Health Benefits of Chinese Tea
Hot, herbal tea is a popular Chinese beverage, whether you go to a Chinese restaurant or you look into Chinese history. Herbal tea has been considered an elixir with medicinal properties to the Chinese for centuries, ever since Shen Nong drank tea to counteract the effects of a poisonous herb that he consumed.
Traditionally, Chinese herbal tea helps to refresh the mind, increase alertness, and boost concentration, as well as many other health benefits to include:
- Relieve indigestion
- Regulate bowel movements
- Relieve headaches, dizziness, heat stroke, and fatigue
- Relieve diarrhea
- Expel phlegm
More modern studies of Chinese tea contains tons of chemicals, like caffeine, vitamins, minerals, saponin, catchine, and flavonol, which work together as antioxidants, muscular relaxants, diuretics, and bacterial inhibitor. These studies have shown that herbal teas can help the body by:
- Improving the immune system
- Slowing the aging process
- Preventing cancer
- Lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure
- Preventing arteriosclerosis
- Preventing tooth decay
- Aiding with digestion
- Enhancing kidney function
Because tea does not affect everyone the same, and not everyone drinks the same amount of tea a day, the benefits that you may receive may be different or have a different degree of prevention or relief.
Benefits of Herbal Tea
Popular Chinese herbal teas include white tea, green tea, and oolong tea. They are made from the finest tea leaves, most of which are harvested during early spring. Red tea, black tea, and yellow tea are two other popular Chinese teas.
As mentioned above, there are many health benefits to drinking tea. The most common benefit that you'll hear about is the antioxidant property, but that is by far not the only benefit of herbal tea. Depending on the type of herbal tea, you will find that there will be slight differences in terms of which is more potent and powerful for each benefit, but to some degree most Chinese herbal teas will have the following benefits for your body and health.
Antioxidant- The antioxidant properties help get rid of the extra oxygen, toxins, and free radicals in the body that can cause damage to DNA and cause potential harm. They also help prevent lipid peroxidation, which prevents the buildup of plaque.
Prevent Cancer- Both green and black tea come from the same plant, but green tea is 6% more potent as an antioxidant and anti-cancer agent. The polyphenols in green tea can actually block the formation of cancer compounds by detoxifying the cancer. Green tea has been proven effective to cancer of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and colon), as well as breast cancer, and esophageal skin cancer.
Reduce Cholesterol- Chinese tea can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
Reduce Blood Pressure- Studies show that tea can lower blood pressure and aid the recovery after a heart attack.
Antibacterial and Antiviral Properties- Catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents that are effective at fighting tooth decay and many other diseases. The antibacterial properties in tea will actually help fight off influenza and diarrhea. The catechins that are in the herbal tea, are great for aiding the immune system when fighting off illnesses.
Chinese herbal tea can also aid with the following problems, concerns, or illnesses.=
- Aid Parkinson's Disease
- Aid Recovery of Infection
- Aid Weight Loss
- Decrease Risk of Infection
- Delay Signs of Aging
- Improve Bone Health
- Improve Skin Health
- Inhibit Blood Clot Formation
- Prevent Bad Breath
- Reduce Blood Sugar
- Reduce Cardiovascular Disease
- Reduce Heart Attack or Stroke
- Relieve Eczema
- Relieve Fatigue
- Relieve Stress
- Relieve or Prevent Arthritis
- Slow HIV Progress
- Treat Type 2 Diabetes
Drinking Herbal Tea
There is not a set number of cups that you must drink in order to obtain any of the health benefits, as some studies will say drinking 10 cups a day will keep you cancer free 3 years longer than a person who drank less tea, whereas another may say that just 4 cups could prevent arthritis or relieve the symptoms. Some studies say women who drank 5 cups or more were less likely to develop breast cancer.
The amount of Chinese herbal tea that you drink is up to you, as there is no study that says if you drink 20 cups of tea you will be 100% healthy for the rest of your life, you don't want your insides swimming in tea, as tea does contain caffeine and there are actually cases of insomnia caused by herbal tea. (Herbal tea does contain less caffeine than coffee and soda, with about 30 to 60 mg of caffeine in a 6 to 8 ounce glass of tea.)
When cooking herbal tea, some people will add other spices, such as ginger and peppermint to the tea in order to have added flavor and health benefits. You can play with your spices to see which you may prefer added in your herbal tea.
Herbal tea is not a full proof method of staying healthy, as you still need to maintain a well balanced diet, routine exercise, and get plenty of rest. But, drinking Chinese herbal tea will help improve your health by natural means.