Loose Leaf Black Tea Benefits

by Elena Popec 27. May 2010 07:20

The beneficial qualities that tea brings to both mind and body have long been recognized by the vast majority of people around the world. However it’s always the green leaf variety that takes the plaudits with other varieties playing second fiddle at best, and often times ignored. We are constantly bombarded through the media and treated to information overload to the extraordinary attributes of the green tea variety. It is certainly then no surprise that it is to green tea that one’s thoughts first turn while looking for a healthy drink to refresh. Whilst it is certainly true that green tea does come packed with an incredible health-giving pedigree, the black tea variety, or ‘crimson’ as it is known in Chinese and languages influenced by Chinese, should most certainly not be ignored.

What's the Difference?

Black tea has as much to offer as the green leaf variety to those that choose to give it a try. A fact of which many people are not aware is that both black and green tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The larger leaves from the Assamese plant are used for the black variety, with the smaller leaves from the Chinese plants being used for green and also white tea too. Whilst much has been said of the health giving qualities of green tea, those benefits can be said to be present in black tea also as they are essentially derived from the same source. This is despite its more intense processing and consequently lower levels of antioxidant. There also tends to be more caffeine in black tea and hence black tea can be considered more stimulating.

It is often of a better flavor too as green tea tends to lose its flavor after a year or so, whilst black leaf tea can retain the flavor for many years more. It is due to this attribute of black tea that it has long been used a commodity for trading, and black tea bricks were even used as a form of currency in the 19th century in countries such as Mongolia, Tibet and Siberia. TF-2 is a compound present in black tea. It is an antioxidant and as such is very helpful to the human body in the fight against cancer, diseases of the heart and other inflammatory ailments.

Black Tea Research

Studies carried out in Europe spanning a decade have shown that drinking in excess of 2 cups of black leaf tea a day can cut in half the incidence of heart problems in males. The best method by far with which to imbibe tea is in its loose form, and in the authors opinion the bagged variety should be kept firmly on the shelf. It’s not just a great flavor from which you will benefit with black tea but also the extraordinary health-giving benefits that it will bring to your body. And there are of course many brands from which to choose with varied tastes and flavors. All without exception compete admirably with their green leaf counterparts in health properties and arguably make a more enjoyable and flavorsome drink.

Select Herbal Teas for Your Health

by Steven Popec 26. May 2010 08:02

It is well known that herbal teas promote overall health and well being. However there are lots of herbal teas out there and you might have a hard time choosing the right one to gain the most health benefits. You might be trying to make up your mind between Wuyi Cliff, Oolong or Wu-long, Pu-erh or Sencha teas. Well, wake up and smell the tea, because although you are not wrong, the answer is in the mix. To be specific, it is in the mix of herbal teas Wuyi Cliff, Pu-erh, Sencha and Oolong. By itself each of teas pack fantastic health benefits, then just imagine what the benefits would be when you combine all these teas. A few of the most important health benefits of this tea mix are in promoting healthy dieting, supplying your body with more natural energy, boosting your immune system and helping to calm the mind.

1. Healthy Dieting Solutions that Work:

Having a cup of the herbal tea mix made from mixing together the whole leaves of the different types of teas, rather than just having just a cup of tea with tea dust helps in ensuring quick and effective weight loss. Insulin is produced in your body, when you consume carbohydrates or sugary foods, which aids in storing fats in the body. The herbal tea mix works by reducing the amount of insulin produced and directly affects the amount of fat stored. Having a cup of herbal tea mix after each meal will work wonders by helping you stay off the calories effectively.

In addition to reducing the amount of fats stored in the body the tea also helps in speeding up the metabolism of the body. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns up calories, so consuming this tea regularly will help your body able to keep off the weight easily.  Also, the tea mix reduces food cravings and suppresses your appetite. Even with all these benefits, the tea mix does not have any side effects unlike diet pills and supplements available on the market.

2. Stronger Immune System

Immune system defense is the ability of your body to fight against external infections. Out of numerous important benefits of the herbal tea mix is that it boosts the natural ability your body has, of fighting off bacteria. Moreover, the tea mix increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

3. More Pep in Your Step!

Feel energized and revitalized by just having a cup of the herbal tea mix! An important benefit of this herbal tea is that it helps to decrease harmful amounts of cholesterol, thus improving cardiac function. Lower cardiac function helps to noticeably energize, and increase your mobility, and desire to get out and move around more.

4. Soothes and Relaxes

Feel more relaxed and sleep better! Having a cup of this herbal tea mix will relax you, both mentally and physically. Given all the above benefits of having herbal tea, are you now convinced and ready to try this herbal tea mix?

White Tea Benefits

by Elena Popec 25. May 2010 10:19

Many people around the world, including chefs and even scientists believe that white tea has numerous benefits towards everyone’s health. But do you really know what exactly white tea is and how you could benefit from white tea leaves? The immature tea leaves are alternatively called white tea. These loose leaves are picked from the tea plant just before the plant has fully bloomed. The name ‘white tea’ came from the fine silvery fuzz covering the tea leaf and making it white in color. The four distinct varieties of white tea include the White Peony, Silver Needle, Long Life Eyebrow and Tribute Eyebrow. The difference between them is the proportion in which the tea leaves are blended with the tea buds.

Harvesting White Tea

Usually buds turn into tea in two days after they are picked. When two tea leaves are mixed with one tea bud, it forms the White Peony and if the mixture is made completely of buds, it is termed as the Silver Needle tea. The low quality tea variety called Long Life Eyebrow is made by mixing up the left over leaves after the White Peony and Silver Needle harvest. Tribute Eyebrow is processed using a special tea bush and is also a lesser quality tea. All four white teas can be purchased in loose leaf forms. On the other hand, teas available in bags have comparatively less quality and flavor than white tea. Tea bags are generally tea leaf dusts that remains at the bottom of tea bins after harvesting, reducing the desired quality and flavor.

White Tea Research

Scientific research has also shown that white tea provides additional protection against skin cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer and even prostate cancer. Studies on the effect of white tea extract on skin exposed to direct sunlight has shown improved protection and reduced cell damage. A partially repaired immune system was also observed in some test subjects that consumed white tea leaves. Scientists found a wealth of antioxidants present in white tea and they suggested it may have anti-aging effect. Some compelling evidence has also been found in the direction of disease prevention using white tea leaves. It is shown that the white tea leaf extract may have the ability to stop pneumonia and the bacteria that causes Staph infection. It is also used to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, plaque and even bad breath.

What Else Can White Tea Do for You?

It is also believed that white tea leaf has anti-fungal effects. Recent studies have shown that some fungal types became inactive when the fungal drugs are consumed along with white tea leaves. Results of this study also show that white tea leaves might be used to prevent the fungus growth in certain similar conditions. Cholesterol is a health requirement and there are two kinds of cholesterol: good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. It is the bad cholesterol that causes the hardening of the arteries that could lead to heart attack. A type of antioxidants called catechins has been found to reduce bad cholesterol; white tea also helps raise the good cholesterol in the human body. It has been suggested that white tea leaves could lower the blood sugar levels, and thus reduce the occurrence of diabetic symptoms. More scientific research and results can be expected in the near future as the research on white tea continues.

Vitamins and Minerals In Tea

by Elena Popec 17. May 2010 07:31

Due to the variety of minerals, vitamins and other elements contained in tea, this drink improves health, relieves fatigue, strengthens the immune system and has an overall tonic effect on the body.

Mineral substances contain in green tea leaf and in finished products, it constitutes about 5-6% of dry matter. Among them are the following: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, fluoride and others. With the aging of the plant total number of minerals increases, while the most valuable part of the soluble reduces. Only the components of relatively small molecular weights which are infused with hot water give a specific accent to the tea infusion. Between the quality of tea and the content therein of soluble mineral substances there is a direct link.

The potassium content in the tea leaf is 50-60% of all mineral substances and depends on the mineral nutrition of plants. This compound plays a very important role in the livelihood of tea tree; it is given a great importance in the synthesis of carbohydrates and proteins, and in the general metabolism. Potassium is very important to the human body; it prevents muscle cramps and regulates fluid and electrolyte balance.

Another important mineral is located in the tea - phosphorus. Its content ranges from 15-20% of weight of all mineral substances in tea. The properties of the finished product depend on its quantity. The two top leaves and a bud have higher content of phosphorus compare to the lower coarse tea leaves and stems. It is known fact that phosphorus is needed for the human body for normal functioning, as part of the nervous, brain tissue and bones.

Despite the slight content, copper and iron play an important role in plant’s life. They are part of some physiologically important organic compounds, such as enzymes. Another, small in content, but necessary for redox processes, is manganese. Its share is approximately 1-4%. Due to the iron content, tea has a beneficial effect on the human blood, as well as a good means for the prevention of various vascular diseases. In addition, the body needs iron to transport oxygen.

The complex experiments revealed effects of the duration of brewing tea and the quantity of the tea leaves on the degree of content in the drinks of various trace elements. Adding citric acid increased the yield of all elements, except copper. In the end, it was found that  a tea drink satisfies the daily requirement of zinc, copper and manganese at 1, 2 and 50% respectively.

Now let us turn to vitamins contained in tea. This is mainly vitamins B complex and C. The tea shoot has the following B complex vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3, and B5 (PP), B6, B12 and P. Since these compounds are very stable, in the processing they are almost completely transformed into finished products. Content of vitamin B1 is small - an average of 0.3 - 10 mg per 1 kg of dry tea leaves. In the body this vitamin (B1) regulates metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, has versatile affect on the function of the cardiovascular, endocrine and central nervous system. Vitamin B2 has positive effect on the skin and mucous membranes, the health of the liver. The most important is the presence in tea of vitamin P. One of its most important properties is the strengthening of the capillaries of the plant. During the technological processing of raw material quality and quantity of the vitamin are undergoing significant changes. Its content is reduced from 20-25% in green tea to 8-15% in the final. Along with others, the tea contains vitamin PP that is important for normalizing the higher nervous activity, the functions of the digestive system. It also affects the cardiovascular system, in particular, expanding the small vessels.

Tea leaves are rich in Vitamin C. Gentle leaves contain approximately 2-3 times more of this vitamin than the coarse. In the process of refining its amount is sharply reduced, especially during the fermentation and drying. This vitamin is essential for strengthening the immunity of a person, it reduces the risk of infections, but also useful for the prevention of osteoporosis and periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontal tissue, i.e. tissue surrounding the tooth root). Tea fluoride also provides the beneficial effect on teeth. This element exists in tea leaf as anion. Fluoride anion produces various fluoride compounds and covers the surface of teeth to prevent bacterial attack. Just wanted to point out that tea is very useful for vision, because it contained β-carotene and other elements, strengthens blood vessels.

 

Ayurveda is a Doctrine Of Life, Health, Endurance, and Equilibrium Part 1

by Elena Popec 26. April 2010 13:05

In the last decade, Ayurveda concepts have become very common and fortunately, made people think again about their health. Therefore, more and more people are beginning to be interested in Ayurvedic teaching. Many do not know that Ayurveda is much more than a massage with oils or an art of relaxation. Ayurveda is an ancient doctrine which arose in the traditional Indian philosophy and was first described in ancient Indian writings, the Vedas. The term "Ayurveda" comes from Sanskrit words "Ayur" meaning "life" and "veda" - "knowledge", "doctrine". Thus, this concept can be translated as "the science of life." In the heart of yoga and meditation is also Vedic knowledge. Ayurveda has survived primarily because of the revival of Vedic master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who opened the old knowledge to the modern world. For nearly twenty years of this vast topic of Ayurveda experts are engaged, as well as western doctors and scientists. The Ayurvedic doctrine is also described as an “integrated combination of the empirical doctrine of nature and philosophy” which focuses on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects which are necessary to human health.

Submission of a man in Ayurveda

Ayurveda considers not only the human body, but the unity of body, mind and spirit in their relationship with the surrounding world and nature. Each person is different from each other, physically and mentally. With Ayurvedic extensive and integrated examination of nature, human beings in nature and all that surrounds it, Ayurveda is the doctrine of Medicine, which focuses on the concern for the preservation of health. While modern medicine considers mainly a disease and its symptoms, thus engaging the body, not spirit, or analyzes the impact on the human body. The starting point of Ayurveda is different, finding the right balance, or rather the balance of the three defining concepts of Ayurveda, so-called Doshas.

- Vata (Wind, Air, Pneuma)
- Pitta (Fire and Water, Chole)
- Kapha (Earth and Water, Phlegma)

The essence of the Ayurvedic doctrine is that the Doshas should be harmoniously balanced and this can be supported with the addtion of certain spices.

Basic principles of Ayurveda

Everyone has a balance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which is constantly changing. Mental state, time of the year and day continuously affect the individual balance and the balance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This equilibrium is not constant, it changes all the time. One might say that human health constantly updates; therefore a human being is a self-regulating system. However, the ability of the organism to self-regulation can be exhausted. For example, this may occur because of high level of irritation, stress, malnutrition, or due to the fact that in our sometimes too loud world, the human being loses the ability to listen to itself, enjoy the silence and cognize the quiet force in itself. Or, in other words, one may lose the ability to appreciate the moment without having a special occasion to celebrate.  Initially, Ayurveda strives to create an environment in which it will be possible to avoid disturbances. Therefore, the teaching of Ayurveda is the guidance for the construction of life: food, drink, sleep, choosing a partner, and more. These instructions are given to man to have three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in equilibrium. Thus, Ayurveda is a system of healing, which aims to maintain health. The slightest disturbance can lead to illness and disease. Conversely, small corrections in the style of life entail improvements. And, of course, according to the teachings of Ayurveda, everything that exists in the world can be used as a medicine.

Stay tuned for part 2 as we will examine the three Doshas.

Health Benefits of Tea

by Steven Popec 18. January 2010 14:35

Health Benefits

Were you aware that our nation drinks approximately 165 million cups of tea daily? Millions of people love the taste of tea, but many of us are not aware of the healing powers tea can actually give us.

Tea is not only delicious, it can also help prevent High Blood Pressure by controlling angiotensin, which eventually leads to high blood pressure, according to health experts.

Studies have shown that drinking tea can also provide us with protection against cancer, heart disease and it can also aide in preventing memory impairment conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

 

Healthy Antioxidants within Tea

Flavanoids generally found in vegetables and fruits; contain powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E.  So, one cup of tea actually contains twice as many of these Flavanoids as one apple.

You often hear about the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables, but rarely are you encouraged to drink tea - maybe more of us should.

Consuming tea and its healthy antioxidants provides us with antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergenic benefits. 

Drinking tea also has the benefit of helping improve concentration thus improving performance. Concentration is improved due to the caffeine that is within tea. The caffeine makes you more alert and focused.

Tea is also a natural source of fluoride; therefore it helps to keep teeth and gums healthy.  Because tea contains this natural source of fluoride, it can help prevent certain gum diseases and tooth decay. 

 

The Power of Green Tea

The Chinese have been using the healing effects of Green Tea for centuries, 4,000 years in fact. Only in the past 20 years other parts of the world began to take notice of this herbal treatment for headaches, depression, and beyond.

In 1994, a study was conducted that revealed Green Tea could possibly reduce esophageal cancer risks by 60%. Numerous other studies have been performed as well to establish the health benefits of consuming Green Tea and to learn why the herb is so healthy.

Clinical studies conducted over the years have found that Green Tea, or the herbs that create Green Tea, contain powerful antioxidants. Many believe that it may help prevent cancer cell growth, but to also selectively eliminate cancer cells. This is especially amazing because the powerful herb does not attack the healthy cells around the cancer cells.

Green Tea can also be efficient in lowering the bad cholesterol, LDL, levels while boosting the good cholesterol, HDL, levels.  By doing this, Green Tea is improving the ratio of good to bad cholesterol and possibly helping to prevent the onset of heart disease.

The Chinese have shown us many healing teas, but Green Tea is by far the best healing tea that has been introduced to us. Because Green Tea leaves are steamed, they are able to hold on to their potent antioxidants.

Green Tea as well as Fruit Blends, Rooibos, Herb Blends and Ayurvedic are fairly inexpensive and is well worth the cost for all of the potential healing effects and preventative abilities it has.

 

Drink Black Tea for a Healthier You

Black Tea, although made from the same plant as white and green tea, is almost completely different. Black Tea, unlike Green Tea and White Tea, is processed and fully oxidized.  Although from the same plant, what happens to the tea leaves after picking is what sets the three apart.

Black tea does not hold as many health benefits as Green Tea, but it still has retains enough to make it a smart choice for drinking. One reason why it’s considered the smart choice is simply because most studies have been only conducted on green tea. This is because it is the most consumed tea in the world.

The antioxidants in Black Tea can help protect against free radicals damage that generally leads to disease. Some properties of Black Tea have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells but not effecting the growth of healthy cells.

The fact that the properties in the tea have the ability to selectively target the cancer cells and not the healthy cells is truly amazing.

 

Drinking Tea May Slow Down the Aging Process

Drinking Black Tea has also been said to slow down the aging process. Look at the anti-aging lotions and serums on the market today and you will find that many contain tea leaf extracts. Black Tea also is known to help rev up metabolism and fat burning. This is even more so when used in conjunction with caffeine and exercise.

To lower your LDL, bad cholesterol, studies have shown that drinking Black Tea is beneficial in doing so as well as helpful in increasing your HDL, healthy cholesterol. Drinking tea can help balance the ration of good and bad cholesterol and help to ward of heart disease.

If you are diabetic, drinking tea can aid in lowering glucose levels. Lowering your glucose levels will also lower your risk of conditions brought on by diabetes such as cataracts. Start drinking tea today for a healthier you tomorrow!

 

Rooibos

Rooibos in Afrikaans is translated as “red bush”.  This has a very sweet taste and it is frequently used as a base tea to blend tea.  It is rich in antioxidants and it is caffeine free. Here are a few health benefits of Rooibos:

 

·         Contains a host of vitamins and minerals such as copper, potassium zinc, calcium, potassium and manganese.

·         It is anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity.

·         Helps infants with sleeping problems colic, stomach cramps or sleeping problems.

·         Is great for skin because it has zinc and alpha hydroxy acid. This can be applied to the skin in order to reduce eczema, sunburn and with acne.

·         Healthy for people suffering from kidney stones because it doesn’t contain oxalic acid.

Rooibos has traditional medicinal uses in South Africa and is often used to help combat against asthma and allergies. It is a great substitute for people who don’t use dairy products because it has magnesium, calcium and fluoride to help build strong bones and healthy teeth.

Quick Tip: To make a quenching blend of iced tea, add slices of apple & lemon and a touch of honey.  For hot tea, no need to add the usual sugar or sweeteners, simply use agave or honey.

 

 

Ayurvedic  

Ayurvedic is a historical holistic system of medicine from India. It offers great benefits of maintaining good health.  Here are a few benefits:

It relaxes the Mind

It has no known Side Effects

It improves the Quality of life

It relieves Tension 

Herbal Blend

For centuries, herbal blend (often referred to as tisanes) have been used in Eastern medicines. Today, it is highly regarded in Western medicine.  Herbal blend contains the following health benefits:

·         Dandelion leaf, has blood, liver and gastrointestinal cleansing properties.

·         Lemon Verben and Lemon balm have been used as a cold remedies because of its soothing effect.

·         Hibiscus has reduced hypertension studies have shown.

As you can see, Herbal Blend is a great addition to a healthy diet. 

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