The Herb Stop Blog
Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Did you know that tea is the second most commonly drank liquid on earth after water? Maybe one of the reasons is for its health benefits. If you are not drinking tea yet, the most potent health beverage ever, here is some information for you:
- Tea has less caffeine than coffee. A cup of tea contains only approximately 30 mg of caffeine, versus 135 mg in a cup of coffee.
- Tea adds to your necessary daily fluid intake.
- Tea has no calories, unless you add milk or a sweetener.
- Tea increases your metabolic rate.
- Tea contains antioxidant properties.
- Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Tea builds strong bones.
- Tea contains fluoride and tannins for healthy teeth and gums.
- Tea boosts your immune system.
- Tea contains cancer-fighting properties.
What's the Difference Between Black, Green, White, Oolong, Red Teas and Herbal Teas?
It’s hard to believe, but Black, Green, White and Oolong teas (the four true teas) come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The major differences between them are the amount of processing each goes through. Black teas are processed the most and White teas the least. White tea is hardly allowed to oxidized - in fact, white tea is often steamed right on the field! Green tea is allowed to oxidize for up to 3 days before being steamed. Black tea is allowed to oxidize for 2 weeks before steaming. Oolong tea is in between a green tea and black tea. During oxidation anti-oxidants are reduced and caffeine content goes up. This results in the Black teas having the strongest and bolder tastes, while the Green and White teas are much lighter tasting. In addition, Green, Black and Oolong teas come from the upper leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, while White tea is derived only from the tips of the leaves.
On the other hand, Red teas usually refer to Honeybush or Rooibos teas made from different plants. Research has shown that Red teas are the healthiest of all the available teas. They have more antioxidant properties than Green teas. More information can be found at www.herbalgram.org.
Honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia) is a shrub native to South Africa. This deliciously sweet tea is smooth tasting, lacking the typical bite found in most Green and Black teas, because it contains virtually no tannins and is caffeine free.
Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is another plant from South Africa. Studies show Rooibos tea is used for insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, hypertension, skin problems, relieves stomach cramping and colic in infants. This tea contains no oxalic acid, making it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones. For more information on Rooibos, please see our Rooibos Blog Post.
Herbal tea: When you drink a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea you are actually not consuming tea. You are drinking a “tisane” or an “infusion”. Tisane is French for herbal infusion and is simply an infusion of dried herbs and fruits. Tisanes and herbal infusions are not true teas since the Camellia plant is not used. However, they are generally referred to as teas since the preparation, enjoyment, and health benefits are similar. They are consumed for medicinal reasons and are naturally caffeine free.
How To Brew A Perfect Cup of Tea
For one cup of hot tea: Measure 1 teaspoon of dried tea and place into a container. Bring 1 cup of water to a rolling boil and pour over the tea and steep to desired strength. For a cup of iced tea: Follow the above instructions and chill with ice.
Happy Tea Drinking!
Leilah & Natalie
**Consult your healthcare practitioner before using any herbs in this article if you take pharmaceutical drugs or have a medical condition.