Health Benefits of Tea
SILK ROAD teas are made with premium quality, fresh, organic botanicals. Exceptional freshness, combined with organic growing practices, results in higher antioxidant levels & superior flavour. What’s just as important as the premium quality ingredients we select for our teas, are the ingredients we never use – no artificial flavours or colours – just pure, healthy, deliciousness in every sip!
Tea has been demonstrated to benefit your health in a multiplicity of ways. Drinking at least one cup of green, black, white or oolong tea a day can contribute significantly to the promotion of public health, according to Dr. Carol Greenwood of the Department of nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto & Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.
- All teas contain antioxidants (vitamins that are anti-aging).
- All teas contain vitamins b & k, & traces of minerals like potassium & calcium.
- Black tea contains vitamin a.
- Green tea contains vitamin c.
- Polyphenols are responsible for the tea’s pungency & flavour & play a role in stimulating the digestive tract.
- Research indicates that polyphenols increase the number of white blood cells in the body & boost immunity to disease. They could also inhibit absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract & seem to inhibit DNA mutation in rats (anti-carcinogenic). Scientists think that teas may have the same effect on us.
- Polyphenols were once known as tannins, but recent evidence indicates that polyphenols chemically resemble tannins but are not in fact tannins.
- All teas promote the circulation.
- All teas may lower blood pressure.
- All types of tea may help reduce blood triglycerides & cholesterol, but studies done so far indicate that semi-greens appear to be the best.
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM & HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT
- Essential oils & polyphenols aid digestion by stimulating peristalsis & the production of digestive juices.
- Research presented by Alan Croizier, PhD of the University of Glasgow, UK , reveal that many green & black tea flavonoids are digested & absorbed, while some travel mostly intact to the lower gastrointestinal tract, providing a probiotic effect by enabling beneficial bacteria to thrive.
- Tea catechins may provide a benefit in maintaining body weight & promoting weight loss.
- Tea may help counter the adverse effects of high-fat foods on blood vessels, which could reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, the most common cause of death in North America.
- All teas contain approx. 4 calories per cup.
- Vitamins & other constituents in tea are thought to be responsible for its ability to prevent colds & flu.
- A recent study suggests that drinking 5 cups of black tea daily could boost the body’s ability to fight infection fivefold. Researchers from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston & Harvard Medical School claim to have isolated a chemical in tea that protects humans against germs. In the study, Dr. Jack F. Bukowski & his co-authors isolated from ordinary black tea a substance called L-theanine. He said the substance is also found in green & oolong tea, which also are processed from traditional tea leaves. The L-theanine is broken down in the liver to ethylamine, a molecule that primes the response of an immune blood.
- Gargling with green, semi-green or black tea may reduce likelihood of sore throats or may soothe & calm irritation & assist faster recovery. CAUTION! SORE THROATS MAY INDICATE A SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USE.
- Flavanoids & other compounds present in tea , may help ward off inflammation & vascular damage link to chronic conditions associated with aging.
- All teas increase alertness.
- All teas reduce fatigue.
- All teas improve concentration.
- All teas have anti-bacterial/antiseptic properties that may help skin heal faster.
- Moist tea leaves & tea infusions were traditionally used as soothing salves for sunburn & insect bites.
- Antioxidant properties of tea make for excellent skincare properties (anti-aging, soothing & calming, minimise sun damage). CAUTION! SUNBURNS MAY REQUIRE MEDICAL ATTENTION. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USE.
- All teas contain fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent the development of bacterial plaque (which leads to tooth decay), but green teas have the most fluoride.
- Caffeine accounts for tea’s energizing/uplifting qualities & isn’t necessarily bad for you!
- Studies indicate that caffeine in small doses can be beneficial. A study about the health benefits of green tea found that the caffeine is an active ingredient in helping your system assimilate antioxidants.
- Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, promotes circulation & assists the release of waste products.
BONE & MUSCLE STRENGTH
- Research at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center suggest, drinking 4-6 cups of green tea daily alone & in combination with Tai Chi, improves bone formation, reduces inflammation & increases muscle strength.
- Polyphenols in green teas have been identified as antioxidants & have shown they may reduce the incidents of skin, lung, liver, stomach cancers.
- In a study for the American Health Foundation, mice were given green tea & then exposed to a cancer causing agent (MNK). The mice that were given green tea developed 12.2 lung tumours each, & the mice that weren’t given green tea developed 22.5 tumours each. This reveals a possible correlation in humans.
- Cigarette smokers in Japanese tea producing districts have a lower incidence of lung cancer than other Japanese smokers.
- Green tea contains a naturally occurring substance that is believed to have the effect of normalizing & slightly lowering blood pressure. This accounts for the general perception that drinking a cup of tea has a relaxing effect, despite the slight caffeine content.
HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT
- Research suggests that green tea & caffeine could trigger energy expenditure that may promote weight loss.
FOR MAXIMUM BENEFITS:
- Tea must be fresh
- Use proper steeping times.
- The maximum shelf life for health benefits & flavour is approximately 1 year, if stored properly away from light & air exposure (no clear jars, plastic bags, paper bags, heat or cardboard boxes, because all of these will affect the tea’s freshness)
- For optimum flavour (no bitterness) & maximum health benefits green teas should be steeped for no more than about 3 minutes.
- Studies indicate that the health benefits of green teas can reverse (i.e. become potentially harmful) if steeped too long. If green tea is over steeped by a short margin (i.e. 15 minutes instead of 3 minutes), you are losing anti-oxidants & nutrient value, but not necessarily causing the properties to become harmful. However, properties in green tea that has been over steeped by a long margin (over 24 hours) may become carcinogenic.
There have been a number of studies that have indicated that green tea is anti-carcinogenic. There are also a number of studies indicating that the beneficial properties of green tea deteriorate when steeped too long. A good analogy for this is vegetables. If fresh veggies are overcooked, their nutrient value diminishes. In addition, there was a study done which found that if green tea is steeped for 24 hours, the anti-carcinogenic properties reverse, & the resulting beverage can become somewhat carcinogenic. The exact reason for this is unknown at this time, but it appears that some of the beneficial properties of tea are very biologically active, & that this may be linked to the reversal. It is not uncommon for foods that may have some beneficial properties to become altered (& become potentially hazardous) when prepared in different ways, or allowed to oxidize. Black pepper is an example: it is believed to have a wide variety of potential health benefits, but when oxidized it may become somewhat carcinogenic.
Many of black tea’s health benefits are geared to the cardiovascular system (this can be especially helpful in hot climates or in the summer when hot weather puts added stress
on the heart).
- Black tea may lower blood pressure. Research at University L’Aquila, Italy found that black tea appeared to counteract the negative effects of high-fat meals on blood pressure & arterial blood flow.
- Black tea may reduce cholesterol.
- Black tea is high in potassium, which helps the heart perform its functions better.
- Long term black tea drinkers have a lower incidence of diabetes.
- Black tea may assist in stabilising blood sugar.
- Research conducted by Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands demonstrated that black tea improves attention & self-reported alertness, demonstrating benefits for tiredness, mood & creative problem solving.
- Black tea contains vitamin a, which helps combat sun damage & improve the suppleness of skin with both internal & external use.
White teas are becoming increasingly valued for their health benefits. As a result of the type
of leaves used (the youngest leaves & buds) & the method of manufacture (very little heat), white teas appear to have more antioxidants & nutrient value than any other type of tea. The caffeine content of white teas is slightly above or comparable to that of green teas. White tea is especially potent in that it has up to three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green or black tea.
- Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon tested white teas on selected rats to test for the ability of white teas to inhibit natural mutations in bacteria & to protect the rats from colon cancer. Interestingly, white teas were found to be more effective than green tea in inhibiting the early stages of cancer, but researchers were quick to point out that their study was on rats & the effects should not be extrapolated to humans, without further study.
- Studies have indicated that white tea is twice as effective in neutralizing free radicals than green or black tea.
OOLONG & PU-ERH TEA
- In Fuzhou (China), researchers found that in patients with hypertension or coronary heart disease, drinking oolong tea helped decrease blood viscosity, improved micro-circulation (circulation within the blood) & prevented blood clotting. Where blood clotting (thrombosis) did occur, it took longer to form & was of a shorter duration.
- In 1980, Japanese studies indicated that regular drinking of semi-greens may reduce hypertension & assist in cases of coronary heart disease.
- A number of studies have indicated that all teas may have a beneficial effect on overall cardiovascular health, but so far studies indicate that semi-green tea appears to be the most effective.
- Studies have indicated that all teas may help reduce cholesterol, but semi-greens have so far demonstrated the fastest results.
- In Fuzhou (China), researchers found that in patients with atherosclerosis or a high lipid (fat) viscosity, drinking oolong tea helped decrease blood viscosity, improved micro-circulation (circulation within the blood) & prevented blood clotting. Where blood clotting (thrombosis) did occur, it took longer to form & was of a shorter duration.
- In 1980, Japanese studies indicated that regular drinking of semi-greens may reduce cholesterol & neutral.
- In a California study, there was less atherosclerosis among tea drinkers than coffee drinkers.
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM & WEIGHT LOSS
- In China, semi-green teas are traditionally known as “slimming teas”.
- They are considered excellent for assisting the digestion, especially when one is eating fatty foods.
- Chinese studies cite cases where weight loss occurred as a result of drinking just 2 to 3 cups of oolong tea per day.
- Chinese researchers found that a 1% solution of oolong tea doubled the lifespan of fruit flies.
HEALTH & SAFETY
(based on advisories issued by Health Canada & the FDA)
- lemongrass: found in ALCHEMIST’S BREW, PHILOSOPHER’S BREW, SEAMIST, SUBLIME, EARL WHITE. Avoid in large quantities during pregnancy. Moderate amounts may be fine.
- red clover: found in ANGELWATER. Avoid in large quantities during pregnancy. Moderate amounts may be fine.
- peppermint: found in SEAMIST, WESTCOAST PEPPERMINT, GREEN DRAGON. Avoid while nursing. It is believed to have the potential to lessen milk flow (however, this has not been conclusively proven).
Please note that there are many herbs that are contraindicated during pregnancy. The above is only a list of ingredients found in our teas. It is not a list of all herbs contraindicated during pregnancy.
As a general rule, teas consumed during pregnancy should be made at about 1/2 the strength of what we normally recommend (use 1/2 tsp. for every 2 cups, instead of 1 tsp. for every 2 cups).
Many healthcare professionals are currently recommending that women avoid caffeine during pregnancy. We recommend discussing this with your healthcare provider to arrive at an approach that is best for you.
Our research is based on a number of different sources, including data that is released to the public, as well as tea industry studies that are not always widely released or available to the public. Many tea-related studies are ongoing & are being continually released. The internet can be a good way to access the information, but it’s important to check to see if the sources are reputable (i.e. scientific journals & publications).
It’s important to note that while tea may have some positive benefits, it should not be considered a treatment for medical conditions, & it is important for you to seek appropriate medical advice & treatment from your doctor.
THE COLLECTION OF INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF SILK ROAD AROMATHERAPY AND TEA CO. COPYRIGHT 2001 BY SILK ROAD AROMATHERAPY AND TEA CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS DOCUMENT MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPYING, RECORDING, OR BY ANY INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM SILK ROAD AROMATHERAPY AND TEA CO.
SILK ROAD AROMATHERAPY AND TEA CO. CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MISADVENTURE RESULTING FROM THE MISUSE OR THE USE OF ANY OF THE TEAS OR METHODS MENTIONED IN THIS DOCUMENT. THIS DOCUMENT IS INTENDED AS AN INFORMATIONAL GUIDE. THE INFORMATION OUTLINED SHOULD NOT BE USED TO TREAT ANY AILMENT OR IMPLY IN ANY WAY THAT TEA OR ITS USE IS A TREATMENT OR PREVENTION FOR ANY HEALTH OR MEDICAL CONDITION. INDIVIDUALS WITH HEALTH CONDITIONS OR USE MEDICATION SHOULD CONSULT THEIR DOCTOR IF THEY INTEND TO START DRINKING TEA. SEE HEALTH BENEFITS SECTION FOR CONTRAINDICATIONS.