Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Science, Health and History of Chinese Tea
In ancient China during and after the reign of Emperor Shennong, tea was once used as medicine. The Book of tea written in the Yuan dynasty circa 1191 AD, by Japanese Zen priest Eisai, describes how drinking tea affects the 5 vital organs. During the time of the Tang Dynasty (600-900 AD) Lu Yu wrote about the health benefits of tea contained in medical books – tea as medical herb and tea as a cure formula. Western science has now validated these observations and proven that tea has nutritional, pharmacological, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial effects and anti-oxidant effects.
Each tea differs in it processing methods thus each tea differs in chemical composition, taste, aroma, health benefits and well being.
Tea contains antioxidants – antioxidants are chemicals that prevent damage from oxidant chemicals that damage our cells, tissue and organs. Oxidants are sometimes referred to as free radicals. These chemicals come from external sources such as pollution in the air or our food. Our body also makes free radicals as a by-product of certain functions of metabolism. Tea antioxidants reduce oxidative damage in the body thus slowing ageing and increasing health.
Antioxidants are all grouped under the one category (Polyphenols). Polyphenols are micronutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Underneath this Polyphenol category are Flavinoids und underneath the Flavinoid sub category are catechins – EC (epicatechin), ECG (epicatechin gallate), EGC (epigallocatechin), EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), as well as theaflavins and Thearubigins.
The compounds called Catechins are classed as a flavonoid. Catechins are very high in green tea and white tea because the frying and steaming processes limit oxidation. White tea has the highest level of Catechins.
Other healthy components of oolong tea and black teas are Thearubigins and theaflavins. There are many different Thearubigins and theaflavins and the differences between these flavonoids constitute the different flavours of oolong and black teas. Oolong and black teas do not have a high level of Catechins as these compounds have been broken down in the oxidation and fermentation processes.
Processing exposes the plants Chlorophyll and Carotenoids to oxygen which then instigates semi fermentation (partial oxidation) and fermentation (full oxidation) resulting in the different levels of Thearubigins and theaflavins.
There are many different Theaflavins such as Theaflavin (STF), theaflavin-3-gallate (TF-3-G), theaflavin-3’-gallate (TF-3’-G), theaflavin-3, 3’-di gallate (TF-3, 3’G), digallate equivalent of theaflavins (DGETF), isotheaflavin or theaflavic acids. These Theaflavins result in orange red compounds that give the distinctive briskness, color and strength of the tea. Thearubigins are red brown in color and make up to 10 to 20%.
Oolong tea has high levels of Theaflavins vs Thearubigins which are produced when the tea plant leaves are bruised and rolled during processing. Black teas undergo a similar but longer process to that of oolong teas and it has higher levels of Thearubigins vs theaflavins.
Pu-erh r tea is processed in a similar way to oolong tea and black teas but with more microbial fermentation over a longer duration. It is the microbal fermentation that distinguished Pu-erh tea from other teas. Pu-erh tea has demonstrated antiatherosclerotic activities, antiallergic antioxidative, antifibrotic, hypolipidemic, hypocholesterolemic effects, anti-obesity, antiviral, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, and neuroprotective effects. Pu-erh teas have also been found to prevent tooth decay and ulcers, control halitosis, cure stomach disorders, improve bacterial flora in the intestine, increase bone density, and protect against UV rays.
Herbal tea or flower teas are not derived from Camellia Sinensis. Herbal tea or flower teas have many different properties for instance: chamomile tea can help with IBS (irritable bowel Syndrome) as it have a calming effect upon the bowel (antispasmodic). Ginger tea has been found to aid general nausea, morning sickness and sea sickness.
Tea contains less caffeine than coffee
Tea contains about 50% less caffeine than coffee thus the stimulating effect is not as strong.
Promotes relaxation and anti-anxiety.
Tea also contains Theanine which is a non-essential amino acid that promotes relaxation but not sedation. Theanine increases nitric oxide production in the arteries and heart thus aids in cardiovascular benefits as well as the health of the brain (which is possibly why tea protects against dementia).
Lowers risk of heart attack and stroke.
There is strong scientific evidence that tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke – one study resulted in a 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35 percent reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of green tea a day. People who drank 4 or more cups of green tea daily had a 32 percent reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and also had lower levels of cholesterol (LDL).
Tea improves specific memory and learning tasks.
Theanine increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain. Theanine is reported to promote alpha wave production in the brain – with possible improvement in specific memory and learning tasks.
Tea may help with anti-ageing
Drinking more than 3 cups per day increased the length of telomeres. Telomeres are a substance that slow the chromosomes and DNA from shortening thus protect us from ageing.
Tea protects DNA from oxidative damage:
Thus slowing down general ageing but also inhibiting replication of faulty DNA that could lead to cancer.
Tea may help with weight loss
Some studies show an increase in metabolism and weight loss.
Tea may help protect your bones
Drinking 3 cups per day reduces the risk of osteoporotic bone fractures.
Tea can decrease tooth loss
(protects tooth enamel).
Tea may boost the immune system
studies show tea chemicals regulate immune system functions.
Tea may help fight cancer
EGCG and other green tea antioxidants have been found to stop cancer cells from growing, promote apoptosis of cancer cells (cell death), and prevent the formation and growth of new blood vessels in tumors. EGCG and other green tea antioxidants act in very specific ways to prevent cancer cells.
Golden Ocean Chinese Tea
Specialising in various kinds of Black tea, Green tea, White tea, Yellow tea, Oolong tea, Dark tea, Pu Erh Tea, Scented tea, Flowering tea, Herbal tea and Tea Powder, Tea ware, Tea pots, cups, mugs, Tea canisters, Tea containers. We supply the finest and rarest Chinese teas imported directly from China.
59A Campbell Parade, Manly Vale NSW 2093