Friday, July 7, 2017

There's Always Time for a Cuppa Tea!

Benefits of Drinking Tea

Tea has been around for more than 5000 years and is considered to have great healing and medicinal uses.
According to legend, in 2737 BC, The Emperor of China, Shen Nung demanded that all of his water had to be boiled to make it cleaner for drinking. Apparently one day he was sitting beneath a tree while his servant was boiling the water. Some dried leaves from a nearby bush fell into the water causing it to turn brown in colour. The emperor, who was also a herbalist, tried the drink and fell in love with unique flavor, and so the world obsession with tea began.

Seeing the new year in with a hot cup of tea

Relaxing Drink

The simple act of enjoying almost any tea can have a wonderful impact on reducing anxiety.During world war 2, the Women’s Voluntary Service provided much needed tea to the victims of the Blitz as it was a great way to help with shock and stress.
The art of drinking tea is a naturally calming ritual in itself and is nourishing on all levels. The daily routine of sitting down for a cuppa encourages a moment to relax and unwind.  The ritual of preparing, pouring, serving, and drinking tea can become a simple meditation that is soothing for the mind, body and spirit.

Brewing times vary depending in the kind of tea. Tea bags seem to need less brewing time than loose tea.

White and Green Tea need the lowest temperatures and brewed for 1-2 minutes
Black and Oolong Teas need a longer brew time of 2-3 minutes and a higher temperature.
Herbal teas can be brewed for 3-6 minutes. Teas differ depending on how much oxidation they have been exposed to.

Black Tea has a slightly bitter flavor and contains the most caffeine, about 40 milligrams per cup. (A cup of coffee has 50 to 100.) Black tea (or red tea in China) is fully oxidixed as the leaf is rolled and bruised to make a stronger tea.
Health benefits:  lowers colesterol, reduces risk of stroke,
may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke.

Green Tea has a light, delicate flavor and contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup.  Green tea is slightly more processed but not oxidized at all. The leaves are laid out in the sun to dry and then pan baked to deactivate the enzyme in the leaf.
Health Benefits – combats allergens, lowers colesterol, promotes healthy gums  and teeth, wards off oral cáncer, boosts eyesight and good for healthy weight control

Oolong Tea is fermented for a shorter time than black tea, which gives it a richer taste. It contains about 30 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Oolong tea is slightly oxidized, as the leaf is bruised a little before it is dried.
Health benefits:  weight management, good for bones and skin, anti cáncer properties, diabetes control, removes free radicals from body

White Tea leaves are picked when they’re very young, so it  has a much milder flavor than any other variety, and less caffeine, about 15 milligrams per cup. White tea is the least processed as it is simply laid out in the sun to dry and is only oxidized 5-10%.
Health benefits:  supports bone health, anti aging, anti bacterial and viral, good for weight management, improves cardiovascular health, encourages healthy immune system

Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, the leaves are pressed into cakes and left to ferment for at least 30 days and even for  years.
Health Benefits – reduces colesterol levels, helps weight management , stress relief, helps with sleep, digestive aid, lowers blood sugar

Kukicha  also known as twig or peasant tea comes from the twigs, stems and stalks of the tea bush. It contains almost zero caffeine and can be given to children. The twigs can be reused 3-4 times and cooked for longer than regular green tea. :  Kukicha is alkaline, rich in minerals especially vitamin C and calcium, and is high in antioxidants.
Health Benefits : cancer prevention, controls blood sugar, burns fat, lowers cholesterol, lowers acidity, combats fatigue, soothing for digestion, good for skin and bones

Herbal Teas are not really teas at all. They are usually a combination of dried fruits, flowers, and herbs. Herbal teas contain no caffeine

Here are some examples and their benefits

Mu tea: meaning nothing or unique is composed of a combination of plants and wild herbs including cinnamon, licorice, ginseng root, mandarin peel, and peony root, It has the ability to warm the body, and strengthen and nourish the adrenals, good for reproductive, digestive, and respiratory systems. Also helpful for bones and joints, sexual vitality, menstrual cramps and irregularity.

Chamomile tea:  good for skin, promotes sleep, antibacterial, soothes stomach upsets, calms muscle spasms, cáncer prevention, diabetes support, and reduces fever.  Often used as a salve for cuts and burns

Echinacea tea: Helps the immune especially for colds and flu

Hibiscus tea: Lowers colesterol and blood pressure

Rooibos tea : Anti inflammatory, lowers blood pressure, aids respiratory system, helps bones and teeth, promotes healthy hair, boosts digestión,  improves blood circulation.

Peppermint tea – stress relief, aids digestión and gas problems, sinus relief, weight loss support, and skin problems

Ginger tea – relieves nausea, improves digestión, relieves menstrual discomfort, fights respiratory problems, and improves circulation.

Uva Ursi tea was first documented in a Welsh herbal book way back in the 13th century. It has been used as a urinary tract antiseptic and diuretic for centuries.

Corn Silk tea: was believed to used as a herbal remedy since 5000BC and first cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayans. Rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, C, and potassium and high in antioxidants, it has been used as a diuretic and for UTI.  Anti inflammatory properties, help to reduce pain related to UTI. A gentle way to lower blood pressure and prevent it from dropping too low. Helpful for diabetes. The antibacterial and antiseptic qualities make it good to use externally for skin problems, rashes, boils, bug bites, minor cuts, and itching.


  1. Thanks for the great info Melanie. Is there a limit to how much kukicha tea to drink per day. It seems to help my sugar cravings so I am drinking a lot of it. Also, does it stain teeth?

    1. I would vary the teas if you can. I don't think it stains teeth. xx

  2. Thanks Melanie. It is a good and useful distinctions about teas. It is an art to make good tea and one key factor is the brewing time. I'm glad that you included this. My favorites are green tea during the day and rooibos in the evening. Best wishes.

    1. Great to hear from you Michael and hope all is well?