What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is an essential part of the body’s natural healing response. This reaction is a part of the body’s immune system. Cytokines are created in the immune system and these create the inflammation response.
This response happens when your body is exposed to bacteria, toxic chemicals, or injury. Inflammation can also be a response to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, or other chronic conditions.
There are two types inflammation, acute and chronic. When you have a cut or a burn, your body creates an inflammation response immediately to help the body heal itself. This kind of inflammation isn’t the kind that scientists who study aging worry about.
The second type of inflammation is chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation occurs with conditions such as arthritis, asthma, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. Some symptoms of chronic inflammation include:
- Painful joints
- Skin irritation
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
What Are Some of the Other Causes of Chronic Inflammation?
Diseases aren’t the only cause of chronic inflammation. Several lifestyle factors can trigger it. Some of these include:
- Exposure to toxins or known allergens
- Not getting enough restful sleep
- Stress, either emotional or physical
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Untreated conditions of acute inflammation, such as injuries or infection
Why Is Chronic Inflammation Bad?
Inflammation is an emergency response to injury. It’s not intended to be a constant state. When inflammation persists, it can create many health problems. Scientists have linked chronic inflammation to:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Inflammation is a sign that something is wrong in your body. All chronic inflammation has an underlying cause. If you’re diagnosed with chronic inflammation, you need to fight it.
Treating Inflammation in the Body
Many people have found that taking daily supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D-3, Glucosamine, and Zinc, for example, may help reduce symptoms of inflammation. Others may need to take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or receive steroid injections.
Over the past decades, scientists and researchers around the world have found that consuming tea every day helps keep bones strong and might be a way to help stave off some symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
How Does Tea Reduce Inflammation?
As we have discussed in many of our blog posts, the leaves of the tea plant, or Camelia sinensis, contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. These antioxidants have been extensively researched by scientists for their ability to reduce inflammation in the body.
We can also find polyphenols in foods such as olives, nuts, black currants, pomegranates, and artichokes. Most often, however, polyphenols can be found in black and green tea and some herbs blended in herbal teas.
How Different Cultures Use Tea to Overcome Inflammation
National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner and his team found that people in specific locales in Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Japan, and California with extremely long lifespans eat healthier and drink tea daily. Buettner and his team dubbed these areas “Blue Zones.”
According to Buettner, those within the Blue Zones consume at least two cups of black or green tea or more each day, but what exactly are their habits? Was it just black and green tea, or were there herbal varieties too? Here’s what we discovered.
Japan – In Okinawa, Japan, Buettner, and his team found that the people there most often consume green tea throughout their day. According to Buettner, as a result,
Okinawans have far lower incidences of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Buettner notes that green tea, in particular, also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that naturally supports the brain and cognitive function.
Greece – In Ikaria, Greece, the residents like making teas with various herbs known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Along with infusions of rosemary and dandelion, Buettner says that Ikarians enjoy herbal teas made with sage.
Italy – Buettner found that in Sardinia, Italy, the locals really love their espresso and cappuccino. Other travelers to the country have noticed that the strongest tea available in Italy is an English Breakfast tea.
Buettner and his team found that Sardinians also make an herbal tea made with milk thistle seeds for its anti-inflammatory properties and reputed ability to help remove toxins from the body. Milk thistle seed has been traditionally noted for its ability to support healthy liver function and its ability to support the cardiovascular system.
Costa Rica – This country’s national drink is coffee, mainly because it is a major coffee-producing area in the world. Despite this, many Costa Ricans drink black or green tea brewed with milk. Sometimes lemongrass and ginger may be added to their tea. These herbs are known for both their anti-inflammatory properties and can also aid in digestion.
Can Drinking Tea Regularly Help Reduce Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is bad news for your health, but drinking tea regularly may be a simple way to keep it under control, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Consider starting a habit of drinking two cups every day. If caffeine affects you badly, you can try an herbal tea with no caffeine, like our original blends of Jason Winters Tea with either sage or chaparral.
Disclaimer: The Statements made on this blog have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Please note that all information provided on this website is not intended to recommend, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition or to replace the advice of a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional
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Shaw, Jonathan. “Raw and Red-hot: Could Inflammation Be the Cause of Myriad Chronic Conditions?” Harvard Magazine. 16 Apr. 2019. Web. 01 Mar. 2023.
Yazawa, Maki. “The 3 Types of Anti-inflammatory Tea That the Longest-living People on the Planet Drink Most.” MSN. Web. 1 Mar. 2023.