You know what’s pretty cool? Tea. Seriously, for just about any health issue you can think of, there is an herbal tea that can help you. There’s a reason it’s been used as a source of nourishment, comfort and healing since practically the beginning of time – well, human time.
If you look back through any ancient (and many modern) systems of medicine, you’ll find tea at the forefront. The power of tea is undeniable. It’s chocked full of antioxidants and other important nutrients, which studies show may potentially help protect the body against cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It can also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range, support stress and anxiety relief, support weight loss and help give you mental clarity. So yeah, tea is a bit magical.
Different Types of Tea
If you’re not a tea drinker, taking in all the options can be daunting. Which tea is best for me, and what’s the difference between tea types? First, you should know that with the exception of herbal teas all teas come from the same plant called Camellia sinensis. It’s how the leaves are processed that gives each tea its distinction.
Green Tea – Made from steamed tea leaves. Green tea has a high concentration of EGCG, a type of catechin that has powerful antioxidant capabilities. It has become well known for its potential as a weight loss aid. Green tea can help burn fat and promote your metabolism. It’s also thought to reduce the risk of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Black Tea – Made from fermented tea leaves. This is probably be the most popular and widely used form of tea due to its higher caffeine content. You might call it the “basic” tea, as it’s often used as a daily beverage in place of coffee, and mixed into popular drinks such as chai. Black tea could help reduce the risk of stroke and is thought to protect the lungs.
White Tea – Made from young tea leaves (uncured and unfermented). Since white tea is completed unprocessed and made from brand new buds of the plant, it’s thought to have the most potent cancer-fighting properties. It is also regarded as a natural anti-aging tool, and may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, further clinical research is needed to back up these claims.
Oolong Tea – Made from tea leaves that have been oxidized, but not for as long as with black tea, so it is partially fermented. It has many of the same properties and benefits as green and black tea, but may be the most beneficial for potentially lowering cholesterol.
Herbal Tea – These are medicinal herbs that have been brewed and are consumed as a beverage. While they are called teas, they do not actually come from the tea plant. Herbal teas can have powerful effects on your health, depending on what kind you use. They may also be mixed with traditional teas to enhance their potency and antioxidant power. Some of the most popular herbal teas include chamomile, peppermint, ginger, tumeric and dandelion.
Another cool thing about tea is that your don’t have to drink it to benefit from it. If you just can’t get over the taste, try your teas in supplement form. Gaia Herbs is a popular natural brand that has a great selection of teas and supplements, including organic hibiscus and green tea, as well as teas for targeted health needs, such as bronchial wellness and cleansing purposes. You may also want to try organic loose leaf teas and herbal extracts from Mountain Rose Herbs, which has a delicious and health supportive selection, including matcha and chai teas.
Hey, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from embracing one of mankind’s most authentic and dependable tools for optimal health.
Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash