The Healing Benefits of Tea – But beware not all teas are good for you
You can find so many types of tea in your local grocery store and specialty teas in health food stores. Some of them make health claims, while others just (hopefully) taste good. If you enjoy tea, it’s worth learning the healing benefits of your favorites. If you’re not a tea drinker, you might just want to become one when you learn what some teas may do for you.
So Many Benefits Packed in a Tiny Bag
Because it would be impossible to list all the benefits of every herbal tea in this post, we’ll give you the important effects of the kinds of tea you probably already drink. You should be able to find any of these teas without going to a specialty shop.
Green Tea – The benefits of green tea include: lowering bad cholesterol, cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory effect on inflammatory bowel disease, blood sugar control, lower stroke risk, and metabolism boost. Catechins are a flavanoid and powerful antioxidant found in green tea. They are the muscle behind most of the positive effects of green tea.
Black Tea – It contains antioxidants called polyphenols and caffeine. Black tea will give you a similar boost in alertness as a cup of coffee would. It may also: lower risk of heart attack, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and Parkinson’s Disease. It could even help prevent osteoporosis and lung cancer.
Peppermint Tea – The strong flavor of peppermint tea keeps it from being a first pick for many people, but it is widely available and boasts healing properties that might surprise you. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers may get relief from peppermint tea because it relaxes muscles, helps alleviate “trapped” gas, and can stop diarrhea. Studies have shown that it boosts estrogen and may even relieves polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms.
White Tea – This tea is less processed than other varieties and isn’t fermented. The antioxidants it contains are very potent. This may make it the strongest contender in cancer-preventing teas. ECGC is another natural antioxidant component of white tea. It helps prevent the formation of new fat cells and fights wrinkles.
Potential Dangers May Be Lurking in Your Tea
Despite centuries of medicinal use of tea and all the many health benefits we may gain from it, modern tea can also present some health hazards. One of these possible dangers is lead. Green teas in particular can contain a significant amount of lead in the leaves, which leaches into the plant from the soil where it’s grown. Typically this is not a major concern because very little of it comes out of the leaves during brewing. For pregnant women or compromised people, it may be wise to avoid anyway.
A sweetener known as stevia is contained in some herbal teas and diet teas. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers about the safety of stevia several times, despite its lack of regulation over such substances. Stevia is not approved as a food additive. Some of the literature the FDA cites shows that stevia can negatively affect the reproductive, cardiovascular, and renal systems.
Most widely available herbal teas are safe for normal consumption by healthy adults. However, be sure to check with your doctor about the herbs in your tea, especially if you’ll be drinking a lot. Because they’re unregulated in U.S., herbal supplements and teas can vary in their potency, effectiveness, and overall safety. People with plant allergies should be especially cautious. Adding tea to your daily diet can have wonderful health benefits for a relatively low cost to you.