You may have already heard that green tea is remarkably healthy, but did you know that sipping jasmine tea may offer even more benefits?
Green tea is steeped from the withered, unfermented leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, and jasmine tea is simply a combination of green tea leaves and sweet-scented jasmine blossoms. This tea is soothing, aromatic, and smooth, and has been wildly popular in Asia since the days of ancient China.
Besides its amazing taste and smell, the following are ten benefits of jasmine tea, which may persuade you to consider making it a staple daily beverage.
The authors of a 1997 study published in the journal Life Sciences wrote:
“Jasmine green tea is an excellent source of natural polyphenol antioxidants including mainly (-) epicatechin (EC), (-) epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-) epigallocatechin (EGC) and (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).”
These antioxidants make jasmine tea a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory benefits. Chronic inflammation is dangerous, and can lead to many illnesses if left unchecked. Therefore, this makes foods and beverages rich in antioxidants an essential part of a preventative regimen.
The above-mentioned study, which was performed on rats, also found that the antioxidants in jasmine tea may help protect the red blood cell membrane from free radical oxidation. Keeping free radicals at bay is highly important to good health, and to helping to slow the aging process.
It may improve your mood
One long-known benefit of jasmine tea is its ability to enliven the senses, and its potential to relieve stress. The effect of the fragrance alone is sedative both psychologically and physically.
On this effect, the authors of a 2005 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology wrote:
“The low intensity of jasmine tea odor has sedative effects on both autonomic nerve activity and mood states.” The study authors also connected extracts from jasmine tea to “calm and vigorous mood states.”
It may improve your sex life
Speaking of enlivening the senses, did you know that jasmine tea might just spice up your sex life, as well? Not only does lowered stress and anxiety naturally pave the way for better sex, jasmine has also been hailed since ancient times as an aphrodisiac.
Just inhaling the aroma of jasmine tea may have this effect. In the book Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, the scent of jasmine flowers is connected to properties of sexual stimulation. Moreover, in his article “Jasmine,” published in 2005 in Yogi Times, David Crow writes:
“Jasmine, with her mysterious sultry aroma befuddling the rational mind with aphrodisiac impulses, is the foremost of all perfumes. ‘No jasmine, no perfume’ is an old saying, indicating the great importance of the flower to the perfumers and their industry.”
While this benefit is not scientifically documented, it’s sure worth a try!
It may help fight dangerous belly fat
Belly fat may just be the most dangerous type of fat you can carry on your body. Also known as visceral fat and abdominal fat, this type of fat coats your organs, emits toxic hormones, and is linked to interfering with the body’s detoxification processes, as well as to a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
On top of gearing your lifestyle towards health by eating whole, nutritious foods and getting plenty of exercise, adding green tea — which is the base of jasmine tea — to your routine may help a lot. This tea is anti-inflammatory (and inflammation can interfere with metabolism), and some research has found that drinking it may boost the fat-burning effects of exercise.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Nutrition compared belly fat in individuals who exercised without drinking green tea to individuals who exercised and also drank green tea. On their results, the study authors wrote:
“Percentage changes in fat mass did not differ between the catechin… and control groups… However, percentage changes in total abdominal fat area… subcutaneous abdominal fat area.. and fasting serum triglycerides (TG)… were greater in the catechin group. These findings suggest that green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced changes in abdominal fat and serum TG.”
On top of that, jasmine tea may help to relieve stress — as mentioned above. When we are stressed, our bodies tend to accumulate belly fat, and lowering stress may help to keep these unwanted and potentially deadly pounds from piling on.
It may help reduce unhealthy food cravings
A 2012 study published in the journal Appetite tested the ability of jasmine to reduce women’s cravings for chocolate. The study authors wrote:
“Chocolate cravings were induced by a series of coloured photographs and 67 undergraduate women were asked to smell one of three odours (green apple, jasmine, or water). The non-food odorant (jasmine) significantly reduced chocolate cravings relative to both the food and control odorants. Thus simple non-food odorants offer potential scope as a technique for curbing unwanted food cravings.”
Now, while organic, raw, dark chocolate can be remarkably healthy, the processed stuff you find at most stores is not. Furthermore, the very scent of jasmine may potentially reduce cravings for other unhealthy snacks, as well.
It may improve gut health
Jasmine tea may help to boost the level of healthy bacteria in your gut — and may also help to fight the harmful bacteria. Having a healthy balance of gut bacteria is crucially important to overall health — as the gut is known as the body’s “second immune system.”
A healthy gut can keep inflammation down, keep your digestion running smoothly, and reduce symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
It may offer protection against certain cancers
A 1992 study published in the journal Preventative Medicine studied the effects of certain Chinese teas — green, jasmine, black, and oolong — on esophageal tumors in rats. For 12 weeks, a group of rats was treated with these teas, and a control group was not. The tumors were induced in both groups.
On the results of the study, the authors wrote:
“The incidences of esophageal tumors in the five tea-treated groups were 42–67%, while in the positive control group, without tea, the incidence was 90%. Histopathological examination showed the same protective effects of tea treatment. In a separate study, a significant reduction of O6-methylguanine (MeG) and the ratio of O6-MeG to N7-MeG was observed in rats treated with oolong tea and jasmine tea.”
It may help prevent heart disease
Some research has found that jasmine tea may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body, and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. A 1997 study published in Pharmacological Research tested the effects of various teas on their ability to lower cholesterol levels in rats. The authors wrote:
“Analysis of catechin levels in tea extracts showed that the individual catechin component in Chinese Green tea and Jasmine tea were significantly higher than the others. (−)-Epicatechin gallate and (−)-epigallocatechin gallate in the tea extracts may account for their hypocholesterolemic effect.”
Having high levels of LDL cholesterol has been associated by a body of research to a higher risk of both stroke and heart disease. Therefore, as jasmine tea may lower these levels, it may serve to protect your heart and arteries.
It may help boost circulation
Not only can jasmine tea potentially lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, it may help to improve overall circulation throughout your body. This is highly important not only to your cardiovascular system, but also to the health of all of the body’s systems.
If your circulatory system is running optimally, it may help to lower your risk of blood clots, thrombosis, stroke, and many other ailments.
It may speed recovery time from seasonal illness
Jasmine tea is chock-full of antioxidants, and also possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties. This may help to boost your immune system in fighting off colds and flus, and may also help you to recover more quickly if you do catch a bug.
Choosing a high-quality tea
Not all teas on the market are created equal — not by a long shot! To find a quality jasmine tea, always choose organic, and purchase it from a manufacturer that you trust. Also, if you can, smell your tea before you buy it. The scent should be pleasing, but not overly strong and perfumey — this could signify additives.
Also, look for tea made with young green tea buds — as these retain a higher level of nutritious goodness.
Note: Jasmine tea, while considered safe, may interact with certain medications. If you are taking any, or if you have a health condition, it’s best to talk to a health professional you trust before drinking this tea.
Tanya is a writer at The Alternative Daily with a passion for meditation, music, poetry, and overall creative and active living. She has a special interest in exploring traditional Eastern remedies and superfoods from around the globe, and enjoys spending time immersed in nature.