Posts Tagged ‘Camellia sinensis’

I love a cup of hot tea throughout the day. Not only iclip arts it refreshing, it’s healthy. Like 78 percent of the world’s tea drinkers, I prefer black tea. While it, too, provides nutrients that benefit health, greater amounts are found in green tea. What is the difference?

All teas, except herbal teas, come from the dried leaves of the camellia sinensis bush. Fermentation (oxidation) determines the type of tea. Black tea is the most oxidized followed by oolong. Green tea remains unoxidized. It has about half the amount of caffeine (20-45 mg per 8-ounce cup) as black tea.

Several health benefits may be associated with green tea, but in most cases, more research is needed to confirm. The polyphenols in green tea are thought responsible for its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcenogenic properties. Catechins, such as EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), are the major polyphenols in green tea.

Cancer: Green tea has decreased tumor growth in animal studies and may protect from ultra violet rays.It may have positive effects in preventing breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancer.

People who live in countries with a high consumption of green tea have lower cancer risk. However, that doesn’t mean that green tea is totally responsible for this since results could relate to other lifestyle factors.

A study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research reported that green tea may also help prevent oral cancer. Exposure to EGCG killed cancerous cells and strengthened normal cells. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not agree that green tea qualifies for health claims related to any type of cancer.

Heart Disease: Studies found that those who consumed large quantities of green tea (5 cups or more) were less likely to die from heart disease. While drinking 10 cups of green tea daily lowered cholesterol, one cup or less per day did not.

Weight loss: The amount of weight-loss contributed to green tea is minimal and not clinically significant.

Memory: Green tea seems to enhance memory and may improve mental alertness.

Other: The FDA has approved green tea ointment to treat genital warts.

Many questions remain about the health benefits of green tea. All indications are that it is a good addition to a healthy diet. If that’s your cup of tea—enjoy.






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Finally, someone designated a month just for my taste. January is National Hot Tea Month. The Duchess of Bedford in 1840 initiated the afternoon tea to ward off “that sinking feeling.” I can attest to that. Nothing quiets my soul like settling down in the late afternoon with Earl Grey to whisk away worries of the day.

My love for hot tea spans more decades than I will admit, but the joy of such a respite goes back centuries. Drinking tea, credited to a Chinese Emperor, began nearly 5,000 years ago.

Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world other than water. Not all teas are the same nor do they offer equal health benefits. Black, green, oolong, and more recently white tea, come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Black tea, the most popular tea for Americans, claims 87% of the market. Its fermented leaves produce a rich full color and flavor. Oolong, rarely seen in America, is mildly fermented. The astringent flavored green tea and the sweet, silky, delicate-favored white tea aren’t fermented.

Herbal teas differ from what we call true tea. Herbal teas come from the leaves, fruits, or flowers of other plants. They contain no caffeine nor do they possess the same healthful qualities of the tea plant.

One tea bag of black tea has slightly less caffeine (about 40 milligrams) than a 12-ounce cola and about half as much as coffee. Caffeine in green tea is about half that of black tea, and white tea contains even less than green tea. One decaffeinated tea bag has about 2 milligrams of caffeine.

If you drink tea every day, it may keep you healthier in several ways. While earlier research touted healthfulness of green tea, black tea also promotes physical well-being, and white tea may contribute greater advantages because of its plentiful supply of antioxidants. Benefits attributed to tea include:

  • Decreased serum cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Reduced risks of heart disease and stroke
  • Lowered risks of cancer including certain skin, colon, ovarian, and oral cancers
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased bone mineral density (BMD) which may lead to protecting women from osteoporosis
  • Decreased incidence of dental cavities
  • Reduced risk of kidney stones.

While you flatter your palate and celebrate the virtues of hot tea, bask in the thought of improved health. As the Apostle John wrote, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you” (3 John 1:2). Start today with a  cup of steaming hot tea. Enjoy!

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