For a long time now, scientists have been trying to work out the health benefits of tea. Research in going on and while some studies have shown that
consumption of tea is beneficial, many others have not really been impressive. Most studies have been conducted on green tea, though other types of Cammellia Sinensis derived tea like black, white and oolong tea have also been researched.
Benefits of tea:
- Antibiotic properties – Green tea has been shown to possess certain antibiotic properties which disrupt DNA replication process of bacteria.
- Prevent Cancer – Green tea has been mentioned in New Scientist magazine to possess properties that help protect breast, lung and prostate cancer due to its ECGC content. Green tea’s anticarcinogenic effect on gastric cancer was argued by a study study in Japan. ECGC is also been shown to prevent UVA and UVB’s harmful effects on skin.
- Boosting immunity – Theanine component of tea has been shown to enhance immunity, on the basis of a recent study conducted by Brigham and Women’s hospital. Effects were compared between coffee and tea drinkers and tea was found to enhance the body’s immunity by 5 times.
- Therapy for HIV – A in vitro(test tube) study of green tea has shown that the ECGC component in it is helpful as a therapy for HIV patients. It cannot be used by itself but as a complement to other conventional medicines. However, the research is inadequate on the subject and relying on it in this area would be akin to foolishness.
- Bad breath – Tea phenolics help people suffering from bad breath by inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
- Bacterial and fungal infections – Bacterial infections such as Pneumonia and dental caries and fungal infections like Penicillium Chrysogenum were found to be treatable by white tea extracts. This study was conducted by Pace University on May 2008.
- Stroke – University of California presented a research in 2009 which stated that green tea and black tea reduced the chances of suffering a stroke.
- Cardiovascular diseases – Black tea is shown to be effective against carsiovascular diseases and is also helpful in improving blood vessel reactivity & arterial stiffness. It is also effective in reducing blood pressure.
- Antidepressant – Green tea is touted to have antidepressant properties, as per a recent study in Japan.
- Arthritis – Tea was found to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis in rats. A moderate consumption is recommended but too high a consumption can actually increase the chances of arthritis.
- Weight Loss – Green tea and ECGC has been proven to reduce cholesterol and help in fighting obesity. Caffeinated tea helped people lose weight, as per a Dutch study.
Even though tea drinking has many benefits, excess of anything is bad. Tannin and caffeine in tea is not good for the body if consumed excessively. Also, some studies show liver damage on excessive consumption. Adding milk to tea is known to block these disadvantages.