Proven Health Benefits of Tea
The healthy effects of tea have been studied ever since its invention by Shen Nung as a medicine, nearly 5000 years ago.
The Chinese Emperor Shen Nung believed the drink could cure tumors, abscesses, bladder ailments, and lethargy. Over time the Chinese have used it as a way of preventing hangovers, of getting rid of colds and losing weight, and more besides. What is science telling us these days about the benefits of tea?
Green Tea: Lowered Cholesterol
Green tea helps to lower cholesterol as it is absorbed by the large intestine. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 found that two types of cholesterol – Serum and LDL – were reduced in tea lovers who drank several cups of green tea a day. The catechins (the flavonols which are an essential contributor to tea's flavor and fragrance) were stated to protect the heart and blood circulation through "inhibition of oxidation, vascular inflammation, thrombogenesis, and improvement in blood lipid concentrations."
Meanwhile in the thinking of some believers in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is Puer and other black or 'red' teas that can really benefit your blood. In either case, the message is clear: all good quality tea helps keep your body's basic vascular equipment running smoothly, but green tea has greater anti-oxidants and is absorbed a little faster.
Black or 'Red' Tea: Weight Loss
While it was known that Green Tea's anitoxidants were absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, helping with circulation and cell repair (leading to potential weight loss, among other benefits), a study in 2017 at UCLA found that black tea could also help with weight loss and digestion by affecting the 'microbiome' (that's the healthy bacteria that live in your gut). This is because the molecules in black tea are larger and remain for a longer time in the intestinal tract, where they "enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria", according to the lead scientist in the study. Tea Plays' After Lunch and Sweet Home Bonbons both contain Puer, perhaps the most famous of Chinese black teas – or 'Red Teas' according to the Chinese themselves!