"Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one."
~Ancient Chinese Proverb
Outside the window snowflakes are falling, the temperature is dropping and you hold a warm cup of tea between your hands. The gentle steam rises to warm your face and the aroma soothes the tension in your neck. What could be better on a cold winter day?
But tea is more than comforting. More and more studies are showing the health benefits of tea.
In her book, Healthy Healing, Linda Pages says this about tea: "Both green and black tea have enzymes that promote digestion and help our bodies resist harmful bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus. High flavonoids in both teas reduce harmful blood clotting linked to heart attacks. Both contain polyphenols (not tannins as commonly believed) that act as antioxidants, yet do not interfere with iron or protein absorption. The natural, bioactive caffeine contained in both black tea (50 to 80mg per cup) and green tea (about 30mg per cup) helps combat mental fatigue."
Black and Green tea come from the same plant, thea sinensis, which is grown from the Middle East to the Orient. Green tea is picked from the first tender leaves of Spring. Black tea is fermented for three hours, then often scented with spices to strengthen aroma and reduce bitterness.
Page goes on to explain the extra benefits of Green Tea. "[Green Tea] contains larger amounts of healing nutrients, including twice as much vitamin C, more than twice the amount of bioflavonoid activity and six times the antioxidant properties of black tea."
Page notes that milk should not be added to Green Tea as it inhibits absorption of the protective polyphenols. (I've heard that adding milk to chocolate also inhibits the absorption of the antioxidants).
The health benefits of tea have been known since close to 2300BC in China.
What I love about natural things used for healing is that one plant has so many applications, can usually be used in conjunction with other plants without fear, and they're available to average people who don't have a PhD!
Besides the benefits already mentioned, green tea is highly enzyme-active for weight-loss. It is a good fasting tea, providing energy support and clearer thinking. It helps bronchial dialation against asthma. Green tea is anti-carcinogenic (fights against cancer), antibacterial (the Chinese used it to purify water), and antimicrobial which means it's great for the skin. It may hinder some causes of high blood pressure. It promotes fat-burning, regulates blood sugar and insulin and keeps hunger at bay. And these are just a few more of its many benefits.
Of course, as with anything good that God created, there is a point of diminishing returns. A few cups of green tea per day can be a great boost to your health, but a cup or two every hour--especially if you add 1-8 tsp of sugar to it--will no longer benefit your health.
All things in moderation. Didn't Paul say something about that?
Bless the Lord who has made all things good and good for us. Then go ahead and drink that cup of tea in your hands. Enjoy the health benefits as well as the comfort it brings.
Try this recipe:
Orange Green Tea, created by Me :-)
1+ Tbsp Loose Green Tea (Gunpowder, for a robust flavor; Sencha for a lighter flavor; or any other to your taste)
1 Pot (6-8 cups) almost boiling water (Do not bring it to the point of boiling)
1/2 organic Orange Peel
1 Cinnamon Stick (optional)
Let steep for five minutes or more. Pour into cups and add Honey or Agave to taste.