is a better substitute than coffee because it is caffeinated, which explains how it helps to improve mental alertness. It is interesting that the caffeine it contains also helps to reduce the risk of Parkinson disease.

  • Benefits from WebMD (WebMD):
    • Most effective for:
      • Tea used to improving mental alertness as well as learning, memory and information processing skills
  • Possibly effective for:
    • Reduces risk of heart attack
      • Also reduces risk of dying from a heart attack after drinking it for a year
    • 8% lower risk of developing kidney stones for women
    • Reduces risk of Parkinson disease
    • Reduce risk of ovarian cancer
    • Reduces risk of hardening of the arties, especially in women

Green Tea:

It is created from the tealeaves from the Camellia plant. They are dried and heated to stop the fermentation. (“Loose”). The tea has a naturally dark green color and has a grassy taste. When I first tried it, I really tasted the grass flavor. I find it the best when it has a little bit of lemon in it. It is extremely refreshing. I just feel better after I have green tea. Some consider it to be a super food because it’s wide variety of benefits.

  • Benefits as stated by WebMD (WebMD):
    • Healthy Cells
      • The antioxidant catechins are contained in green tea. It helps to fight and repair cell damage in the body. However, to consume these antioxidants the tea must be steeped in 160-170 degree water. Otherwise the heat for the water will kill off all of the catechins.
      • Improves blood flow and lowers cholesterol
      • Keeps brain healthy
        • Studies show green tea drinkers have greater activity in working memory areas of the brain
        • Stables blood sugar levels in diabetes patients
        • Some believe that it reduces stress

White Tea:

This tea is made from the tea buds and youngest leaves of the Camellia plant. It is considered the least processed of all the teas since it is only steamed and dried. Since it is the least processed, it contains the most amount of antioxidants. I enjoyed this tea because it was naturally sweet and I tend to add sugar to my tea. It’s also extremely mild compared to other tastes. It is not as earthy as the others.

  • Benefits as stated by Science Daily (Kingston):
    • Anti-Aging capabilities
      • Protects skins natural proteins, especially collagen and elastin
  • Potent capabilities of reducing the risk of cancer, arthritis, and heart problems.

Passion tea:

Blog 5.4This tea has become largely popular because of the coffee house chain Starbucks. It is a tea made from the passionflower and is an herbal tea. Herbal teas are not from the Camellia plant and do not contain as many benefits. However, they are extremely popular and come in many flavors. I find it interesting that herbal teas have become a lot more popular but they do not have any where as many benefits. It feels like some may just be drinking it because they believe it to be just as beneficial. I think it is just a fad that some may be joining. However the only benefit that I found from passion tea was that it lowers anxiety levels (Oz).

I don’t want to give the impression that tea is a magical elixir that will fix all your ailments. Studies show these benefits in large consumptions over a long period of time. However, I feel that these benefits can help people with a lot of health problems and is wonderful for preventative care. It also is a drink with natural flavor and not a lot of sugar. Most drinks today contain added color or sugar that over time can harm our body. If we simply supplement one soda for tea a day, the health benefits would be easy to see. I think tea is so extremely fascinating and that we should try to join most of the world in this craze.

Work Cited

“Loose Tea Basics.” Teavana. (2013): n. page. Web. 4 Oct. 2013. <http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/types-of-tea&gt;.

Hohengger, Beatrice. Steeped in History: the Art of Tea. Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2009. 31-30. Print.

“Black Tea: Health Uses and Risks.” WebMd.  Web. 4 Oct. 2013. <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/black-tea-uses-and-risks&gt;.

Kingston University. “White Tea Could Keep You Healthy And Looking Young.” ScienceDaily, 14 Aug. 2009. Web. 4 Oct. 2013.

Oz, Mehmet. “Health Benefits of Tea.” Dr. Oz Show. (2013): Web. 4 Oct. 2013. <http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/health-benefits-tea&gt;.

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