When it comes to the health benefits of tea much has been written on green tea. Black tea has been forgotten but the benefits of black tea need mentioning.
One legend of the origin of tea recorded in a number of places states that the emperor of China was drinking a cup of boiled water when some leaves from a nearby tree were blown into his cup. The emperor, who also invented Chinese medicine was impressed by the restorative qualities in this brew.
Camellia Sinensis – Health Benefits of Black Tea
Over the centuries black tea has been used as a treatment for a number of health issues. Some of these are
Pinkeye and Sties – Bioflavonoids reduce inflammation and fight viral and bacterial infection. Simply moisten a tea bag with warm water and place over closed eyes for a few minutes. If the eye is red and swollen moisten the tea bag with cool water. This improves circulation to the area and helps prevent the spread of infection.
Sunburn and Burns – Moisten a tea bag with water and place it on burns to cool the area and prevent free radical tissue damage. The antibacterial properties of tea will also lessen the risk of infection.
Insect bites and stings – anti-oxidant rich and astringent tea can reduce the swollen tissue caused by a bug bite or insect sting.
Diarrhea – because of its astringent properties black tea with no milk or sugar is ideal for easing the lower bowel discomfort of diarrhea.
Bruises – The astringent properties of tea make it an excellent remedy for bruising. Moisten a tea bag with water and place it on the bruise.
Recent Findings on Black Tea Benefits
Recent research has been done into the cancer fighting properties of black tea. It appears that the properties in tea cause the cancer cells to mature more quickly and therefore cause them to self destruct.
John Weisburger PhD has written a number of papers on tea and was the first American researcher to show that tea modifies the metabolism to detoxify harmful chemicals.
Tea relaxes the arteries allowing for an increased blood flow and the build up of less LDL or bad cholesterol. It has been shown that tea drinkers recover more quickly from heart attacks than non tea drinkers and have less reoccurrence of heart disease and stroke.
There is some evidence that black tea can boost metabolism for weight loss, slow tumour growth, protect bones, improve skin and delay the onset of diabetes. Black tea is also used in Chinese medicine as a cure for hangovers.
As with cacao , the inclusion of milk seems to drastically reduce any positive health benefits. It is believed that casein a protein in milk negates the healthy advantages of drinking tea.
A lot of research has been done over the past decade into the benefits of anti-oxidants. Black tea and green tea are very close to equal in amounts of these beneficial properties. Although the caffeine level in tea is higher than that in coffee the simple fact that less tea is used to make a drink and therefore tea per cup has less caffeine than coffee.
Black tea through research has been shown to be as healthy as green or white tea and very beneficial to the drinker. Put on the kettle and enjoy a cup of this wonder drink today.
Originally Published on Suite101.com June 2010