TEA FOR TWO
“A bath refreshes the body; tea refreshes the mind.” – Old Japanese Proverb
For thousands of years, tea has been revered for its positive and calming effects on the body and mind and considered to be one of the keys to good health, happiness and wisdom.
In ancient times, taking tea was a ceremonial activity enjoyed in the East for refreshment and for medicinal reasons. The many health benefits of a hot brew of freshly steeped tea leaves have long been enjoyed by many different cultures around the world.
The British are renowned for their love of sitting down with a cup of tea and it is popular in many other parts of the Western world, including Australia. Drinking tea fits in with a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Researchers in the West are discovering the many health benefits of different types of teas with studies finding that some teas may be associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. This is consistent with the lower risk of diabetes which contributes to heart disease and stroke. Some blends may encourage weight loss, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and bring about mental alertness and others can help to calm the mind and body and even assist with sleep. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.
INGREDIENTS IN TEA & HOW IT MAY HELP YOU
The ingredients in tea can provide physical benefits by playing an important role in helping to prevent ill health. Green and White tea leaves have high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rooibos tea is caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants. It contains quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to some in alleviating the symptoms of allergies. Several minerals are also found in Rooibos tea which help support bone strength.
Some blends of tea have digestive benefits. Containing a range of healthy herbs, they may be of assistance by flushing toxins from the body and gently calming the stomach.
Teas such as Chamomile are well known for their calming effects on our mind and body and is a popular tea to enjoy at bedtime to assist with falling asleep.
Perhaps now more than ever, boosting our immune system is a really good idea. Tulsi tea has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and modern scientific research shows that Tulsi reduces stress, enhances stamina, relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, eliminates toxins, protects against radiation, prevents gastric ulcers, lowers fevers, improves digestion and provides a rich supply of antioxidants and other nutrients.
A blend of Echinacea and Elderberry tea may help boost the immune system due to the high content of antioxidants, vitamins, polysaccharides and glycoproteins.
A popular tea found on the menus in trendy cafes is Matcha tea – a powdered green tea that has been drunk by Buddhist Monks since the 9th century. Green matcha is purported to possess “superpowers” due to the high content of all the green teas which contain antioxidants, fibre, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals.
So, when next you sit down with a cup of tea know that as well as enjoying its flavour and aroma, your body, mind and spirit will be benefitting from this humble cuppa.
- Written by Bethrene Laurenson