The Benefits of Drinking Tea

A cup a day could keep the doctor away

maven46-benefits-of-tea

Words by Emma Connell
November 2nd, 2016

As the Autumn months near a close, we think it’s only appropriate to give you an insight into the benefits of one of the most favourable hot beverages; tea, as let’s face it, there will be high consumption over the incoming season. We caught up with one of Ireland’s leading tea experts Clement & Pekoe, a Dublin-based café which houses 52 different teas, to find out some inside information on the much-loved brew.

Firstly, tea, the name given to many hot brews, actually only consists of black, white, green and oolong tea, with herbal being a close yet diluted derivative. Made from a plant called Camellia Sinensis, the shrub native to China and India contains unique antioxidants named flavonoids, which have been linked to helping fight free radicals that contribute to cancer growth, as well as helping to lower cholesterol levels and even increase mental alertness. Herbal teas, on the other hand, have lower concentrations of antioxidants due to processing, but that isn’t to say they haven’t been linked to easing an array of ailments.

maven46-benefits-of-tea-__

Of course, one of the biggest concerns for many people is whether sourcing organic tea actually makes a difference. Will they provide a bigger source of health benefits? But by choosing to purchase organically grown produce you are not only preserving the earth’s resources but it also ensures that you are getting 100% natural ingredients into your body which can only be a positive thing.

Dairine from Clement & Pekoe stated about their stocked teas, “I would think most of our teas are organic, however, many farms haven’t gone to the effort or expense of getting the Organic Certification. We can only label something as ‘organic’ when it is certified. We choose based on the high grade and quality of the tea rather than being guided by organic or Fair Trade (useful for the commercial market rather than speciality). The difference between other offerings and ours is the prized leaf versus tea bag fannings.”

With all of that in mind, we have gathered some findings on the top teas that you should drink to help optimise your health. Keep reading below to find out more on the most beneficial brews.

maven46-benefits-of-tea-5

Green, Black & White Tea


Containing the strongest levels of caffeine in the tea family, if you are looking for an early morning pick-me-up then one of these should do the trick, but be aware that the caffeine percentage isn’t half as potent as that of coffee. The antioxidants present in these teas, in particular green, have been linked to stunting the growth of cancers such as bladder, breast, lung and stomach, and reducing risks of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

maven46-benefits-of-tea-8

Ginger


The soothing properties of ginger have been known to support healing for centuries, with ancient Indian proverbs swearing by it. The spicy aromatic root which contains high levels of Vitamin C and amino acids has been best known to alleviate queasy or upset stomachs, making it favourable among pregnant women or those suffering from motion sickness. Other healing effects include aiding food digestion, circulation improvement, relieving menstrual discomfort and helping with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

maven46-benefits-of-tea

Fennel


An important herb, which has been used safely for centuries, fennel is better known for its flavoursome contribution in cooking. But aside from this, the aniseed-flavoured spice has been linked to aiding digestion and soothing gastrointestinal problems such as IBS, bloating and flatulence. The volatile oil compounds found in fennel seeds are believed to contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help relax the muscles of your gastrointestinal tract, thus reducing cramps and bloating.

maven46-benefits-of-tea-4

Chamomile


Brew a cup of chamomile to experience the calming and soothing effects of this daisy-like herb. Notably known as the ‘night-time’ tea, its mild sedative properties could make for a sounder night sleep. Usually sleepless nights go hand in hand with feeling worried or anxious, so steeping this calming tea could help alleviate your troubles. Not only this but brewing a cup of chamomile has been known to help boost your immune system, keeping all those colds at bay.

maven46-benefits-of-tea-0

Turmeric


Research has shown that turmeric has more than 600 health benefits. The vibrant yellow powder that is ground down from the root contains curcumin, which acts as a form of anti-inflammatory in the body and could help with the treatment of Osteoarthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s as well as reducing the risk of blood clotting. Steeping a bag of turmeric tea is a great healthy way to introduce these benefits into your system on a daily basis.

Rosehip


The red, cherry sized fruit of the rose plant is commonly known for making jams, jellies and wine. However, rosehip is packed full of Vitamin C and bioflavonoid antioxidants which make for a great immune-system booster. This tea may also offer benefits for treatment of inflammatory diseases such as Osteoarthritis, providing a more gentle effect on the digestive tract and reducing the risk of ulcers.

It is important to take note that limited research has been done on the effects that herbal teas have on the body, and over consumption could lead to adverse side affects. Always consult your doctor before drinking herbal teas if you are pregnant or are on any medication.