Do you often buy the cheapest tea on the market? And do you only drink bagged tea? After reading this article, you might want to give up tea bags altogether and switch to loose tea. You also might want to shell out a few more bucks on your tea because quality does matter. What they found in the tea bags from these companies will shock you, and if it’s happening in the U.K., it’s probably happening in the U.S. too!
Biodynamic farming is a natural farming method that has been practiced for decades and is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. In fact, our Assam tea comes directly from a biodynamic tea farm. What does it have to do with tea? A tea farmer who practices biodynamic farming would also harvest other crops in addition to tea. Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Want to learn more about biodynamic farming?
Last week, I was on the verge of another cold thanks to my twin toddlers. You know that feeling you get when your throat gets real scratchy, you start coughing and your whole body generally feels yucky?
Instead of spending $40 at the local Walgreens on a bunch of cold medicine, cough drops, etc. that never seem to work anyway, I decided to try something different. Someone had told me about Echinacea and other herbs that are great for stopping colds before they get out of control. I picked up the Echinacea at a local natural foods store and happened to have some Peppermint tea in my cupboard. Why not try both? By the way, make sure you get the Echinacea in liquid form. It doesn’t taste great, but it works much better than pills. Just mix it with juice to kill the taste.
Anyway, I had 2 cups of Peppermint tea and 3 doses of Echinacea every day for about 3-4 days. On day 4, I felt so much better and had virtually no symptoms. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but I was blown away by the results. This natural stuff really works!
The key is to start early at the first sign of symptoms. I’m sure there are other herbs and natural remedies out there that work just as well. My advice is to pick what you like and see what works. For me, I love Peppermint, so that was a no brainer.
Just when you think you have been made aware of all the benefits to drinking tea, another one comes along. Researchers at Texas Tech University have discovered a correlation between drinking tea on a daily basis and prevention of osteoperosis among a group of women with low bone mass. Specifically, those in the study of who drank the equivalent of 4 cups of green tea per day, showed a significant improvement in bone formation.
As I have always said in previous blog posts, black tea does not get enough credit these days with all the press surrounding green tea. Drinking black tea has numerous health benefits, and a recent study demonstrates just how healthy black tea can be…click here for full article.
Rooibos tea is widely used in South Africa for treating colic and a variety of other ailments in infants and children. One of the key factors in relieving symptoms of colic is related to sweetness, which is evident in the use of gripewater for infants. In gripewater, sugar is the source of sweetness, whereas with Rooibos tea, the sweetness is natural. Click here for full article.
Recent findings published in the UK Nutrition Bulletin demonstrated a correlation between drinking black tea on a daily basis and reduced risk for heart attacks and diabetes. In fact, the study suggest that drinking 3 cups of black tea a day can reduce the risk for a heart attack by 60% and dramatically reduce the threat of diabetes. Antioxidant flavonoids and theanine, are the keys to preventing artery-blocking blood clots as well as controlling blood pressure. Full article here
It seems as if drinking tea has now become quite socially acceptable, even for men. Everyone is drinking some type of tea these days, especially green tea. They have been told that tea will cure all their ills. Manufacturers have also jumped on the bandwagon with all kinds of crazy products, including slimming tea and green tea pills. If you think either slimming tea or pills with green tea extract is your ticket to losing weight and a healthy lifestyle, think again.
Loose tea is definitely a part of a healthly lifestyle, but tea in itself will not shed the pounds. Have you ever noticed that people who drink tea regularly seem to also pay attention to the other aspects of their health, such as what they eat or how much activity they get. There is no magic pill, and drinking loose tea every day will not single-handedly solve all your weight or health problems. That said, when combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, drinking tea can be very beneficial to your health. In fact, studies have shown a number of positive benefits from drinking tea, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing risk for some cancers and boosting one’s immune system.
The Healing Power of Black Tea: Reversing Blood Vessel Disease
Green, black, and even white tea are all popular as beverages that offer health benefits such as the potential to prevent cancer and to help people lose weight. Black tea, however, is perhaps the first tea found to completely reverse a specific disease. Endothelial dysfunction is, essentially, an imbalance between the substances produced by the endothelium, or blood vessel lining. This imbalance can impair immune function, coagulation or clotting, and the number of electrolytes present in the blood. The condition has been associated with obesity, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and various types of cardiac disease. In a study conducted by Stephen Duffy and his team from the Boston University School of Medicine, black tea was found to be a successful treatment for these health complications.
Conducting the Study
Duffy and his team randomly selected 66 patients with confirmed coronary artery disease (CAD), then administered both a short- and a long-term test to the subjects. The tests were given in a series of different treatments, rather than having a control group, so all subjects drank both tea and water. For the short-term test, subjects drank 450 mL of either tea or water, then underwent testing after two hours to determine the effects. The long-term test was similar, with the subjects drinking 900 mL of tea or water daily for four weeks. Ultrasounds were used to examine the subjects’ arteries both before and after the experimental treatment, so water was proven to have no effect on artery disease while both short- and long-term consumption of black tea improved artery function significantly.
How Black Tea Helped Reverse CAD
The researchers behind this study didn’t isolate any “precise mechanism” that enabled black tea to affect patients with CAD, but they gathered evidence that the benefits were related to the antioxidant flavonoids found in the tea. Flavonoids, also referred to as Vitamin P, are widely distributed in plants, and their antioxidant activity has been observed in controlled environments. The researchers believe that the number of flavonoids in diseased tissue was built up, positively affecting reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions taking place in the tissue. When Duffy and his team administered their short-term black tea test to healthy volunteers, they learned that tea consumption can increase the antioxidant activity of the blood’s plasma. The implications of their findings are significant, suggesting that the prevention or reversal of endothelial dysfunction by black tea consumption could stop or reverse the development of more severe cardiovascular disease.
Duffy, Stephen J. et al. “Short and Long-Term Black Tea Consumption Reverses Endothelial Dysfunction in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease.” American Heart Association, Inc. 2001.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident education blogger and performs research surrounding College Scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Photo: Public Domain
After having watched the movie, Food Inc., I realized that there are many similarities between food and tea. If you know anything about the book or movie, you understand that most of the food we consume in the U.S. is processed in a factory environment from a small handful of large food companies. Even when you see the words “Farm Fresh” on the labels of your favorite beef or poultry, you can rest assured that the contents in the package most likely did not come directly from a farm. Everything today is highly processed and rarely fresh, primarily because it is cheaper to do so.
The same thing applies to your favorite loose tea. 99% of the tea in the supermarket or tea shops are highly processed, consist of factory blends produced by consolidators and are certainly not direct from tea gardens/farms. Why do they do this? It is cheaper, plain and simple. Just like there are very few retail choices for consumers to shop for organic meats, there are very few places for a tea drinker to purchase organic and garden-fresh loose tea.
The choice is yours. Pay a little more and eat better tasting and healthier food or eat cheap and risk your health. Also, if you are looking to make a change to a more organic lifestyle, do your research and visit your local natural foods stores.