Natural Tea Remedies

healthy herbal tea remedies and treatmentsStudies have found that some teas may help with cancer,  PMS symptoms, heart disease, stress relief, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; improve male enhancement, and bring about mental alertness. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.“There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD. “It’s pretty well established that the compounds in tea – their flavonoids – are good for the heart and may reduce cancer.”Although a lot of questions remain about how long tea needs to be steeped for the most benefit, and how much you need to drink, nutritionists agree any tea is good tea. Still, they prefer brewed teas over bottled to avoid the extra calories and sweeteners.

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Benefits of Tea

Numerous studies have demonstrated the anti-cancer properties of antioxidant polyphenols. Some studies have suggested that tea’s polyphenols may reduce the risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancers, if one consumes 4 to 6 cups daily. Another study showed that just 2 cups of tea may lower the risk of ovarian cancer by 46 percent in women. Other studies have found that polyphenols help prevent blood clotting and lower cholesterol levels. One Japanese study found that green tea lowers death rates from heart disease.

Tea: Black, Green, White or Oolong?

stock-footage-three-kinds-of-tea-black-green-and-oolongBlack, green, white, and oolong teas derive their leaves from a warm-weather evergreen tree known as Camellia sinensis. The leaves from this tree contain polyphenols. The more processing tea leaves undergo, the darker they will turn. Green tea and white tea are the least processed tea. They are simply steamed quickly. According to Dr. Doug Balentine, Director of Nutrition Health with Lipton, white tea is derived from the young new leaves from the Camellia plant in early spring. These young leaves contain no chlorophyll, so they are silvery white. Black and oolong teas are partially dried, crushed and fermented. As we have mentioned before, regardless of the processing method, black, green, white and oolong teas all contain polyphenols. In fact, tea ranks as high as or higher than many fruits and vegetables in the ORAC score, a score that measures antioxidant potential of plant-based foods.

Health Benefits of Tea: Green, Black, and White Tea

woman-drinking-green-tea-christmasTea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as EGCG, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, improve blood flow to the penis and clogged arteries.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.

The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high.

  • Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels. {read more}
  • Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke. {read more}
  • White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas. {read more}
  • Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims. {read more}
  • Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol. {read more}

Made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots steeped in hot water, herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas. Their chemical compositions vary widely depending on the plant used.

Varieties include ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea.

Health Benefits of Tea: Instant teas

Instant tea may contain very little amounts of actual tea and plenty of sugars or artificial sweeteners. For health’s sake, check out the ingredients on the label.

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