Tea represents more than just a healthy drink, it’s a loving, heart warming & soul healing drink. Today, besides tea stories, I want to share some health benefits of drinking tea.
Tea has always played an important role in my family. This is how the story goes: In my life tea has always been used for comfort, for cheers and for medicine. The tradition of drinking tea goes back to my times with my grandmother. I remember my afternoons as a little girl… after playing outside with my cousins, I went to Bita’s house (my grandmother) to wait for my parents to come back from work. At that time, Bita was usually on her water bed playing solitary, with the TV on and her puppy laying beside her. Oh and I can’t forget that big white cup of tea. Of course, in my love for her I wanted to do the same! She was always so sweet and loving, that she knew I would always ask for my cup, and she would always have a tea cup ready for me. Siting right beside her, I took small sips of tea, anxious for her to finish the solitary game so that we could start playing a card game called “Casinito”. We played for hours, waiting for my parents to come back from work. I loved it.
Bita…Forever in my heart.
The calming effects of Tea
Besides being the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water, tea has that famous calming effect. It contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine that increases alpha waves in the brain, an indicative of relaxation without drowsiness. Theanine has also been implicated in increasing the production of new brain cells and improving memory. (Wang et al., 2012) Findings reveal that even a single cup of tea can significantly reduce anxiety levels after suffering a stressful experience.
“If you’re stressed, anxious or just feeling blue, make yourself a nice calming brew.”
Drinking tea to maintain good health goes a long way back. Tea is consistently described as an alternative for promoting good health, keeping the mind alert and treating many illnesses.
At home, tea is the main and only drink besides water and an occasional lemonade, it is our special drink. But most importantly, the only thing that can calm and cure my mom! So, if anything and for everything, give her some tea.
Comfort and warmth are also reasons we are constantly having tea.
A calming activity, healthy for the spirit!
Drinking tea is also a slow, calm activity. It provides an opportunity to sit back and relax. Drinking tea is the type of naturally calming activity that can be very healthy for the spirit. My mom and I have a nice kind of “tradition”, every night after dinner, we boil some water and prepare some tea to enjoy while crafting. We sit on our craft room table and each create something different while enjoying our tea and company.
I must say, our craft table gets pretty messy, but in the middle of that mess, we get inspired and beautiful art comes out!!
Type of teas
Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis, a small tree cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates. There are different varieties of Camellia trees. The Camellia sinensis plant is usually used to make green and white teas. The Camellia sinensis assamica strain is usually used for black teas.
Green tea helps prevent cancer. It is a potent antioxidant that prevents dangerous free radicals in the body. Green tea is a great alternative to coffee, it contains caffeine, which gives it its bitter taste and is responsible for increasing alertness, and relieving fatigue. Theanine, acts as a mild relaxant, inhibits hypertension and improves brain function. Green tea also contains fluoride, which prevent cavities, vitamin E, calcium and zinc that help support the immune system.
White Tea is the least oxidized of all types of tea, it is usually very low in caffeine, which makes it a good choice for people who are watching their caffeine intake. White tea has been processed less and contains the same free radical fighting elements as green tea. White tea can help to prevent heart disease, cancers and stroke, as well as helping treat diabetes. High levels of calcium and fluoride help maintain healthy teeth, gums and bones.
Oolong Teas are unique because they span an oxidation range of 20-80%. Because they have higher oxidation levels than green tea, oolongs free radical fighting elements levels are lower but still present. Oolong tea has higher levels of theaflavin and thearubigin, which help in defending the body against stroke, dementia, heart disease and cancer. In addition to this, oolong teas have long been believed to aid in digestion, so have a cup with or after your next meal.
Black teas contain the highest levels of caffeine among all types of tea. It’s a great energy boosting drink. Black tea does contain low levels of free radical fighting elements, but it has the highest levels of theaflavins and thearubinins. As more research is showing, black tea is just as effective in preventing heart disease, stroke and cancer, and lowering cholesterol. So don’t think that that your morning black tea isn’t as healthy as your cup of green tea in the afternoon. You are just consuming a different variety of healthy compounds.
Herbal “teas” or tisanes are not true teas, because they do not derive from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are infusions that do not contain caffeine, which makes them acceptable for young children, the elderly or for evening tea drinking. These herbs don’t have the super powers of the Camellia sinensis plant, but they do have their own benefits and can be enjoyed by anyone at any time of the day.
In my journey through tea, I can tell you today that my favorite types of tea are white and green. When I drink green tea, it is usually Kusmi Tea: BB Detox and Detox, times when white tea gives me a call, I drink Silver needle from Teavana.
Let tea heal our spirit, let tea heal us all.
Learning the beauty of tea has led me to the conclusion that it will always be an important part of my life, as I choose a healthy and happy lifestyle. Tea has continuously healed me both spiritually and physically and I am grateful for having been introduced to tea in a special loving way. Drinking tea as a tradition at such a young age has given me the opportunity to bring tea into my daily rituals and regular lifestyle. My hope is that many more get to know this wonderful drink so that they two can begin a healthy and loving way of life.
When in need of something warm,
A deep gentle hug
Tea will never let you down.
Haiku by Karin Gomar