Tea for Health2018-07-19T18:29:20+00:00


There are many health benefits attributed to drinking Chinese tea. For Westerners, much of this interest is focused on ancient claims related to weight loss and more modern claims of cancer-prevention due to tea’s anti-oxidant properties. However there are many ways in which tea can improve health and wellbeing when expertly selected and prepared. Here we have selected some examples to excite your curiosity.


Worldwide, tea is consumed more than any other liquid except water. People of all ages have historically enjoyed the infusion from the Camellia Sinensis tree as a beverage as well as for its medicinal properties. Research has shown that tea does indeed have many health affecting qualities; and numerous publications extolling the benefits of tea have contributed to the tremendous growth in its consumption. Well known as a source for various nutrients and antioxidants, tea has gained even more popularity in modern times with claims of it’s usefulness in fighting heart disease, cancer, obesity, tooth decay, nausea, and all manner of digestive disorders, stimulating the circulation of blood and maintaining the balance of incretion.

Green tea and its health benefits have been enjoyed by Asians for many centuries. From early times, green tea has been highly valued for its medicinal uses. Studies into the effects of green tea have progressed far in recent years, and scientific research is now confirming 4,000 years of folklore and medical practice in Asia, that green tea is a key element in achieving and maintaining good health. What Asians have know for centuries about drinking green tea can now benefit the entire world.

The health benefits of green tea are varied and wide-ranging. Because its chemical makeup gives positive affects to so many different bodily systems, it makes sense to use green tea to achieve those health benefits: antioxidant, cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, blood pressure reduction, antibacterial and antiviral activity, reduction of blood sugar.

  • Green tea, with its all-important chemical compounds, has also shown many other benefits and potential uses.
  • Preventing and hastening recovery from colds and flu.
  • Preventing bad breath (halitosis).
  • Aiding with the prevention and relief of type-two diabetes.
  • Blocking key receptors in producing allergic reactions.
  • Aiding Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
  • Slowing the HIV infection process.
  • Maintains healthy fluid balance
  • Relieves fatigue and stress.
  • Boosting the immune function of skin cells.
  • Relieving and preventing arthritis.
  • Reducing the risk of stroke.<
  • Preventing osteoporosis.
  • Reducing DNA damage in smokers.
  • Delaying the signs of ageing.
  • Improving bone structure.
  • Preventing dangerous blood-clotting.
  • Calorie burning – green tea is increasingly being used as part of a healthy diet, as it can play a role in controlling body weight and composition via the activation of thermo genesis, fat oxidation, or both. It works by increasing energy expenditure, and has thermogenic properties which promote fat burning.

(Terrace Tea House, August 8, 2011)


A herbal tea used widely in China to treat jaundice could soon be used by doctors in the West.

Scientists in the United States have found that Yin Zhi Huang (YZH) can stop the build-up of a type of bile that causes the condition.

Writing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, they said the tea could form the basis of new treatments.

Jaundice is common in newborn babies. If untreated it can lead to serious complications such as brain damage.

Waste product

“This is a wonderful example of knowledge gained by applying the Western scientific method to an Eastern herbal remedy”

 Mitchell Lazar,

University of Pennsylvania

Dr David Moore and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, found that the tea activates a key receptor in the liver.

This enables the liver to clear bilirubin – a waste product that is created from the break down of haemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.

Bilirubin is normally cleared by the liver. However, disease or other problems can stop this from happening.

A build-up of bilirubin causes the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes associated with jaundice.

Premature babies are often unable to clear bilirubin because their livers are too small.

They are treated by exposing their skin to light, a process called phototherapy.

The scientists administered YZH to mice with jaundice.

They found mice which received the tea cleared bilirubin much more quickly than other mice.

The scientists said the findings could lead to a new drug to treat jaundice in humans.

Other experts said the study indicated that Western medicine may have a lot to learn from Chinese medicine, which dates back thousands of years.

In an accompanying editorial in the journal, Mitchell Lazar from the University of Pennsylvania hailed the findings.

“This is a wonderful example of knowledge gained by applying the Western scientific method to an Eastern herbal remedy,” he said.

He added further research was needed to see if scientists could identify a compound in the tea that could form the basis of a new drug.

“It will be very exciting if a pure compound emerges from the tea leaves as a pharmacological therapy for neonatal jaundice that is complementary to the current Western practice of phototherapy.”

3 January, 2004, 00:33 GMT (BBC).

Visit BBC’s  website for more information.


Green tea and coffee may help lower the risk of stroke, especially when both are taken as a regular part of the diet, according to a research published on Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

“This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks,” said Yoshihiro Kokubo, lead author of the study at Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center. “You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet.”

Researchers asked 83,269 Japanese adults about their green tea and coffee drinking habits, following them for an average span of 13 years. They found that the more green tea or coffee people drink, the lower their stroke risks.

People who drank at least one cup of coffee daily had about a 20-percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who rarely drank it. People who drank two to three cups of green tea daily had a 14- percent lower risk of stroke and those who had at least four cups had a 20-percent lower risk, compared to those who rarely drank it.

And people who drank at least one cup of coffee or two cups of green tea daily had a 32-percent lower risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, compared to those who rarely drank either beverage.

Intracerebral hemorrhage happens when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds inside the brain. About 13 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic.

Participants in the study were 45 to 74 years old, almost evenly divided in gender, and were free from cancer and cardiovascular disease. During the 13 years of follow-up, researchers reviewed the participants’ hospital medical records and death certificates, collecting data about heart disease, strokes and causes of death. They adjusted their findings to account for age, sex and lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, weight, diet and exercise.

Tea and coffee are the most popular drinks in the world after water, which suggests that these results may also apply in America and other countries, the researchers said.

It’s unclear how green tea affects stroke risks. A compound group known as catechins may provide some protection, according to the researchers.

Catechins have an antioxidant anti-inflammatory effect, increasing plasma antioxidant capacity and anti-thrombogenic effects.


Scientists have proven that drinking tea can help people lose weight.

During a five-year study, researchers discovered five new genes related to obesity, which point to the cause of the condition. However they also found that the polyphenol compound in tea – especially Oolong tea – can help obese people battle the bulge.

The focus of the study was to help address growing obesity among Chinese children, especially in cities.

The groundbreaking research reveals that overeating is not the only cause.

“Diet and lifestyle are only the external reasons,” said Guo Xirong, director of the Nanjing Institute for Pediatrics affiliated to Nanjing Medical College. “The genetic conditions of the individuals could predispose, or even cause, children and adolescents to become overweight.”

Guo won the Soong Ching Ling Foundation Pediatrics Award last week for his pioneering research in identifying the new genes related to obesity and suggesting new intervention strategies.

Despite their findings, Guo admits there is no magic bullet for treating childhood obesity. But he said a healthier diet and lifestyle will help.

According to Guo, the seeds of obesity can be planted in children much earlier than generally believed.

When children are still in the fetus, they tend to become obese later in life if pregnant mothers eat too much and have a dramatic increase in weight.

Compared to bottle-fed infants, babies who are breastfed are less likely to become obese later in their life because the secretion of breast milk is limited. Bottle-fed babies tend to develop a larger appetite because they are fed each time they cry.

Chinese have long believed in the link between tea drinking and weight loss but many health authorities in the West have been skeptical about it.

Guo particularly recommends Oolong tea, one of the lesser-known teas in the West. Of the total amount of tea produced and consumed in the world, 78 percent is black, 20 percent is green, and less then 2 percent is Oolong tea.

Black tea is consumed primarily in Western countries, the Middle East and South Asia whereas green tea is drunk primarily in China, Japan and a few countries in North Africa.

The production and consumption of Oolong tea are primarily confined to southeastern China.

(China Daily June 8, 2007)


A slimmer figure is every girl’s dream, especially in summer when they want to wear skimpy clothes. But losing weight is a tough task, and most people will quit the process because they can’t stick to a diet or the physical exercise involved becomes too much for them.

TCM suggests that some herbal teas may help ease the process due to their health-giving medical functions such as benefit spleen and promote urination.

Though eating too much is a direct cause of overweight for most people, a poor digestive and metabolism system also plays an important role.

TCM holds that the spleen is responsible for sending nutrients from the stomach to all the organs, and also for expelling excess fluid. If the spleen doesn’t function well, excess fluid will collect and turn into fat. Fat collects not only on muscles, destroying a nice figure, but also on organs and in the blood, which can cause health problems.

Pathogenic dampness and stagnant water is usually what bothers the spleen according to TCM. Therefore, foods that help the spleen while promoting urination will help prevent fat gathering and promote dispelling it through metabolism. Tea is one of the best choices. Most teas can help promote urination while some teas can even help prevent sugar and fat absorption, such as famous Pu’er and Oolong teas.

Here are some popular teas that could help you shed those extra pounds.

Lotus leaf

Lotus leaf tea can serve as a “cold” tea that helps dispel pathogenic heat, promote urination, benefit the spleen and stomach, and stop bleeding. It has long been recommended as a slimming drug in China.

Lotus flowers, leaves and seeds can all help promote urination and move the bowels, thus helping lose weight and dispelling excess fat as recorded in many herbal classics including “Bencao Gangmu” (“Compendium of Materia Medica”) by herbalist Li Shizhen in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

It is especially recommended for those who gain weight from eating too much fatty and greasy foods.

The first-poured strong tea usually has the best function, with its effects decreasing sharply if it is poured a second time. You don’t have to cook the tea; just pour boiling water in a mug with a tea bag and cover for about five to six minutes. It is suggested you drink three to four cups of lotus leaf tea six times a day, each time using one fresh lotus leaf tea bag. It is better to drink on an empty stomach. And you don’t have to go on a diet, as most people will naturally find themselves less attracted by greasy foods after drinking it for a while. Drinking four cups of lotus leaf tea a day can also help relieve constipation, which will help lose weight more efficiently.

Chi geng teng (gymnema sylvestre)

Gymnema sylvestre is a “neutral” herb that is widely used in TCM to help dispel pathogenic heat and wind, relieve pain and detoxify. But in Indian medicine it is more widely used as a “sugar killer” that can help decrease desire for sugar as well as the absorption of it.

It can help people with an irresistible desire for desserts to lose weight.

The special elements in gymnema sylvestre can block the channel between taste buds and sweetness while leaving the buds for bitterness and sourness alone. People who drink gymnema sylvestre will find any dessert tasteless for at least an hour, which helps decrease their desire for it. Moreover, modern research also shows that the tea can also help restrict intestines absorbing glucose by about 35 percent. Excess glucose usually isn’t dispelled, but turns into fat. Drinking gymnema sylvestra tea can help prevent this happening by both decreasing eating and glucose absorption. It is better to drink before eating sweet things. Chewing leaves will function even better.

Jue ming zi (Semen Cassiae)

Semen Cassiae is a “cold” herb that helps dispel pathogenic heat and dampness, improve eyesight, move the bowels and promote urination. Drinking it often can help normalize metabolism and thus aid weight loss.

It is especially recommended for people with constipation problems in damp and hot areas.

Drinking Semen Cassiae tea can often have results similar to a laxative, which can help decrease nutrition absorption. But Semen Cassiae usually functions more mildly. In addition, pathogenic heat and dampness in southern regions of China usually disrupt the metabolism of the body. That sometimes results in fatness, as the body cannot dispel excess nutrition and stores it as fat. Therefore, dispelling heat and dampness is equally as important as decreasing nutrition absorption in this case.

Pour boiling water in a mug or tea pot with about 30 grams of Semen Cassiae and drink it often.

It can be repeatedly poured throughout the day.


Oolong tea is a “warm” half-fermented tea with rich microelements such as iron and calcium, as well as effective elements that help promote dispelling fat.

Drinking oolong tea often can help prevent the body absorbing much sugar and fat from foods and promote fat burning.

It is also a good choice for those who gained weight from eating too much fatty foods.

Drinking a cup of oolong tea before and after a meal can help promote resolving and dispelling fat before it is absorbed by the body.

It is suggested that you drink oolong when eating very greasy foods, as it can both help make you feel full quickly and help dissolve the fat.

Others that can help

Alisma orientale

Function: helps promote urination. But too much may cause kidney problems.


Function: beneficial to the spleen and helps promote urination. It can also help decrease blood sugar, reinforce energy and improve immunity. It can be drunk often.

(Shanghai Daily August 18, 2009)

Green tea protects against Parkinson’s disease

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found that a component in green tea may help protect against Parkinson’s disease, a local news channel reported on Tuesday.

The researchers at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine identified an activation process involving a component in green tea and a protein in the human body that can provide cellular protection against the disease, Channel NewsAsia reported.

The green tea component, known as EGCG, is found to trigger AMP kinase, a protein in the body, to help prevent brain cells from dying under stress.

The EGCG is found in red wine, too.

The researchers experimented on engineered fruit flies which had developed Parkinson’s and found that the EGCG-treated flies exhibit much better movement ability and show significant preservation of their brain neurons, compared to untreated flies.

The team hopes to partner with pharmaceutical companies to formulate a drug which can be administered to Parkinson’s disease patients.

The potential medication would offer neuro-protection. Current treatment for Parkinson’s is usually in the form of a drug known as L-DOPA, which only offers symptomatic therapy, said Lim Kah Leong, an associate professor from the school’s department of physiology.

“There are benefits of drinking green tea but in this case we have something even more potent than drinking green tea. So hopefully medication centred around AMPK activation can provide real and faster benefit to Parkinson’s patients than green tea could at that stage,” he said.