Can Tea Ever Be Bad For Your Health?

by Steven Popec 15. August 2012 13:50

Tea is widely regarded as one of the healthiest beverages one can drink. However, there are thousands of different types of tea on the market, and some of these tea blends are healthier than others. Today, we’re going to help you determine which tea blends are good for your health and which ones are bad.

Dieting teas – do they really work?

Everybody likes to look for an easy way to lose weight. Unfortunately, losing weight is rarely easy. Dieters tea come in a number of different flavors and varieties. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about dieters teas. They often contain very few healthy ingredients and are packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners. In many cases, the only diet-specific ingredients included in dieters teas is caffeine, which temporary increases your metabolism and helps your body burn fat. Aside from caffeine, most of these dieters teas are fuelled by hype and feature minimal results.

Many dieters teas contain ingredients like senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives. The FDA has issued warnings about these ingredients due to their lack of effectiveness.

Instant teas

Many instant teas contain very little actual tea at all. Instead, they are packed with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and other unhealthy compounds. While not all instant teas are bad, many of them can be dangerous for your health.

Watch out for these tea ingredients

Both dieters teas and instant teas contain strange ingredients that can negatively affect your health. Specifically, the FDA has warned against taking teas that include:

-Ephedra (used for weight loss)

-Willow bark

-Germander

-Comfrey

-Lobelia

-Chaparral

Teas with those ingredients will often advertise that ingredient prominently. Unfortunately, these ingredients have unknown (and possibly harmful) effects on the body, so think twice before drinking these types of tea.

Herbal teas

‘Herbal tea’ is a broad term for any tea containing fruits, herbs, seeds, roots, and other natural ingredients. Because herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas, their health benefits can vary.

Here are some of the features that science has linked to herbal teas:

-Chamomile tea has antioxidants that can reduce diabetes and lower the risk of nerve and kidney damage. Some studies have also shown that it stunts the growth of cancer cells.

-Echinacea herbal tea has been suggested as a way to stave off colds. However, research on Echinacea herbal teas has not demonstrated a clear link as of yet.

-Hibiscus herbal teas: Recent studies have found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea on a daily basis can lower blood pressure for those who already have modestly elevated blood pressure.

-Rooibos: Medical studies on rooibos herbal tea have been limited, although rooibos tea does contain flavonoids that could help fight cancer and other diseases.

The healthiest tea to drink?

In general, tea is one of the healthiest beverages in the world. Most tea is strictly derived from the Camellia sinensis plant with only a few different flavorings added to give it a unique twist. Camellia sinensis is an incredibly healthy plant that has been linked to health benefits like reduced cholesterol levels and weight loss.

Any black, white, green, or oolong tea is derived from the camellia sinensis plant, which means that it is geranlly quite healthy. Tea is also healthiest when used in a ‘loose’ blend, as more surface area is exposed to the surrounding water, increasing the nutrients and antioxidants that are released.

9 Tea Busting Myths, the truth is revealed

by Elena Popec 18. February 2010 21:29

Every morning begins about the same for millions of families in the world, with a refreshing cup of tea: black, green, white, herbal, fruit, flavored. We partake our favorite drink mostly out of habit rather than consciously.

Scientists have calculated that a person drinks at least 51oz of fluid in one day, one third of this is tea. In each country people drink it in their own way: one is with butter and salt, some like it with milk, others prefer it by making extraordinary "bouquet", adding in tea herbs, fruits or flowers. We have collected the most common myths about tea, so we can confirm or refute the controversial debate.


Myth #1. Tea has a tonic effect on the body, so it is better to drink in the morning.

True. Tea contains caffeine which has an activating effect on the cardiovascular system, so it should be drunk in the morning or afternoon. By the way, caffeine content in green tea is less than in black tea or coffee. Therefore, if you want to cheer up, do not drink gallons of coffee,  better brew a cup of aromatic and healthy green tea.

Myth #2. Tea with milk is harmful.


False. However, when milk is added, the chemical composition of tea is changing since the casein in milk binds the antioxidants. Tea becomes less tonic, and has less effect on blood vessels (the fact that the composition of tea includes vitamin P as well as other substances that strengthen the vascular wall). On another hand, tea with milk takes toxins out and works as a diuretic.

By the way, according to some narrations, the tradition of drinking tea with milk originated from the British. Due to the fact that the finest porcelain cups sometimes did not withstand boiling water and cracked. Therefore, the British began to dilute the tea with milk.


Myth #3. Loose leaf tea is better than tea bags.

True. Usually, contents of tea bags are known as fanning’s or dust, everything that is broken and crumbled. Tea bags are not necessarily cheaper than loose leaf tea, you pay for the packaging material and the process. Loose teas have more variants which can be brewed differently and it can be blended at your desired taste level. Tea bags, on the other hand, are pre-blended for a specific flavor. Loose teas can give you the purest of flavors for each variety, blended for your own preferences.  Tea brewed from tea bags is not harmful - just useless. There is simply no better alternative than loose tea,  it just tastes better. So, if you truly want to experience a heavenly cup of your favorite tea, then loose leaves are the way to go. Check out this great independent article titled, “For the love of tea!”. 


Myth #4. You cannot drink green or black tea in large quantities because it affects functions of the body.


Everything is good in moderation. Generally, there are no substances in tea that could harm the body. Three to four cups of tea per day will give you a total of 320 mg of polyphenols. People with kidney disorders, stomach ulcers, anxiety should not drink caffeinated tea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid caffeinated drinks. There are a lot of healthy alternatives: Rooibos, Mate, Herbal blends, Fruit blends.


Myth #5. Herbal tea can be an assistant in the treatment of certain diseases.

True. Herbal tea cannot be used as medication but as an aid to help the drugs treatment is acceptable. However, herbs contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, people should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine. For therapeutic purposes or maintain immunity, herbal infusion should be brewed separately and should not be abused.


Myth #6. Coffee and tea have the same amount of caffeine.


No. Dry tea leaves contain more caffeine than coffee beans. However, in a single serving cup of prepared coffee contains significantly more caffeine than a cup of tea due to difference in amount used to prepare a cup of tea. Don’t forget that certain types of tea can undergo a second infusion that will have even less caffeine. According to eHow.com, you can see for yourself that black tea, which is considered to have the highest levels of caffeine, is 50% less than coffee.
 

Myth #7. Hibiscus or Karkade decreases blood pressure.


True. Drinking Hibiscus tea effectively lowers blood pressure and reduces high cholesterol levels. Hibiscus is a main component of many Fruit and Herbal tea blends. Teas that contains Hibiscus, is caffeine free and rich in Vitamin C, which has a pleasant fragrance and vibrant red color.


Myth #8. Tea should be strong.


Partly true. Of course, the stronger the tea, the stronger its components and the higher the tannin content. Excessive amount of tannin over time may prevent the body from absorbing calcium if your diet is low in this nutrient, but the health benefits of tea are much greater than probable issues.  How strong the tea should depend on one’s preferences and suggestions from the tea company.


Myth #9. Tea has an antiseptic effect.

True. Tea actually contains antiseptic substance, but the concentration of these substances is very low, and with serious illnesses, they may be useless. It is better to seek assistance from a doctor and use the tea as an aid.

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