Tea has ancient origins (see title) and has proven to be an invincible social adhesive as well as the focus of rituals and ceremonies and a health-based medium for both recovery from illness and strengthening of the energy system.
Chinese Emperor Shen Nong allegedly discovered tea in 2737 BC while boiling water in the shade of a tree. A light breeze caused some leaves to fall into the water, which the emperor tasted and found to be delicious. Since then science has both discovered and evaluated the healthy properties and benefits of tea, from pleasant beverage to tonic herb with various topical applications.
Here is a short list of teas and their potential health benefits:
- Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. 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, and reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases. Topically with carrot oil it can be used for melanoma and sunspots, and as it causes apoptosis (cell death) of fat cells, it is ideal as an adjunct for weight loss programs,
- Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
- White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas. Along with green tea it functions in inhibiting angiogenesis (when tumors create their own blood supply) and so is ideal for those prone to or suffering from cancer.
- Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower LDL levels.
- Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and (so possible good for weight LOSS) and reduced LDL cholesterol.
That was easy - drink more tea and lower your risk for disease and reduce the amount of medications that you are likely to take. Tell your M.D