Drinking tea is great.
Improving your health is great.
So what if you can boost your health immensely just by drinking tea?
But here’s the thing:
Which type of tea you drink can make all the difference in the health effect you get, so make you sure you choose the best tea for your health goals.
And I’m here to make that choice much easier, woohoo! Today I have made a quick overview of the types of tea and the problems they solve, so you can unleash the superpowers of your daily cuppa!
Types of Tea
Teas can be divided into herbal and non-herbal teas.
Non-herbal teas, also known as “true teas” refer to the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, a native shrub of China and India. This plant contains unique antioxidants that are called flavonoids.
The amount of time the leaves are processed determines whether the tea is considered green, black, white, pu-erh, or oolong tea.The more the tea leaves are processed the more the polyphenol content, including flavonoids, is reduced.
Black and Oolong teas are oxidized through a fermentation process that lowers concentrations of polyphenols. Their anti-oxidizing power is lower than that of green teas, but it is still high.
Herbal teas typically refer to teas made from any other leaf, root, bark, or fruit.
You can make tea out of almost any herb, here’s a selection of my favorite herbal tea:
- fennel tea
- nettle tea
- chamomile tea
- sage tea
- Tea Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
- Tea Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
- peppermint tea (Mentha x piperita)
- marigold tea
- elderflower tea
- dandelion tea
- rosehip tea
- licorice tea
- elderberry tea
- lemon balm tea (Melissa officinalis)
- birch Leaf
- valerian tea
- rooibos tea
- ginger tea
- angelica tea (Angelica Archangelica)
- thyme tea (Thymus vulgaris)
- cinnamon tea
The number and varieties of herbal and non-herbal teas are endless, as are the health benefits. Some studies have found potential health benefits associated with different types of tea:
Green tea is made from steamed tea leaves. It has a high concentration of a compound known as EGCG, which has caught the attention of academic research.
Green tea contains antioxidants that have been known to interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, stomach, lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers.
It is also a good detox beverage that can prevent clogging of the arteries, help burn fat, and counteract oxidative stress. It has been known to reduce the risk of neurologic disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Its effects can also help reduce the risk of stroke and lower bad cholesterol levels.
Black tea is made from fermented tea leaves. It has the highest level of caffeine and is used as the base tea for flavored teas like chai. Black tea is also the basis for many instant teas.
One of the main benefits of black tea is that it has shown some promise in protecting the lungs from the effects of cigarette smoke. Black tea might also reduce the risk of stroke and diabetes.
White tea is uncured and unfermented. A single research study showed that this form of tea has the highest level of antioxidants compared to more processed forms of tea. It can neutralize harmful viruses, fungi and bacteria better than any other tea.
In an animal study, oolong tea was found to lower cholesterol levels. Wuyi is a form of oolong tea that is used frequently to help people lose weight.
Pu-erh tea is made from leaves that have been both fermented and aged. It is considered a black tea, but is one of the more highly processed forms. The leaves are pressed into cakes.
Animal studies showed that this type of tea can help animals to lose weight and to maintain lower levels of cholesterol.
General Benefits of Teas and Herbal Teas
These are some of the most popular benefits of teas and herbal teas:
Teas contain antioxidants that help to prevent the body’s formation of free radicals, which damage our DNA and cause us disease and aging due to pollutants in the environment.
2. Less Caffeine
Teas contain less caffeine than coffee. Some herbal blends have no caffeine at all. Traditional teas have 50% less caffeine than what is found in most coffees. This means that you can enjoy your drink without its effects on the nervous system.
3. Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
There has been plenty of literature that supports tea and the ability to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Studies indicate a nearly 20% reduction in heart attack risk and a 35% reduction in the risk of stroke among those who drank 1 to 3 cups of green tea every day. Those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 32% reduction in risk for heart attack and they enjoyed lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
4. Weight loss
Research is not as strong in connecting tea with weight loss, but weight loss has been associated with the ability to keep the waistline in check.
In one study, those that regularly consumed hot tea had a lower waist circumference and lower BMI than those who did not consume tea. It is suspected that this effect is due to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome which also contributes to heart degree disease and stroke, but this connection has not been definitively proven.
5. Bone protection
Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength overall. This is good news for osteoporosis sufferers.
6. Bright smile
Japanese researchers found that tea can prevent tooth loss. It works by changing the pH in your mouth, which can help to prevent cavities. Tea itself does not erode tooth enamel.
Image Caption: And don’t forget, drinking tea with someone can be a wonderful way to connect! Image thanks to Quotesgram
7. Immune system booster
Tea has been found to improve the efficiency of immune cells so that they can reach their target faster.
8. Fights cancer
Currently studies are mixed about whether tea can help to fight cancer. More research is needed, but for those with a strong family history of cancer, adding tea consumption to the diet could not hurt.
9. Herbal teas for the digestive system
Herbal teas, such as chamomile, can be good for people with irritable bowel problems. Ginger tea is also good for those who suffer from nausea.
10. Improved exercise endurance
The antioxidant extracts in green tea increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. This results in improved muscle endurance.
11. Improved hydration
Tea has been found to be very hydrating to the body, even compared to water!
12. Sun protection
Green tea has been found to improve the body’s ability to resist the effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It is still no substitute for sunscreen, but it can help.
For many of these conditions, the jury is still out and more research needs to be conducted. However, herbal teas and non-herbal teas appear to have promising results in many of these areas.
Whether or not they prove to be beneficial for all of these conditions in the end, one thing is for certain. They are a good way to detox your body and they do not appear to be harmful in any way.
So enjoy a good cup of tea; it may be the best thing that you can do for your body!
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.