What's in a Cup of Tea?

Since ancient times tea has been considered a precious commodity and major influence on trade routes and expeditions.

Tea is more than a delicious pick-me-up. Both green and black teas contain catechins. Although more concentrated in green tea, these catechins promote a healthy brain as they protect against a buildup of amyloid deposits which are implicated in age related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Fluoride rich, tea offers protection against dental cavities. Theobromine found in teas appears to strengthen teeth and protects them better than fluoride. Add some green tea extract to chewing gum to help protect gum tissue and stimulate your salivary glands.

It is also said that tea improves glucose tolerance for borderline diabetics.

For those wanting to lose weight the catechins stimulate thermogenesis which then boosts fat metabolism and the body burns more calories. Next to water, tea is the most popular drink today all over the world and it appears that, although teas have different properties, one is healthier for the drinking of tea. All teas are derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, the differences lie in what happens to them afterward.

We tend to think that Green Tea is the healthier one, with populations that drink green tea having lower rates of cancer, also well known in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a diuretic, digestive aid and astringent, a heart tonic too thus great for its gut health and weight reduction properties.

However scientists at the American Heart Association, are looking to Black Tea to see if it possesses life giving and extending properties. Another study shows the brew is actually getting rid of oral bacteria in the mouth. Polyphenols, one of the key components of black tea, has been found to inhibit growth of oral bacteria.

According to a study funded by the National Tea Research Foundation of India the polyphenols in Black Tea reverse cancer-causing changes to the DNA of cells lining the mouth and so has a role to play in prevention of oral cancer. People with a precancerous condition termed oral leukoplakia can cut down on the risk of oral cancer by drinking black tea.

White Tea along with its anti-inflammatory effects also has germ-killing properties, according to Milton Schiffenbauer, PhD, and his team at Pace University in New York. They put white tea in several toothpastes and then placed the paste on germs in a lab. The toothpastes laced with white tea had increased germ-killing abilities and therefore may help oral health.

Another research study at Oregon State University in Corvallis suggests that White Tea extract the less processed tea can be just as effective as use of the prescription drug Sulindac in preventing colon tumors in a certain type of laboratory mouse that is genetically predisposed to cancer. White tea is left so close to its' natural state which means that it contains more polyphenols, the powerful anti-oxidant that fights and kills cancer-causing cells, more so than any other type of tea. White tea also contains much less caffeine per cup than green, oolong, or black tea. Despite the early days of White Tea research it is important to note that the polyphenols content has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and fight fatigue.

There is more in a cup of tea then a refreshing drink! Read on to see which tea is best for you.


Oral Health - Healthy Bones to increase bone density - Lower Cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol (5 cups a day) -Stress Management, it speeds recovery of stressful situations due to reducing levels of cortisol and diminishing blood platelet activation - Heart Disease as it helps to lower blood pressure and without mill may reverse endothelial dysfunction and also reduces blood platelet activation. - Cancer risks may be reduced as Theaflavin-3'-monogallate(TF-2) acts as a COX-2 inhibitor to suppress cancer cells. Some scientists believe Black Tea can aid in preventing death after heart attacks when consumed regularly.


Lower Cholesterol and raises good HDL cholesterol - Weight Loss because of its fat burning (oxidation) action. Arthritis as the Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCH) inhibits inflammation, bone erosion and joint damage. - Sunburn EGCG mitigates sunburn reaction. - Liver Disease - risk of disorders is lowered with men. May also protect liver against alcohol damage. Intestinal Inflammation - EGCH due to it being a potent anti-inflammatory may treat inflammatory bowel disease. Cancer - EGCG combats free radical cell damage and activates p57, a protein that protects healthy cells.

How much Tea?

Six to eight cups of tea are likely to give you a positive outcome but tea drinking or tea supplements do come with a caution for those sensitive to caffeine. Too much caffeine can cause over stimulation of the nervous system and its diuretic properties can cause frequent urination. A feature or a fault? For you to decide. A limit of two cups a day is advised in pregnancy and breastfeeding. If taking prescribed drugs then check with your doctor for possible interactions. For all the health benefits that tea provides, it is a great addition to anyone's preventative health regimen.

This article was originally written for Health and Harmony College's Healing Times Newsletter, and has been reprinted here with permission.

Author: Health and Harmony Colleges

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