Tea Health Folklore and Facts

Updated: Sep 21

For over two thousand years people have been drinking tea for enjoyment and in the hopes of curing virtually every illness, condition or affliction known to mankind -- even a few imaginary ones.

The legendary power of tea to cure all these ailments is written into the folklore of societies all around the globe. From China where tea drinking became popular in the Tang dynasty to India, now the world’s biggest tea producer. On to Europe and Great Britain, home of the afternoon tea party.

Tea drinking and dumping tea in Boston harbour played an important part in American history when the King of England’s exorbitant demands for excise duties on tea was the spark that started the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence in 1776.


Let’s examine some of these health claims for the curative properties of tea that have survived for generations. We will also look at some newer ones that have gained popularity alongside the rising interest in organic foods, natural remedies and holistic lifestyles.


Disclaimer

Nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor.



Early Chinese Custom


In the Tang dynasty, tea was initially drunk because it was believed that it had medicinal qualities. According to Hua To writing in the 3rd century “it makes one think better.” Early writers mention tea’s stimulating properties. This would be the result of the caffeine found in most blends of tea.


Tea drinking became popular in other parts of China and spread to Asia as a recreational drink rather than a medicine. Early Portuguese traders brought the custom to Europe in the 16th Century. In the 17th century, the British developed tea plantations in India to satisfy the growing demand for tea in Great Britain.



Health Benefits from Drinking Tea


In addition to caffeine, tea contains:

  • Polyphenols

  • Theobromine & Theophylline – stimulants

  • Xanthines

  • Amino acids

  • Carbohydrates

  • Proteins

  • Chlorophyll

  • Catechins

  • Minerals – aluminium, fluoride, manganese


Cancer

Polyphenols and Catechins have significant antioxidant properties.


The main polyphenols in tea may protect cells from DNA damage and have shown an ability to inhibit tumour growth in laboratory studies. It is possible that tea consumption may help prevent cancer. Source www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/tea-fact-sheet


Prostate Cancer

A study in 2008 found that consumption of Green Tea may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17906295

Allergies

Green tea contains natural antihistamines and has been used to alleviate the symptoms of allergies caused by pollen.


In 2013, a study found that consuming Benifuuki Green tea – a Japanese Green tea helped alleviate the symptoms of pollen allergies. Source https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23448449


The same study also found that Green Tea was believed to help reduce the risk of strokes, type 2 diabetes and to lower cholesterol levels.



Green Tea Health Benefits


For two thousand years, Green Tea has been drunk to improve brain function. It is also believed to contribute to increased burning of fat.


The natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatories in Green Tea are believed to help with many other conditions.


The addition of herbs with medicinal properties enhances the effect of Green Tea. Ginger, Peppermint, Turmeric, Chamomile, Rosehips, Flower petals are some of the herbs and floral additions to tea blends or herbal tisanes.


Rooibos has many of the beneficial ingredients that are popular with consumers of natural health products. Rooibos is available on its own as Rooibos Tea or in blends with Green Tea and other herbs.


For details on our teas that may help with allergies, visit our blog post.


Conclusion


What should we believe? Is tea good for our health? Does it help alleviate allergic symptoms, reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and stroke? Will it help us lose weight.


The studies quoted above show strong evidence that tea – particularly Green Tea -- can have beneficial effects on our health. 2000 years of history reveals that millions of people in the East and the West have used tea as a natural remedy for generations.


It tastes good, it is not harmful if consumed in moderation and it’s natural.


Order one of Wellness teas today and see for yourself.


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