For thousands of years, tea has been known to possess healing properties that enabled it to become a popular remedy for various diseases and health disorders for countless generations.
Both the traditional teas coming from the Camellia sinensis plant like green tea, black tea, oolong tea and the like, as well as the herbal teas that are derived from different dried herbs and plants, have been acknowledged to be healing remedies and have been used both as preventative and curative agents by practitioners of Eastern medicine.
The study of herbs dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians. They described well-established medicinal uses for such plants as laurel, caraway, and thyme. Ancient Egyptian medicine of 1,000 B.C. are known to have used garlic, opium, castor oil, coriander, mint, indigo, and other herbs for medicine.
Indian Ayurvedic medicine has been using herbs such as turmeric and curcumin possibly as early as 1900 BC. Ancient Indian herbalists such as Charaka and Sushruta prescribed many herbs as remedies during the 1st millenium BC.
Meanwhile, the use of tea as remedies for health problems also sprouted in China more than 4,700 years ago as its discovery was attributed to Emperor Shen Nong. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing claimed its taste and stimulative properties were useful for treating tumors, abscesses, bladder ailments, and lethargy, among other conditions.
The use of tea as health remedies is traced to the effect of three ingredients found in tea:
Tea contains high levels of antioxidants which are called polyphenols or flavonoids. These compounds have their highest concentrations in green tea and white tea. They are also present in oolong tea and black tea. The polyphenol antioxidants in tea combat and block the ability of free radical cells to harm the molecules that make up our bodies.
Tea also contains nutrients and other substances that are beneficial to the maintenance of health in humans and other animals. Many plants synthesize these substances like aromatic substances, most of which are phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives such as tannins. Many of the herbs and spices used by humans to make tea as well as to season food yield useful medicinal compounds.
Tea also contains caffeine which, when used in moderation, can help stimulate metabolism, increase brain function and alertness. However, too much caffeine can lead to symptoms such as irritability, heart palpitations, sleeping problems and loss of appetite, among others.
Certain types of teas are often suggested to help prevent or be a component in the overall treatment of specific ailments, diseases or disorders. Below are some of such ailments that some teas are said to be effective in treating or help preventing.
- Hair Loss
- Heart Diseases
The information presented on these pages and on this site are findings and opinions obtained from different sources. These are reported for your information only. These are meant to help enhance and broaden your knowledge of the subject and do not purport to make any health claims. Please consult a licensed health care practitioner to obtain specific medical advice for any condition you may have.