“It tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens and refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.” – Lu Yu
There are few things in the world quite as comforting or relaxing as a cup of tea. Tea has the ability to uplift the mood and focus the mind like nothing else. At Sir Jason Winters International, we believe this wholeheartedly, but there’s also plenty of scientific research that demonstrates the reasons why tea is both relaxing and healthy to our minds and bodies.
Tea for the Mind
A study conducted by the University College London found that drinking black tea can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Scientists found that the participants experienced a 47% lower level of cortisol just 50 minutes after consuming black tea. Blood pressure also decreased.
In a similar study performed by psycho-pharmacologist Andrew Scholey of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, researchers also found that the catechins and antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in green tea lowered the risk of developing dementia or depression in those who consumed at least one cup daily by as much as 21%.
According to Scholey, “Tea is calming, but alerting at the same time.” He believes that tea consumption can help those with these debilitating diseases and that tea consumption has, “…enormous implications for preventative health.”
In 2015 the Lundbeck Foundation presented a paper at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease which found that drinking green tea several times each week greatly lessened the chance of the development of both diseases and increased cognition.
Recent research has also found that the widespread use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, as well as prescription and over the counter drugs used to treat acid reflux, have been directly linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and other health concerns. Doing something as simple and beneficial, such as drinking a cup of green tea each day has many potential benefits for overall brain health.
Tea’s Positive Effects on the Body
The antioxidants in tea can help your brain function better and also help ensure overall good health in the body. For thousands of years, tea has been considered a type of food-medicine that relaxes the body and promotes good health from within.
Tea and Your Heart – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than half a million (610,000 men and women in the U.S. die of the heart-related disease annually. Researchers have found that drinking green tea can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease every day. EGCG and other antioxidant compounds which have been found within the tea plant act as vasodilators, which make your blood vessels more elastic and expands their capacity to pump blood throughout the body.
Recent studies conducted at Harvard University have found that by consuming green tea, this expansion of the blood vessels can reduce the chance of formation of blood clots in blood vessels and arteries and thus reducing the chance of developing heart disease.
Tea and Liver Function – Scientists have found that the antioxidants found within green and Oolong tea can reduce and reverse some forms of liver disease. Green tea acts as a block for fat absorption within the liver and improves overall antioxidant function. Combined with a low-fat diet and regular aerobic exercise and reduction in the use of alcohol, green tea can help to create a leaner liver.
Lead researcher of a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, Richard Bruno said in a recent interview that in order to be of benefit for improved liver function, it’s important to regularly consume brewed green tea rather than taking a green tea supplement.
Lessening the Onset of Diabetes – Green tea has shown that it can aid in the reduction of some forms of diabetes and assist in the regulation of both high and low glucose levels by reducing insulin sensitivity. It has also shown great promise in regulating Type II diabetes by improving and regulating glucose levels.
Strengthening Bones and Teeth – The antioxidant properties found in green tea also have been found to strengthen bones and help prevent tooth decay and loss. In China, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and more modern researchers have found that green and black teas can both help prevent the onset of osteoporosis and stimulate the growth of bone tissue and stem the loss of bone density. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties found within the Camellia sinensis plant can also fight and in some cases potentially halt tooth decay and receding gums. In turn, this prevention of dental disease also can prevent the development of heart disease.
Tea to Reduce Cancer Risk – A Chinese study conducted in 2016 indicates that the EGCG found in green tea seems to indicate reduced incidences of prostate cancer in men. Japanese scientists have also conducted similar research which agrees with the data found in the Chinese study and also shows a potential reduction in other forms of cancer such as breast, bone, and colorectal cancers.
Tea for Weight Loss and Anti-Aging?
Drinking tea has long had the reputation of suppressing the appetite and helping to stave off the pangs of hunger between meals. The antioxidants in green tea have shown the potential to metabolize and break down fat, especially during regular exercise. One study found that drinking green tea helped the participants in the research to burn more calories by boosting their metabolism.
The same antioxidants found in green tea can fight free radicals in the body. Pollution in our environments such as cigarette smoke and other poisons around us can potentially damage our bodies. The antioxidants found within green tea help boost immunity and have shown that they can potentially reduce the aging effects that we face every day, causing our skin to have less elasticity and show signs of aging such as expression lines and wrinkles.
Using green tea on the skin as a rinse as well as drinking it as a beverage can smooth the skin and prevent premature aging. It does this by improving the collagen through the oligomeric proanthocyanidins found within the tea.
The research is clear. Drinking green or black tea regularly has a host of preventative health benefits. It’s so simple to brew a cup, why wouldn’t you have a cup or three every day? Here’s to your body and mind.
Cutler, Nicole. “Green Tea Promotes a Lean Liver.” LiverSupport.com, 16 Oct. 2018, www.liversupport.com/green-tea-promotes-a-lean-liver/.
Gilbert, Natasha. “The Science of Tea’s Mood-altering Magic.” Nature News. Nature Publishing Group, 06 Feb. 2019. Web. 16 May 2019.
Lam, Kam Chuen., Kai Sin. Lam, and Tin Yu. Lam. The Way of Tea: The Sublime Art of Oriental Tea Drinking. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2002. Print.
Peltier, Warren. The Ancient Art of Tea: Wisdom from the Old Chinese Tea Masters. Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 2011. Print.
Zak, Victoria. 20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature’s Healing Herbs. New York: Bantam, 2000. Print.