Almost every invention in the world has an interesting story, especially things that were discovered through serendipity. The discovery of tea is no different.
According to historians, there was a legend that tea drinking began in 2737 BC when Emperor Shen Nung of China was sitting under the tree waiting for his servant to bring him freshly boiled water. A leaf accidentally fell on his hot water and he decided to try this accidental infusion and he liked it. The leaf came from a shrub called Camellia sinensis or what we know as the origin of the most prominent tea leaves like green tea, white tea, and black tea.
Tea became an important commodity and has been introduced to various trade partners of China like Japan. Japanese started growing tea plants after their priests and envoys brought some from China. It became a royal drink of Emperors and has been a vital part of their culture through the Japanese Tea ceremony.
In the 1600s, island explorations of the Europeans in Asian countries brought about the widespread introduction of tea to the world.
In modern times, tea became a popular post-meal and dessert drink. Most people see tea as a medicinal drink. Tea became more accessible to everyone from being a drink of the wealthy and aristocrats.
Healthiest Teas and Their Benefits:
This tea is known to be packed with antioxidants called catechins. Studies show that catechins can help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Green tea can also boost the metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity reducing blood sugar levels. And when the metabolic rate is fast, body fat also decreases thus helping fat loss according to several tests. This is why green tea is also dubbed as the sexy tea.
Matcha is the highest type of green tea available. Also, known as Matcha Green Tea. It is made from rich, young leaves which plant was covered and grown in shared for weeks. The leaves are then dried and stone-ground into a very fine powder.
It is rich in chlorophyll which brings more oxygen to the blood and is rich in antioxidants. A high-grade match can boost metabolism by 40% and lets you enjoy the benefits of caffeine without the caffeine crash.
White also came from Camellia sinensis plant, but its leaves and buds were picked from the tree before it opens and is still covered with tiny white hairs. Since it is rich in antioxidants, there have been studies conducted to prove the benefits of white tea to the body.
One study shows that in can fight free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body, another study shows that the polyphenols from white tea relax the blood vessels and help reduce cardiovascular diseases.
Chamomile tea is a flower based tea and has been favored by those who prefer fragrant, earthy and sweeter type of tea. This tea is commonly recommended to those with insomnia or difficulty in sleeping. An antioxidant called apigenin is responsible for promoting sleepiness and relaxation to the body.
There have been studies with postpartum women who drank Chamomile tea for two weeks experiencing fewer symptoms of depression caused by the lack of sleep. This tea also aids digestion, ulcers, and diarrhea.
Aside from being used for breath fresheners, candies, toothpaste, and mouthwash, peppermint leaves are used in tea infusions. It can be mixed with other tea leaves of standalone. It is caffeine-free making it a suitable alternative to those who have sleeping disorders.
It is not only refreshing, it is also therapeutic especially for those who are suffering from colds, cough, and flu. It also improves digestion, bloating, stomach discomfort and gas pains. The relaxing and refreshing effects also relieve anxiety and stress.
Probably one of the easiest teas to prepare is ginger tea. Originally used as a cold remedy, this tea proved to be more than a one-hit wonder. It reduces inflammation like arthritis and gout. Likewise, stomach disturbances like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcer, gastritis, and diarrhea are also relieved as it acts as a relaxant.
Cinnamon tea is derived from boiling cinnamon bark for 20 minutes. It is fragrant and flavorful making it a nice drink after a meal. It serves as a remedy and alternative treatment to help reduce blood sugar levels. It also helps in reducing cholesterol in the body and an immune system booster.
Another flower derived tea, Echinacea is native to North America. Researches show that it has high amounts of phytochemicals that can combat tumors. It also boosts the immune system cutting the chances of colds by 58%. It has been used as a painkiller by the Great Plains Indians and has pain relieving effect internally.
Tea has different roles to different people from different countries. From its accidental discovery according to ancient stories, to become a drink for the aristocrats, tea has evolved into a lifestyle and medicinal drink. With its known health benefits, this should really be your cup of tea.
Author: Usman Raza
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at WhiskMatcha and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.