Health Benefits of Pu’erh Tea
There are many studies that demonstrate pu-erh teas health generating and protective abilities. These health benefits extend to green pu-erh, aged green pu-erh and post-fermented black pu-erh. The health generating and protective effects include: antiatherosclerotic activities, antiallergic antioxidative, antifibrotic, hypolipidemic, hypocholesterolemic effects, anti-obesity, antiviral, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic and neuroprotective effects (1).
Pu-erh tea undergoes oxidation and later fermentation where bacteria help ferment the raw or green tea leaves. Traditionally, pu-erh leaves have been pressed into different shapes like bricks, cakes, rolls, etc for early transportation and storage. Many hundreds of years ago pu-erh tea migrated and traded along the South-west Silk Road, or Tea Horse Road, that joined southern Yunnan to the Tibetan Plateau. During these journeys the pu-erh teas were exposed to different moisture and temperature fluctuations thus conferring unique oxidisation and fermentation qualities.
The manufacturing process of pu-erh has evolved over the years as craftsmen experiment with introducing different leaves as well as different microorganisms for controlled fermentation, microorganisms such as: Aspergillus sp., Blastobotrys adeninivorans, Actinoplanes sp., Saccharomyces sp. and Streptomyces sp (2).
Pu-Erh Tea Reduces Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Triglycerides.
In one study in laboratory animals, puer tea was the only kind of tea which could actually raise the level of good (HDL) cholesterol and lower the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol (3). The “mother of California cuisine”, Alice Waters, has stated in a Financial Times interview that puer tea has lowered her cholesterol 100 points. “It was extreme. You have to try some.”
The microbial ageing of pu-erh tea can result in the production of lovastatin, a natural statin. Statins are used medicinally to lower levels of bad cholesterol such as LDL. One study found that the longer pu-erh tea was aged, the more statin was produced (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
Pu-Erh Tea Stress, Relaxation and Epilepsy
The GABA or Theanine component of pu-erh tea has shown some efficacy with regards to anxiety and sleep disorders, epilepsy and seizures, learning and memory disorders (9). GABA is abundant in short-term fermented pu-erh tea thus the theraputic effects pu-erh tea maybe more pronounced (10)
Pu-erh Tea, Diabetes and Blood Glucose
Pu-erh tea may reduce blood sugar levels significantly and help prevent diabetes.
A two year study by scientists at Jilin University and the Changchun Science and Technology University (China) involved 20 genetically obese lab rats with very high blood sugar levels. They compared pu-erh tea with Rosiglitazone, a widely used medicine to lower blood sugar levels. After two weeks, they found that the rats that were fed Rosiglitazone had 36.5 percent less blood sugar, while the figure was 42 percent for the group that was fed pu-erh tea (11)
Another animal study (mice) showed that a group of carbohydrates found in pu-erh tea polysaccharides was more effective at lowering blood glucose and stabilising diabetes than a leading drug called Acarbose – a microbial carbohydrate and an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor (12).
Pu-erh Tea, Weight loss, Diabetes and Blood Glucose
A 2011 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of ninety people found that pu-erh tea extract on the regulation of metabolic syndrome successfully reduced obesity, blood lipids, blood glucose, regulating immunity and had anti-oxidant properties (13).
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 2016 analysed 59 overweight or mildly obese subjects. This study evaluated the effects of daily consumption of pu-erh tea extract (PTE) on body weight, body-fat composition, and lipid profile in a non-Asian population in the absence of dietary restrictions. Researchers found that daily consumption of PTE was associated with significant weight loss, reduced body mass index, and an improved lipid profile (14)
It has been demonstrated that pu-erh tea (along with green tea, black tea and oolong tea) all have have the ability to reduce obesity by down regulating fatty acid synthase at cellular level (15)
Pu-erh Tea, Tooth Decay, Ulcers, Halitosis and Stomach disorders
Pu-erh teas have also been found to prevent tooth decay and ulcers, control halitosis, cure stomach disorders, improve bacterial flora in the intestine, thus aids digestion and promotes bowel regularity (16).
Pu-Erh Tea, Bone Density and UV Rays
It has also been found that pu-erh tea increases bone density and protect against UV rays (17).
Pu-erh Tea, Diarrhea, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Atopic Eczema
The microbial content of aged green pu-erhs and post-fermented black pu-erhs give these tea types the probiotic health claims that particularly make them distinct from other tea types. Probiotics are live organisms that can have a beneficial effect on the host’s health by restoring the balance of microflora of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts and displacing potential pathogens via competitive exclusion or production of antimicrobial agents Studies have demonstrated probiotics to be effective in treating diarrhoea, upper respiratory tract infections, atopic eczema and some inflammatory conditions (18).
Consumption of post-fermented black pu-erh tea has been found to disrupt gut microflora. This disruption is expected to affect health, as gut microbes are involved in the development and structure of the intestinal epithelium, digestive and absorptive capabilities of the intestine, and host immune system function. This may have the effect of down regulating problematic gut bacteria and up-regulating anti-inflammatory health promoting gut bacteria. (19).
Pu-erh Tea, Arteriosclerosis, Heart Disease and Strokes.
Although no studies have been conducted exclusively upon pu-erh tea and Arteriosclerosis, Heart Disease and Strokes there is still a lot of data showing that, in general, consumption of green tea, black tea, oolong tea and pu-erh teas can reduce arteriosclerosis, reduces plaque in the heart and help to prevent strokes (20, 21).
Pu-erh Tea and Inflammation and Asthma
Pu-erh Tea has anti-inflammatory properties which may help to alleviate arthritis, asthma and arteriosclerosis. The chemical theophylline that is used for some asthma medications is also a natural chemical component of green tea, oolong tea, black tea and pu-erh tea. Pu-erh tea has been found to have higher contents of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which have been discovered to have anti-inflammatory actions by reducing the chemicals (Prostaglandin-2 and COX-2) that up-regulate inflammation (22).
Pu-erh Tea, Antioxidants and Cancer
Tea in general has been shown to have various anticancer effects (23, 24, 25). Pu-erh tea has many polyphenols/antioxidants which helps fight cancer and promote cell health. The many polyphenols/antioxidants in pu-erh tea help protect the cells DNA and metabolic processes from oxidative damage. Many cancers result from faulty DNA replication or cellular oxidative damage. Interestingly the antioxidants (ethyl acetate extract, n-butanol extract, and their fractions) in pu-erh tea were stronger that the antioxidants (catechins) in green tea (26). It has also been found that the same mechanisms that reduce fatty lipids in the body also play a role in down regulating the growth of breast cancer cells (27, 28). In another study pu-erh tea showed an ability to slow the progression of protein cells in the growth of cancerous tissue (29).
Pu-erh Tea Maybe Effective Agaisnt SARS.
A study in 2005 demonstrated that the tannic acid and particular catechin (3-isotheaflavin-3-gallate) found in all teas could inhibit the progression of the SARS virus. It was found that pu-erh tea had higher levels of tannic acid and catechin (3-isotheaflavin-3-gallate) than the other white tea, green tea, oolong tea and black tea (30).
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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.
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