Sep 03 2016 In Ask the Herbalist By Kenneth Roberts
What are the Health Benefits of Drinking Tea?
I talk about the health benefits of certain herbs pretty often, but what about the actual tea bush (Camellia sinensis)? The tea leaf itself is a very powerful herb and tool to use for supporting a healthy lifestyle. More and more studies hit the news monthly about how healthy tea is. However, it’s important to understand that not all teas are equal!
First off, quality is one of the most important factors to look at if tea is going to be incorporated into the diet for health reasons. A box of 50 bags for $5 is not going to be the solution, and actually may cause more harm than good! For best results, reach for a consciously-sourced, fresh, hand-picked loose tea. It is going to contain higher levels of essential oil in the leaf, which is what carries all the phytochemicals that make tea healthy (not to mention a much richer flavor experience).
Secondly, quantity. Once you have a fresh, high-quality loose leaf in hand, it is best to drink about 3-5 cups per day to get maximum health benefits. One cup is great for enjoyment, but you more than likely won’t see a huge impact from just one.
So once you establish a routine of 3-5 cups of great loose tea a day, what can tea do for you? As I mentioned, more studies are coming out all the time, and the list of benefits just keeps growing. Green tea usually gets the most press in the headlines; however, since green, black, white and oolong teas come from the same plant, they all can be beneficial for health.
Some of the most commonly known benefits of tea are:
- Great source of antioxidants
- Balancing cholesterol
- Balancing blood pressure
- Boosting metabolism
- Supporting the immune system
- Good source of hydration
There are also other benefits that are getting more attention now:
- Balancing blood sugar levels
- Reducing plaque build up in the arteries
- Helping reduce plaque build up in the brain
- Good for oral hygiene
- Stimulating the endocrine system
- Helping reduce gallstones and kidney stones
I’m sure a year from now there will be more to add to this list, as tea is a very hot topic in the health industry. Tea can be much more than just a stimulating morning cuppa, it’s one of the healthiest beverages you can drink!