Tea was discovered in ancient China over 2000 years ago and was originally called “Kia.” This honored warm brew has played a unique role in cultures all over the world, serving as the focal point in special ceremonies and social customs. Tea has been “smack dab” in the middle of cultural, technological and historical uprisings and the center of many a legend. In short, the tea has been virtually intertwined with the story of mankind.
What is “Real Tea?”
Real tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant which is a native shrub in China and India. Real tea contains powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. While the name “tea” is used for a number of different drinks, real teas include green tea, white tea, oolong tea, black tea and pu-erh tea. All of these teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant and have different tastes and medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Tea
Green tea is the least processed of all teas and is made by steaming the leaves. The potent antioxidants in green tea have been proven to help reduce clogging in arteries, decrease the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, decrease the risk of stroke, lower cholesterol levels and retard the growth of certain cancers including breast, lung, pancreatic, bladder and colorectal. The other real teas, white, oolong, black and pu-erh, are all made from aged or fermented leaves but do contain a number of medicinal properties. Research has found that these teas may reduce cholesterol levels, fight off cancer, protect the lungs and reduce the stroke risk, among other things.
Sweet tea or iced tea is a popular drink in the United States, particularly in the South. Sweet tea starts with a “real” tea and ends up as a glass of sugar with a little tea. Processed sweet tea, whether it is sweetened with sugar or an artificial sweetener, is not really tea at all and should not be drank with the intention of bettering ones health. Don’t let labels confuse you. Green tea in a bottle sweetened will not provide nearly the same benefits as a cup or fresh organic “real” tea.
When selecting tea, consider organic real tea as your first choice.
What’s your favorite tea to make at home?
– The Alternative Daily