9 Health Benefits of Tea (And Which Tea For What Ailment)

9 health benefits of tea (which tea for what ailment)

You’ll love the list of herbal tea remedies for common ailments. Who knew drinking delicious tea could be so healthy?

Written by Simon Cheng

9 health benefits of tea (which tea for what ailment)

My Roots

A native of Hong Kong, I grew up drinking tea instead of soda. Tasting different teas after each meal, together with my parents and grandparents, was a sacred family ritual (my grandad turns 102 this year!). Everyone around me drank tea like water – all day long. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned just how much of this culture I had taken for granted.

My Rock Bottom

After moving to the US in my teens, life got intense. Between getting into top schools and grinding in finance jobs, I abandoned the health rituals of my youth. In my 20’s, I developed one medical problem after another and had 3 hospitalizations involving surgery.

The last one left me with an infection requiring 3 months of intravenous antibiotics to recover from! I can’t tell you the number of times I left a doctor’s office with a package of meds, believing that they were the prescription for health. Time and time again, they failed me.

I knew something needed to change, and I vowed to take back control of my health.

My Turning Point

This was the beginning of a 10-year health quest that took me around the world. I journeyed from the mountain ranges of Tibet to the heart of Indonesia and the Chinese diaspora in the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, I studied and trained with the most accomplished Eastern healers and masters of plant medicine, qigong and tai-chi, in order to learn how to heal my broken body.

As I began applying the principles of plant medicine and qigong that they taught me, I started to regain energy and vitality. What I learned from these masters healed me physically, and for the first time in my life I also felt emotionally and spiritually energized. I have no doubt that what I learned saved my life.

In the foothills of the Himalayas, I stumbled across a brilliant “innovation” that was in fact a 1300-year old process for turning tea into medicine. Cha Gao is a tea paste that has been used by the indigenous tribes as a wellspring of vitality and energy to withstand the rigors of life in this remote and mountainous region.

9 health benefits of tea (which tea for what ailment)

What Makes Tea Healthy?

Tea is such a unique superfood because it is the most natural source of polyphenols, which work together with l-theanine to create a powerful kind of plant medicine.

Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight against free radicals in your body and neutralize the many threats they pose. Tea antioxidants are so effective, they’re able to eliminate and potentially reverse the oxidative damage your body is subjected to every day.

L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea that has tremendous calming mental benefits.  In studies performed in Japan, researchers discovered that l-theanine helps the brain generate alpha activity, which is typically experienced in the early stages of meditation. It helps us stay calm, collected and focused in stressful situations, and it can boost mental performance.

Here are the top 9 scientifically-proven ways tea can boost your wellness:

1.  Improved gut health and digestion

Recommended teas:  English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Ginger

Tea is actually a potent prebiotic. Prebiotics encourage the growth of good microorganisms in your digestive tract, which in turn contribute to good health. And recent studies show that both green and black tea provide these prebiotics. (1) Plus, ginger is well-known for its ability to soothe any tummy discomfort, so ginger tea can work great after a big meal. When you need a calorie-free pick-me up in the early afternoon, I can’t think of a tastier solution than a steaming cup of aromatic Earl Grey Tea.

2.  Support cardiovascular health

Recommended teas:  Green, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Rooibos

A study involving over 40,000 adults found that drinking five or more cups of green tea every day reduced the risk of death from heart attack or stroke by 26%. (2) It turns out that tea supports healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (3) Studies show that people who drink the most green tea have a 28% less risk of developing coronary artery disease. (4)

And adding black tea to your diet for 12 weeks can result in a better LDL/HDL ratio and can lower your triglycerides by up to 36%. (5) Looking for a caffeine-free option?  Rooibos also supports a healthy heart. The antioxidants it provides have been linked to a reduced risk of coronary disease. (6) Another study demonstrated rooibos’ ability to support healthy blood pressure. (7)

3.  Support brain health

Recommended teas:  Green (including Matcha Green Tea)

Drinking tea can also protect brain cells from the oxidative stress that contributes to memory loss. One study looked specifically at the protein plaques that cause brain cell damage. Consuming the catechins in green tea demonstrated a reduction in the amount of memory loss induced by these protein plaques. (8) Another study found that green tea prevented the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter primarily responsible for memory. (9)

4.  Reduce stress

Recommended teas:  Green, Herbal

As mentioned above, l-theanine is an amino acid that regulates neurotransmitter and brain activities. (10) Green tea in particular contains high levels of L-theanine and has been demonstrated to produce an anti-stress effect. It does this by blocking certain receptors in your brain and actually inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. (11) In other words, it helps your brain chill out.

5.  Support healthy metabolism

Recommended teas:  English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green

It turns out that when you consume black tea, you are supporting your body’s ability to form microbial metabolites. These little guys are critical to regulating your energy metabolism, which supports your body’s ability to lose weight. (12) Also, green tea has been proven time and time again to be a successful aid in reducing body fat and LDL cholesterol. (13)(14)

6.  Protect bone density

Recommended teas:  Green

According to one study, green tea catechins were responsible for stimulating an enzyme that increased bone growth by 79 percent. (15) That same study also found that tea consumption led to an increase in bone mineralization. This is especially good news for women, who tend to experience a decrease in bone mineralization as they age. Other research seems to indicate that green tea can help slow down the deterioration of cartilage and also reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis. (16)

7.  Support healthy blood sugar levels

Recommended teas:  Rooibos, English Breakfast, Earl Grey

Rooibos tea has proven excellent for regulating blood sugar. The rooibos bush happens to be one of the few known natural sources of aspalathin. This antioxidant is known to help balance blood sugar and also assist with insulin resistance. (17) Studies also show that black tea can actually delay the digestion of starches and sugars. This means your blood sugar will be less prone to spikes after eating. (18)

8.  Boost Immunity

Recommended teas:  Green, Ginger

A stronger immune system just might be waiting for you at the bottom of a cup of ginger tea. Ginger has demonstrated antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This makes it an excellent homeopathic remedy for not only any kind of infection, but also for allergies and cold symptoms. (19)(20)(21) The ginger root contains compounds called gingerols, shogaol and paradols.  These cool little compounds are capable of fighting inflammation and free radicals, which can reduce your risk of chronic pain or disease. (22)

9.  Support Skin and Hair Health

Recommended teas:  Hibiscus, Rooibos

Hibiscus tea is said to be the secret behind Cleopatra’s legendary beauty. Rooibos tea contains alpha hydroxy acid. AHA is prized for its ability to keep skin and hair healthy, but it is nearly impossible to find in a natural source. Other sources of alpha hydroxy acid (think chemical peels) can be terribly harsh on your body. Simply drinking rooibos tea can lead to stronger hair follicles and less wrinkling of the skin. (23)

9 health benefits of tea (which tea for what ailment)

So, just how much tea should you drink?

That’s an impressive list of benefits. So what’s the number one reason why people who start drinking tea don’t notice any benefits? Quantity!

Harvard doctors recommend a minimum of 3 cups per day in order to experience health benefits. Clinical studies have shown that a minimum to 300-500mg of catechins per day are necessary to see any results. That actually translates to 3-5 cups of tea per day.

In other words, you can’t just drink one cup of tea every day and expect to reap any noticeable benefits.

When’s the best time to drink tea?

Wondering whether you’re better off drinking tea first thing in the morning or maybe at night? The secret is to approach tea as a form of hydration, just like water. Your personal tea schedule will depend on your lifestyle and needs. But here’s what to expect:

The immediate effects you feel from tea are heightened energy and a boost in digestion. Accordingly, the best times to drink tea are whenever you are feeling tired, sluggish or full. For most people, this would be first thing in the morning, during/after lunch, and dinner.

BEWARE! Hidden pesticides, GMOs and chemicals in your tea.

Of course, all those amazing health benefits won’t mean much if your tea is tainted with toxins! Did you know most traditional teas are sprayed with pesticides to protect their leaves from insects and infection? These chemicals get in the soil and also wind up in the tea you drink.

Research has shown that 77 percent of the teas in the U.S. would fail European Union pesticide import standards (24), with test results revealing traces of endosulfan, a pesticide linked to impaired fertility (25). Yikes!

In the US, a large number of conventional tea brands also contain artificial flavoring and GMOs. It has been reported that tea companies use genetically modified derivatives like modified corn and soy lecithin, yet fail to display this information to consumers!

It’s not just tea leaves you need to worry about. Tea bags can also be problematic, as they are often bleached in chlorine. That chlorine stays with the bag and becomes part of your tea when you brew it. Not exactly what you wanted to drink, is it?

To make matters worse, paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound commonly used as an adhesive, plastic, paint or pesticide. Considered to be a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, epichlorohydrin has been shown to cause cancer in animals and suppress immune function. (26)(27)

If you want to make sure the tea you drink isn’t polluted with chemicals, you need to do your homework.

I created this infographic to sum everything up and included a list of references at the bottom of the article.

To great health with tea,

Simon Cheng

Pique Tea Simon Cheng

About Simon Cheng

The health benefits of tea inspired me so much, I’ve spent  years collaborating with leading tea farmers and tea masters to integrate ancient tradition with modern science. If you do your research, you’re likely to come across Pique Tea. It’s the world’s first Cold Brew Tea Crystals. We source the highest quality ingredients from around the world and are the only tea company to triple toxin screen for pesticides, heavy metals and mold.

We use a revolutionary cold brew crystallization technique that eliminates all heat in the process, plus it extracts AND preserves the maximum antioxidant capacity of tea leaves. Pique has up to 12 times the polyphenols of other teas (verified by 3rd-party testing), meaning you get 12 times the health benefits. The tea crystals are also incredibly convenient, since you can dissolve them instantly in water anywhere, anytime.  And just because they’re instant doesn’t mean they don’t taste good. Pique Tea has racked up accolades, including 3 Gold Medals at the Global Tea Championships 2018 — the first tea company ever to win 3 Gold medals in a blind taste test done by tea professionals.

Learn more about Pique Tea and get the Hypothyroid Mom special offer before it ends ~ 14% off + free shipping in the U.S. The Gift of Health Bundle is the perfect holiday gift, only available for December 2018.🎁

Pique Tea Gift of Health Bundle

References:

  1. UCLA Newsroom. Black tea may help with weight loss, too. Retrieved from: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/black-tea-may-help-with-weight-loss-too
  2. Harvard Medical School. Green tea may lower heart disease risk. Retrieved from: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/black-tea-may-help-with-weight-loss-too
  3. Zheng, Xin-Xin, et al. Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011 Aug; 94(2):601–610.
  4. Harvard Medical School. Green tea may lower heart disease risk. Retrieved from: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/black-tea-may-help-with-weight-loss-too
  5. Bahorun, T., et al. The effect of black tea on risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a normal population. Prev Med. 2012 May;54 Suppl:S98-102.
  6. Hertog, M.G., et al. Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study. Lancet. 1993 Oc 23;342(8878):1007-11.
  7. Persson, I.A., et al. Effects of green tea, black tea and Rooibos tea on angiotensin-converting enzyme and nitric oxide in healthy volunteers. Public Health Nutr. 2010 May;13(5):730-7.
  8. Medical Xpress. Chemical found in fruit and vegetables offer dementia hope. Retrieved from: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2009-07-chemicals-fruit-veg-dementia.html
  9. Medical News Today. Tea could improve memory, study shows. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/15506.php
  10. Harvard Medical School. Can drinking tea prevent dementia? Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/alzheimers-and-dementia/regular-tea-drinking-linked-with-dementia-prevention
  11. Yoto, A., et al. Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses. J Physiol Anthropol. 2012;31(1):28.
  12. Pan, H., et al. Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction by Black Tea Polyphenols. Molecules. 2016 Dec 7;21(12).pii:E1659.
  13. Nagao, T., et al. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechizes leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1):122-9.
  14. Rains, T.M., et al. Antiobesity effects of green tea catechizes: a mechanistic review. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Jan;22(1):1-7.
  15. Medical News Today. Green Tea May Benefit Bone Health. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/164340.php
  16. Medical News Today. Drinking Tea May Offer Health Benefits, But Evidence Still Limited. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/102633.php
  17. Son, M.J., et al. Aspalathin improves hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance in obese diabetic ob/ob mice. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Sep;52(6):1607-19.
  18. Imran, A., et al. Exploring the potential of black tea based flavonoids against hyperlipidemia related disorders. Lipids Health Dis. 2018 Mar 27;17(1):57.
  19. Park, M., et al. Antibacterial activity of [10]-gingerol and [12]-gingerol isolated from ginger rhizome against periodontal bacteria. Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1446-9.
  20. Chang, J.S., et al. Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jan 9; 145(1):146-51.
  21. Ficker, C.E., et al. Inhibition of human pathogenic fungi by ethnobotanically selected plant extracts. Mycoses. 2003 Feb;46(1-2):29-37.
  22. Mashhadi, N.S., et al. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. Int J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S36-S42.
  23. Chuarienthong, P., et al. Clinical efficacy comparison of anti-wrinkle cosmetics containing herbal flavonoids. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2010 Apr;32(2):99-106.
  24. CBI. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What requirements should tea meet to be allowed on the European market? Retrieved from: https://www.cbi.eu/market-information/tea/buyer-requirements/
  25. Sebastian, R., Raghavan, S.C. Endosulfan induces male infertility. Cell Death Dis. 2015 Dec;6(12):e2022.
  26. PubChem. Open Chemistry Database. Epichlorohydrin. Retrieved from: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/epichlorohydrin
  27. Kwack, S.J., et al. Mechanism of antifewtility in male rates treated with 3-monochloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD). J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2004 Dec;67(23-24):2001-11.

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Connect with Dana on Google+

Comments

  1. A while ago you listed the parts of the body affected by hypothyroidism with subsections for each. It was quite long and I thought I saved it but apparently did not. Where can I find it to show to my spouse so he has a clearer understanding of what I’m dealing with.

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