For thousands of years, tea has been enjoyed by people across all cultures. In many countries, having a tea set is normal and a sharing tea with a guest is a sign of welcome. Beyond being a popular, refreshing beverage, tea also has many health benefits.
Observational studies have shown that habitual tea drinkers who enjoy 2-3 cups a day have a reduced risk of premature death, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Drinking tea without additives in it can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and additionally many tea drinkers find that the natural caffeine in tea helps with weight management.
Tea has also been proven to help strengthen your immune system and in turn relieve inflammation.
Green tea, originating from China, is a very popular tea in the United States as well. Green tea can boost your heart health and lower blood pressure. Green tea is a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help promote skin clarity. While green tea has always been popular iced of hot, in the past few years matcha (another form of green tea) has risen to popularity. Matcha is a very concentrated form of green tea that is equivalent to 10 servings of green tea.
Black tea is made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is also used to make green tea and white tea. However, conversely from green tea, black tea is richer and has more caffeine.
Black tea can help your immune system terrifically, and similarly to its green tea counterpart, can be used to combat inflammation. Many people drink black tea for its health benefits, but it does not have to be ingested to help you—you can steam, cool, then press the black tea leaves to small abrasions or bruises to relieve pain and swelling. This makes it extremely useful for fighting off poison ivy or other rashes.
White tea is also from the same plant as black tea and green tea, though it has the least amount of caffeine in it. It is full of antioxidants which helps to fight different types of cancers. It is also excellent for bone health and will help strengthen your teeth.
Herbal teas are known for containing herbs (of course), spices, fruits, plants, and leaves. They are like white teas; however, herbal teas do not have any caffeine. Because of the lack of caffeine, many herbal teas are used for calming.
Chamomile can be used to improve sleep, reduce stress, and help reduce cramps or muscle spasms. Peppermint tea is soothing on the stomach and is especially helpful for someone dealing with IBS or constipation. Many expectant mothers enjoy ginger tea in the morning, as the ginger can help reduce morning sickness.
Many habitual tea drinkers find steeping their own tea to be the easiest way to receive all the benefits of tea. Finding a way to incorporate tea into your daily routine can help improve your quality of life.
Written by: Janah Merlin