Tea: History & Benefits

The history and benefits of drinking tea!
Tea: History & Benefits

Many legends are stirring around the internet about the beginning of tea drinking. How DID it start? I mean. . . tea has become so widespread, largely loved, and part of a good handful of cultures. There’s classic hot tea, iced tea, sweet tea, milk tea, boba tea, infused teas, along with loose-leaf tea, tea bags, and the list just goes on. In our day and age, tea is very moldable to make a wide range of different beverages to enjoy. The “beginning” of tea and who founded it is different in multiple legends and cultures. The two biggest legends I’ve heard about are the legends from China and India.


Legend from China:

Tea was made way back in 2737 BC when a Chinese Emporer was drinking hot water under a tree. The wind blew some of the tree leaves into his water, which made the Emporer curious to try it. Upon trying it, the Emporer was so impressed, thus compelling him to research things about this “infusion” that had accidentally been created. Legend says that this Emporer had discovered dozens of medicinal properties of tea during his research as well!


Legends from India:

The history of tea in India is said to be when a Prince, an “Indian Saint” left in the year 520 to bring Buddhism to China.  To prove his zen, he vowed to stay in meditation for NINE YEARS STRAIGHT. NO SLEEPING! Close to the end of his meditation time, the Indian Prince fell asleep. When he woke up, he was so distraught that he decided to cut off his eyelids and throw them on the ground. It’s been said that a tea plant grew on the spot to sanctify his immense sacrifice. (Sanctify definition: Set apart as or declare holy.)


Benefits of different types of tea:

(Keep in mind, that all teas are made from the same plant called the Camellia Sinensis plant. The main reason each type of tea is different is from different degrees of oxidation they go through. For example, black teas are fully oxidized, oolong is semi-oxidized, and green or white teas are only light oxidized. Not only that, but tea growers will grow these plants in different conditions and have them go through different processes to have different outcomes.)

 

White tea – Out of all tea types, white tea has THE MOST antioxidants. That being said, antioxidants reduce your chances of getting heart disease, or cancer, and get rid of damage from oxidation in the body. White tea also contains fluoride, making it helpful for your dental health. If you want to lower the amount of caffeine you drink, have a cup of white tea, considering white tea has a very low amount of caffeine, making it a safe option to drink.

 

Black tea – Black teas are a version of white teas. The difference is, that they are fermented and dried. It sounds gross, but it is done to give it a darker color along with enhanced rich flavor. Of course, it also helps give you antioxidants but is a little different than white tea. It also helps prevent cancer and whatnot but it also improves focus, lowers blood sugar, improves focus, and can reduce the chance of having a stroke. (Black tea is also the most enjoyed type of tea around the world, meaning if you’re getting into tea, start with a good cup of black tea.)

 

Green tea – Green tea is known as the most healthy tea of the bunch. Green tea makes a positive impact on your liver, and breasts, along with preventing cancers. Green tea is also anti-inflammatory, aiding in skin clearness and your natural glow. Green tea boosts heart health and lowers blood pressure along with lowering your cholesterol overall. There’s another form of green tea called matcha. Matcha is a very fine green tea powder made from tea leaves bushes grown in the shade. Study shows that one cup of matcha tea is like drinking multiple cups of casual green tea!

 

Herbal tea – Herbal teas are generally similar to white teas, the difference being that they contain different varieties of herbs and spices. These types of tea don’t have caffeine in them, making them calming to drink. Herbal teas help you sleep, improve relaxation in the body, and lower stress. Depending on the herbs mixed in, this tea can help your bowels, headaches, migraines, and can even help lower morning sickness. Usually, they’re not as tasty as other teas but have a lot of aiding properties for the body and mind.

 

Oolong tea – Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea that is semi-oxidized which is what gives it its unique characteristic flavors. Oolong tea contains l-theanine which is known as an amino acid to reduce anxiety and enlighten your attention or alertness. Scientists have found and confirmed that l-theanine can help prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases which is amazing! That being said, drink a cup of oolong tea before school, during school, after school, before a stressful event, etc! It seems to be a very health-aiding tea.


 

Overall, tea is healthy for you. Each tea type has its health properties and is just overall calming to drink in my opinion. Especially a nice hot cup of tea! I like to drink a hot cup of tea before bed sometimes and it’s just really relaxing and gets you in the mood to sleep. Don’t like tea? Try mixing some tea into lemonade! It’ll taste better and be helping your body.

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