Tea 101

Benefits of Tea - Black Tea Benefits For Health and Wellness

Tea shops have been increasing in number recently.  Most malls have a tea shop where you can purchase unique blends of loose leaf tea.  The increase in these shops validates what tea drinkers have known for a centuries.  Tea is good for you.

Tea blends that include sugars and candies are excluded from the list of healthy teas, but many are truly delicious for treats.  The healthy teas include white tea, red tea, green tea and not to be left out, black tea.

White Tea

White tea is simply the immature leaves of the Camilla Sinensis tree.  The leaves are plucked prior to the opening of the bud.  The flavour is delicate and delicious and the quality of the leaves varies depending on where it is grown and what species of tree it comes from.  Numerous white tea products are on the market but it is worth spending the time and finding a tea shop where they truly understand the tea and can assist you in finding the one that is right for your palate.  The caution is that once you are hooked on white tea it is very expensive.

White tea health benefits include:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Immune boost
  • Skin irritations
  • Inflammation

 Green Tea

There is an incredible amount of research that has been done on green tea.  Green tea is made from slightly more mature leaves than white tea.  It is wilted before it is steamed or pan fried, rolled and dried.  As with white tea there are various different degrees of green tea quality.  It can be an adventure trying out different blends until you find one that is right for you.

Health benefits of green tea include:

  • Anti-oxidant
  • Skin complaints
  • Anti-cancer
  • Weight loss
  • Inflammation
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes

New information is being discovered that shows that green tea may in fact reduce the risk of stroke.

Black Tea

This is the last of the teas made from the Camilla Sinensis.  Black tea is first withered then rolled fermented and dried.  This causes the chemical changes between the green state and the black tea.  However, black tea has some pretty amazing health benefits including:

  • Pink eye
  • Sunburn
  • Insect bites
  • Diarrhea
  • Bruises
  • Anti-cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Weight loss

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Red Tea

Red tea is actually an herb coming from the Aspalathus linearis plant in South Africa.  It has the same amazing red colour of a brewed black tea but it is caffeine free.  It has a sweeter nut like flavour that the Camilla tea doesn’t have.  There are two types of red tea.  Rooibos is from the Aspalathus linearis and Honeybush which is a similar plant but cultivated in the lower regions than the Aspalathus.

Both have amazing health benefits such as:

  • Anti-oxidants
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-cancer
  • Immune boost
  • Reduce insomnia
  • Reduce headache
  • Ease tension

Honeybush is also excellent for coughs due to its pinotol content.  Pinotol is an expectorant.

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Herbal Tea

That brings us to Herbal teas.  There are virtually thousands of herbal teas.  Many water soluble herbs can be made into tisanes but you wouldn’t always want to drink them. 

Some favorites of mine are

  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Balm and Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Nettle
  • Calendula
  • Rose Hip
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint

The key to herbal teas is that they need to be organic.  The best way to drink herbal tea is if you grow and dry the herbs yourself.  Next best is to do the research on herbal tea brands.

The health benefits of all of these teas come from consuming them as a tea.  You can also make a wash with green tea or rooibos and apply it directly to skin.  One trick is to find your favorite herbal tea and toss a tea bag into your bath.  Then you can steep in the wonderful fragrance.