People all over the world have been drinking tea for thousands of centuries, and for good reason. Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease.
While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence that regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness.
Whether you purchase pre-prepared blends, single dried herbs, or you make your own brew from fresh leaves, the benefits of imbibing tea cannot be denied.
Put the kettle on, because we’re sharing some of the biggest benefits hidden in the world’s most popular teas.
Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, the same plant that’s used to make green tea. However, in black tea the leaves are dried and fermented, giving it a darker colour and richer flavour.
Unlike many other varieties, black tea is caffeinated, so it’s important to monitor your intake. Black tea contains flavonoids that combat inflammation and support healthy immune function.
However, you don’t have to merely drink black tea to benefit from its healthy properties. It can be steamed, cooled and then pressed on minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to relieve pain and reduce swelling. A black tea bath can also ease inflammation caused by skin rashes and sunburn.
Chronic inflammation is a contributor to unhealthy weight gain. Combatting chronic inflammation is one of the most helpful steps you can take towards maintaining a heathy weight.
Green tea is also exceptionally high in flavonoids that can help improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Studies show this type of tea can also help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol.
Other research has found that green tea has a possible impact on liver, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. This tea variety has also shown to be anti-inflammatory, and helps keep your skin clear and glowing.
In recent years, matcha – a form of green tea – has grown in popularity. Matcha is a very fine, high-quality green tea powder made from the entire leaves of tea bushes grown in the shade. Since it is the only form of tea in which the leaves are ingested, matcha contains even more antioxidants than regular green tea. In fact, some have suggested that one cup of matcha is the equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea variety that’s made from the same plant used to make green and black teas. The difference is how the tea is processed: Green tea is not allowed to oxidise much, but black tea is allowed to oxidise until it turns black. Oolong tea is somewhere in between the two, so it is partially oxidised. This partial oxidation is responsible for oolong tea’s colour and characteristic taste.
Oolong tea is notable for containing L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and increases alertness and attention. Scientists have found that L-theanine can help prevent cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Oolong tea is also high in polyphenols, which are linked to lowering inflammation, preventing the growth of cancers and decreasing type 2 diabetes risk.
Herbal teas, sometimes called tisanes contain a blend of herbs, spices, fruits or plant roots. Herbal teas don’t contain caffeine, which is why they’re known for their calming properties.
There are numerous types of herbal teas, all with their unique benefits. Some of the most popular herbal teas include:
Rosemary – High in antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory compounds, rosemary is great for immune health and recovery from infection. Rosemary also contains compounds that may help lower high blood sugar levels by exerting insulin-like effects and boosting the absorption of glucose into muscle cells. Both smelling and drinking rosemary tea may reduce anxiety, boost mood, and improve concentration and memory. One animal study found that rosemary extract reduced the risk of heart failure following a heart attack and another study noted that rosemary prevented weight gain among rats, even those fed a high fat diet.
Chamomile – Helps to reduce menstrual pain and muscle spasms, improves sleep and relaxation, and reduces stress. Research also suggests that chamomile might improve glycemic and lipid profiles and oxidative stress levels in people with diabetes mellitus and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Chamomile tea contains compounds that may reduce inflammation and help prevent the growth of glioma, liver cancer, cervical cancer and leukemia.
Rooibos – Improves blood pressure and circulation, boosts good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol, keeps hair strong and skin healthy, and provides relief from allergies. With a slightly sweeter taste than black tea, Rooibos contains no caffeine, is packed with antioxidants, has anti-fungal properties and may help reduce your risk for some cancers.
Peppermint – Contains menthol, which can soothe an upset stomach and serve as a cure for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and motion sickness. This tea variety also offers pain relief from tension headaches and migraines.
Ginger – The most studied of all the herbs, ginger has well researched anti-inflammatory properties, warms the body, improves blood circulation, helps relieve morning sickness or travel sickness, and can be used to treat chronic indigestion. Ginger may also be useful in managing body weight by helping regulate blood sugar levels.
Hibiscus – Lowers blood pressure and triglyceride levels, improves overall liver health, can starve off cravings for unhealthy sweets, and may prevent the formation of kidney stones. Hibiscus has also been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties, and may even help prevent obesity.
Fortunately, there are some wonderful companies who offer a wide range of high quality organic herbal teas, carefully blended for their therapeutic properties and taste sensation.