Monday, September 27, 2010

The Health Benefits of Tea

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.  ~Chinese Proverb

The wise Chinese sage that penned this saying might have been on to something. Many laud the benefits of drinking two to five cups of green or black tea per day, but there are also many that do not know the healthful qualities of drinking this elixir from Asia. This blog article will address the latter group along with those who know tea is good for them, but do not know the full extent of why it is good. Ignorance is bliss, but wisdom is better (St. Johnny 2010). 

For starters, research is still ongoing about the scope of it's disease preventive and curative properties, but we know these facts about tea: it contains no additives or artificial sweeteners; it contains no calories; tea drinking increases daily intake of fluids; it maintains a healthy, energized metabolism and circulatory system; acts as an antiviral; has less caffeine than coffee; increases alertness without making you jittery; contributes to oral health by impeding bacterial growth; acts as an anti-inflamatory; provides a rich source of vitamins. 

Green tea is also known to contain one hundred times more antioxidants than vitamin C and twenty-five times more than vitamin E in protecting our immune systems. Some research has claimed that green tea is more healthful than black, and some state they are the same when it comes to antioxidant content. There are so many variables that it is hard to state definitively one way or the other (soil content, how much sun, how much shade, length of roasting process). All these things effect the antioxidant content (anti-disease causing agents).

Yes, I like the jolt of a good cup of coffee, but you cannot beat tea for both its relaxing and stimulating effect on the body. It's less intrusive and abrasive on the human anatomy and psyche. I believe it has something to do with the caffeine content and the intangible, feel good attitude one gets when you drink a cup on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or on any afternoon for the matter. Being happy can add years to your life - tea definitely contributes to this reservoir.

This quote sums it up the best: "So, when it comes to tea, think tonic, not curative, healthful collaborator not redeemer. Mix it up and drink tea from all the fascinating classes of tea. Drink tea to relax and connect with the spiritual nature of life's simple pleasures. Enjoy the flavors and the subtle and not so subtle differences waiting to be discovered in the world of tea offerings, and should the rich doses of flavanoids in each cup of tea be determined to cure what ails you, you will be ahead of the curve. (The Story of Tea, pg 357)."

In other words, tea is good for you. Drink two to five cups each day along with a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, and other unprocessed foods. You will feel better, look better and think better. This is a good thing if you ask me.  

"Tea tempers the spirit and harmonizes the mind; dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue; awakens thought and prevents drowsiness"
Lu Tzu





  1. I drink mostly iced tea however the women in my family regularly have tea parties. So many that we have traditions like you are supposed to wear a dress (we even dress up in period pieces my crafty sister has sewn for different costumes over the years.) We ALWAYS watch Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle). And men are allowed but only if they are going to enjoy themselves. So far only my dad and Charles fit that category, but I've just acquired a new brother-in-law, a first nations from Canada- ay. and he may be civil enough to fit the category, we'll see (it is a commonwealth country.) The brothers hang downstairs in the what they've labeled the "man cave" watching sports and eating beef. Smells like a man cave sometimes too. I digress, but yes I love tea, but my love is more aesthetic than healthful...I take one lump of sugar, thank you.

  2. Hey, Tea each is own. Ha! Love you sis!