August 14, 2023
Tea – part 2 – healing properties
Tea contains a high concentration of compounds that delay the aging process. These are flavonoids – natural ingredients supplied in food that capture free oxygen radicals and neutralize their effects. Radicals are formed in the human body as a by-product of metabolism. They are responsible for cell damage, contribute to the development of diseases and accelerate the aging of the body. Lifestyle, environmental pollution and stress weaken our immune system. One of the natural defenses is drinking tea.
Before the destructive power of free radicals and the beneficial flavonoids were discovered in scientific laboratories, i.e. before we learned the true health value of tea, we valued it for its refreshing taste and aroma, as well as for the fact that it gives strength and removes fatigue. These properties are due to the presence of caffeine – an alkaloid that stimulates the nervous system. A 160 ml cup of tea contains 40-50 mg of caffeine, which is more than the same amount of coffee. Thanks to this, it improves the mood much better, improves concentration and memory, and removes drowsiness, while not acidifying the body.
Tea protects the heart, prolongs youth, protects against atherosclerosis and heart attack. It also lowers the level of cholesterol – the biggest enemy of our arteries.
It is also assumed (although it has not been scientifically proven) that drinking green tea may prevent the formation of cancer and enhance the effect of anti-cancer drugs. In China, where it is drunk the most, the lowest incidence of prostate cancer in the world has been found.
Scholars from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, after examining almost 3.5 thousand. People who drink at least two cups of tea a day are almost half as likely to have a heart attack. Four cups reduce the risk by almost 70%. This relationship turned out to be the strongest in women.
Dermatologists and cosmetologists are convinced that some compounds contained in tea perfectly improve the condition of the skin, slowing down the aging process. They help with fungal diseases and ulcers. Green tea extract is added to many cosmetics and healing ointments. Tea essence compresses soothe inflammation of the conjunctiva.
Now let’s take a look at the different types of tea and their healing properties
One of the most popular types. It is recommended by many doctors, nutritionists and cosmetologists. According to sources, green tea was used in China as early as 4,000 years ago, and it was also used as a medicine in Japan, India and Thailand. There are over a dozen types of green tea, and the two main varieties come from China and Japan. Less popular varieties are the Ceylon variety and Kashmiri Kahwa.
Green tea should be brewed at a temperature of 80°C to 90°C. The optimal brewing time ranges from 2 to 3 minutes. The lowest brewing temperature should not exceed 60°C, and the shortest brewing time should not be less than 30 seconds.
The best quality leaves are much more efficient and can be infused 2-3 times. Some also claim that green tea brewed for the first time at 90°C should be poured out and only the second infusion should be drunk, because it is purified of toxins and allows you to extract all the healing properties of tea, which include:
- preventing and inhibiting the development of many cancers;
- antibacterial and antiviral action;
- lowering cholesterol and preventing a heart attack;
- lowering blood pressure;
- anti-stress and anti-ulcer effect;
- prevention of gastric hyperacidity;
- prevention, inhibition of the development of caries;
- antioxidant effect;
- relieving conjunctivitis (by applying a compress of cooled green tea to the eyes).
Chinese red tea
Red tea has an earthy flavor and aroma. Sweetening this tea neutralizes most of its medicinal properties, which include:
- fight against overweight – red tea supports metabolism;
- supporting the work of the liver;
- diuretic effect – it is recommended for people with kidney problems;
- cholesterol lowering;
- prevention of atherosclerotic changes;
- lowering the pressure;
- improvement of peripheral and cerebral circulation, thanks to which the quality of thinking improves and concentration is facilitated;
- memory improvement;
- improving mood and combating mild depression;
- general strengthening of the body.
The healing properties of this tea are:
- strengthening the body’s immunity and improving eyesight thanks to the vitamin A contained in the tea;
- maintaining the proper nervous state – vitamin B1;
- strengthening hair and preventing eye inflammation thanks to vitamin B2 contained in the drink;
- strengthening the teeth and increasing the number of red blood cells – vitamin C;
- strengthening bones and teeth – large amounts of lime found in tea;
- maintaining the efficiency of the nervous system and the body’s efficiency – high content of phosphorus;
- maintaining physical fitness – the presence of iron
A strong infusion of tea is an antidote in poisoning, e.g. with heavy metals or acute alcohol poisoning. The substance that binds the toxin is a tannin called tannin (mostly found in black tea). But beyond these beneficial properties, tannin reduces the absorption of iron from food. Therefore, it is better not to drink tea with meals and iron-forming preparations. However, it should be remembered that black tea drunk in excess can cause insomnia, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, headaches and dizziness. It also increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is harmful to ulcers.
Tea, first treated with respect, over time in our busy world has become a common drink, drunk in a hurry, sweetened beyond measure. Poured into a strainer and poured with boiling water, brewed several times, it lost most of its extraordinary benefits. Fortunately, in recent years there has been a real renaissance of tea in the world. Not only because we have the opportunity to choose different types of it. Also because we started to see the pleasure of savoring the taste of a well-served tea infusion again. We also appreciate its health properties more and more.
Specialty shops with dozens of species of Chinese teas are springing up. Almost everywhere you can find a cozy tea room, where you can spend a nice time with a cup of steaming drink. This is how the words of the master of the tea ceremony, Tien Ji-heng, come true: “Let’s drink a golden brew to forget about the hustle and bustle of this world.”