There’s nothing quite like a hot cup of tea to calm your mind and warm your body. But there are numerous other health benefits to tea. Here, we will go over some of the most common types of tea and their specific advantages.
Origin of Tea
There are several legends about the origins of tea, but one of the most popular dates back to 2737 BC, when Chinese Emperor Shen Nung and his servant were boiling water as they sat beneath a Camellia sinensis tree. A few leaves fell into the water and piqued the emperor’s interest. He drank it, and tea was born. While the veracity of this legend is unknown, tea containers have been found in tombs from the Han Dynasty dating back to 206 BC. However, it wasn’t until the 1600s that tea became commonplace in Europe.
What is it? Green tea comes from pan-frying and steaming the leaves of Camellia sinensis, followed by a drying process.
What is it? Just like green tea, Camellia sinensis is used to make oolong tea. It is how the leaves are treated that differentiates them. When processing oolong tea, the leaves are wilted by the sun and somewhat bruised for partial oxidation.
Health Benefits: Oolong tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid that may reduce anxiety and assist in preventing cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
What is it? As with oolong and green tea, black tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves. However, the process to produce it includes oxidation, which changes the leaves’ color from green to a dark brownish-black.
Health Benefits: Among other benefits, black tea contains tannins that help narrow blood vessels. Therefore, when you apply it directly to bruises, it can help reduce discoloration.
What is it? Unlike the previous tea types, herbal tea or tisane is produced by soaking flowers, leaves, or spices in hot water. Some of the choices you have when it comes to herbal tea include:
- Peppermint tea, which is known to alleviate symptoms of IBS.
- Hibiscus tea, which may help lower blood pressure.
- Chamomile, which helps stimulate the immune system and improve cardiovascular conditions.
- Ginger tea, which may be effective in treating inflammation and alleviating pain and swelling.
What types of tea do you love? Share your favorites in the comments below!