Archive for December, 2008

The health benefits of oolong tea

The Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Oolong tea has a long and rich history that includes being one of the plants that were grown and prized by ancient Chinese emperors and today is prized for its many known health benefits around the world. The history of the plant that is botanically known as Camellia sinensis has been used throughout history for good health, healing and averting illness. These tea leaves generally originate from the Fuijan Province of China or the mountains of Taiwan and can also be referred to as Wu-Long tea.  There is some evidence that the tea leaves from this region have a history of at least four hundred years; arriving toward the end of the Ming Dynasty.

This tea now known for ensuring many different health benefits can be found as straight oolong tea or with other enhancements such as jasmine, orange blossoms and others.

The process of manufacturing the tea is done with utmost care and in a fashion that has transcended the ages; from the time it is picked until the time it is packaged it undergoes a careful hand process. After the leaves are picked they are laid out to dry for a short amount of time where the oxidation process begins. Then the leaves are placed in baskets and shaken in order to bruise them. This exposes the juice of the leaves to the air whereby the oxidation process continues after which the leaves are laid out to dry for a second time. This process will oxidize the leaves from 20-80%, depending on the type of final product desired. The leaves will then be fired to halt the oxidation. Then they are sometimes rolled while still freshly roasted and fired several more times. As a way of finishing the process the leaves are completely cooled and then fired a final time to give the oolong tea the special flavor while reserving the healthful properties of the leaves.

Tea of all types have been under the microscope of late, and oolong tea has been studied and found to have numerous antioxidants, vitamins and minerals along with polyphenols, which all fit into a healthful regiment. Polyphenols that are found in oolong tea have the ability to remove free radicals, which are known for prematurely aging the skin along with causing the dark spots associated with aging. Free radicals have also been associated with hindering the immune system and they are also associated with cancer cells as well as muscle tissue deterioration or damage.

Oolong tea is also known for enhancing the function of enzymes, which in turn are known to dissolve triglycerides. These are the fatty deposits in the body and therefore it can aid in a weight loss regiment. There have been clinical trials done and it was found that this type of tea can raise the metabolic rate, which speeds up fat oxidation and the catechin polyphenols raise the rate that calories are burned in the body. This in turn means that oolong tea has the compounds in it to aid directly in weight loss. It is also an aid in reducing blood pressure that will in turn help to prevent hypertension; this is because of its ability to use the fatty deposits in the body as fuel for energy.

There is also possible evidence that along with the caffeine there is also an increase in stamina, which can help in an exercise regiment. Caffeine is also known to stimulate the frontal cortex of the brain; this helps in memory function and enhances the thought process.

There are other health benefits that have long been believed by Chinese herbalists such as the properties in oolong tea to reduce tooth decay and to aid in speeding oral healing because of tannic acid that is present in the tea.  They also believe oolong tea assists in aiding the kidneys, as well as improving the utilization of glucose, which in turn aids the regulation of insulin.

Research and studies have shown that the Chinese who are known for their consumption of drinking have significant lower incidences of heart disease and prostate cancer than other ethnic groups. There is also scientific evidence that tea can also be an aid in breast cancer treatment, when used along with tamoxifen.

A recent study of Japanese elderly demonstrated that those who consumed two cups of tea per day had a lower chance of cognitive impairment by approximately fifty percent.  Other studies have pointed to tea’s positive impact on the onset of Alzheimer’s.

While there is evidence that oolong tea and tea in general can benefit the health of the body there is also the fact that this tea is consumption friendly. Unlike vitamins, pills, health drinks and other health foods and drinks that are supposedly good for promoting health, oolong tea has a taste that is a pleasure to drink – and it is rehydrating, and nourishing.

This is a tea that has the ability to be flavored with different herbs and florals as well as served alone.  Alone it can be dark in color with a robust taste that includes a hint of raisin, honeysuckle or almond.  It can also be light and floral if only partially oxidized. Flavored oolongs can be found with names and tastes such as ginger peach oolong tea, orange blossom and plum oolong tea and others. Each of these teas has their own unique flavor and some have history behind their name like the Oriental Beauty, which received its name from Queen Elizabeth II. She named the tea after a tea merchant who brought it from Asia.  The name is still used today.

Green tea for health

Green Tea For Health!

We should all be grateful to the ancient Chinese for introducing to us the many wonders of the simple yet pleasurable cup of green tea.

For hundreds of years, green tea was used to relieve headaches and depression in China.  The habit of drinking tea has been passed on and today it is becoming popular because of the many benefits being discovered by regularly drinking this relaxing drink.

Tea comes in many forms and varieties, but there are three uniquely different types of tea.

All tea, whether black, green, or red, comes from the leaves of a warm weather evergreen called Camellia Sinensis.  The difference comes in when the leaves are processed.

The longer the leaves are processed, the darker the tea becomes.  Thus, green tea is the kind which has undergone the least amount of processing.

Processing of green tea usually involves quickly steaming the leaves, while black and red teas are usually dried, crushed and fermented which makes them seem stronger and more potent.

Don’t be fooled by this obvious feature, as many believe that the closer it is to its natural state, the more valuable the medicinal and healing properties.

All tea is known to contain polyphenols which is known for giving tea its antioxidant properties and antioxidants are believed to protect our bodies from free radical damage.

The measure of antioxidants is known as the ORAC score and tea has been found to rank higher than many fruits and vegetables, so you should seriously consider including tea in your everyday diet.

In addition to preventing unwanted blood clotting, it has been shown that polyphenols may lower cholesterol levels.  Drinking four to six cups a day may also decrease the risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancers. A simple internet search will give you a long list of ailments, aches, and pains that can be cured through the daily intake of this non-prescription drink.

Some of the more popular ailments that can be cured are cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and impaired immune functions.

Drinking tea also aids us against digestive disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s while increasing metabolism and fat oxidation.  It is even said that green tea helps prevent tooth decay because it kills the bacteria which causes dental plaque.

No matter what reason you might have for drinking green tea, it is clear that you can derive some benefit from daily consumption.

It should be noted that many of today’s more marketable “herbal teas” may or may not be tea at all as many of these products are blends of herbs and spices with other plant parts included for flavoring.

These do not offer the health promoting qualities of Camellia Sinensis. You should read ingredients carefully to make certain that you are getting the product that you expect.

Sweet tea for diabetic patient

Sweet Tea for Diabetic patient

Besides kick starting your morning, your cup of tea could be a defense against one of the biggest life-threatening diseases- diabetes.  This is a piece of good news especially to those diabetics who are tea enthusiasts.   Many research findings support the positive effect certain varieties of tea have on diabetic patients.  If you are a diabetic who wants to control diabetes by drinking tea, black tea, herbal tea and herbal tea are the varieties of tea that must be seen on your kitchen shelves.

Green Tea and Diabetes: The positive effect of green tea on the health of a person has been much discussed of late.  The goodness of green tea can benefit diabetes too.  EGCG is the primary component in  green tea. that can help prevent diabetes and reduce the effect of diabetes on the body.  ECGC helps diabetics by breaking down glucose, which eventually lowers the blood glucose levels in the body.   The catechins in green tea are known to balance the insulin levels in the body.

Black Tea and Diabetes: Here comes yet another natural way to combat diabetes. Aflavins and arubigins found in black tea mimic the action of insulin and help the body to covert sugar into energy.  Drinking black tea regularly can benefit diabetes by regulating the blood sugar levels.  It is also a good idea to make a black tea infusion be adding spices such as bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves which help the body use insulin more effectively.

Chamomile Tea and Diabetes: the flowers form the herb chamomile, when infused with water makes a soothing tea that is known to reduce the symptoms of diabetes.  Drinking chamomile tea can prevent loss of vision, kidney damage, muscle anomalies and other complications associated with diabetes.

While it is true that drinking tea can help prevent and treat diabetes, the fact that tea cannot alleviate diabetes completely should be remembered.   Using tea in addition to your doctor’s prescription can treat diabetic symptoms most effectively.  The quality of tea used is also a chief determinant in how well tea works for a diabetic.  However, there are no side effects associated with tea drinking, in fact tea drinking, especially the ones mentioned in the article are known to enhance the overall health of the body.  So while you are enjoying your cup of tea, your body benefits by all the goodness in your tea.

Chinese diet teas can stimulate certain disorders

Chinese Diet Teas Can Stimulate Certain Disorders

For many years Chinese teas have been known to be one of the worlds amazing diet remedies. Various companies have been promoting these products as such. Chinese diet teas are low on calories and the caffeine contained in most teas helps in the burning of calories. Furthermore, polyphenols, a substance found in teas assists in fat digestion. Tea touches people in a good way, that is a fact!

Even though they come in many names, like fasting tea or weight loss tea, all promote a common saying, “Swallow this tea and you will slim down”. With that said, a lot of experts noted that what you are in fact absorbing from these products is a plant based laxative that can cause some upsets like diarrhea or fainting, and perhaps even death when ingested in excessive amounts.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) once declared that the laxative teas and dietary supplements of most concern are those containing 1 or more substances, such as rhubarb root, castor oil, and cascara. These products are derived from plants and have been used many years for their ability to help constipation and boost bowel movements. They are highly effective for such designs with occasional use.

When the labeled “Chinese diet teas” are over used grounded on the misconception that steady bowel movements prohibit the absorption of calories, problems may appear. Numerous studies have shown that laxative induced diarrhea does not significantly cut back absorption of calories as laxatives don’t work in the small intestine where the calories are absorbed. It rather works on the colon, which is the lower end of the bowel.

It is true in fact, that when the Chinese diet teas are by steeping the tea longer than product labeling recommends, or when intaking more than the recommended amount, the tea effects may lead to short as well as long term unfavorable conditions. This could lead to stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea which are the typical disorders to occur. This condition can last for several days.

When these laxatives are used constantly, laxative dependency will tend to develop with rounds of chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain as well as constipation. In the most extreme cases, these laxatives can cause fainting, dehydration and serious electrolyte disorders. As observed, these after-effects of excessive use are most likely to develop in people who are nutritionally compromised because of rigorous weight-loss dieting.

Due to these concerns, the FDA is now thinking of requiring the manufacturers of labeled “Chinese diet teas” to place warning labels on all their product stimulant laxatives. It is also important that those who are drinking Chinese diet teas for any purpose have to read and follow the recommended directions carefully and learn about tea effects. The words indicated on the label under “warning” should then be given attention.

December 2008
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