It is January and National Hot Tea Month. Tea is the second-most consumed beverage in the entire world, beaten only by water. While tea can be enjoyed both hot and cold, hot tea has a reputation for being particularly comforting.
True ‘tea’ comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, and there are many regional varieties of the species across the globe. The general categories of true teas include:
- Black tea
- Green tea
- White tea
When most people think of teas, however, they also include herbal teas. There are countless types of herbal tea around the world. Some of the most popular include:
The type of tea you’re drinking will have unique health benefits or risks, making it worthwhile to look into your chosen variety more carefully.
But what about hot tea in general? Are there broad health benefits, or risks, to drinking “hot teas” as a whole? Yes, in fact, there are a number of studies that have shown the temperature of a beverage may have important effects regardless of its specific contents.
While it would be tough to summarize the nutritional information of every type of tea on the market, there are a few general trends to note. First and foremost, tea is an ultra-diluted version of whatever ingredients you’re steeping.
An 8 fluid-ounce mug of most types of tea will contain close to zero:
Similarly, the vitamins and minerals present will be in very small concentrations and will vary according to the type of tea you’re consuming.
One important factor to consider is the addition of sweeteners or milk. These additions may be added to the tea by the manufacturer or the consumer. Any added ingredients will alter the nutritional content of your drink.
Types of Tea
Black Tea – is more oxidized than oolong, yellow, white and green teas. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than other teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia saneness
Green tea – is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas. Green tea originated in China, but its production and manufacture has spread to other countries in East Asia.
White tea – refer to one of several styles of tea which generally feature young or minimally processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Currently there is no generally accepted definition of white tea and very little international agreement; some sources use the term to refer to tea that is merely dried with no additional processing, some to tea made from the buds and immature tea leaves picked shortly before the buds have fully opened and allowed to wither and dry in natural sun, while others include tea buds and very young leaves which have been steamed or fired before drying. Most definitions agree, however, that white tea is not rolled or oxidized, resulting in a flavor characterized as “lighter” than most green or traditional black teas.
Oolong – a traditional semi-oxidized Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a process including withering the plant under strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of oxidation, which varies according to the chosen duration of time before firing, can range from 8 to 85%, depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular in south China and among Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony. Different styles of oolong tea can vary widely in flavor. They can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas, or woody and thick with roasted aromas, or green and fresh with complex aromas, all depending on the horticulture and style of production.
Pu-erh – is a variety of fermented tea traditionally produced in Yunnan Province, China. In the context of traditional Chinese tea production terminology, fermentation refers to microbial fermentation (called ‘wet piling’), and is typically applied after the tea leaves have been sufficiently dried and rolled. As the tea undergoes controlled microbial fermentation, it also continues to oxidize, which is also controlled, until the desired flavors are reached. This process produces tea known as hēichá (lit. ‘black tea’) (which is different from the English-language black tea that is called hóngchá (lit. ‘red tea’) in Chinese). Pu’er falls under a larger category of fermented teas commonly translated as dark teas. Two main styles of pu’er production exist: a traditional, longer production process known as shēng (raw) pu’er and a modern, accelerated production process known as shóu (ripe) pu’er. Pu’er traditionally begins with a raw product called “rough” (máo) chá and can be sold in this form or pressed into a number of shapes and sold as “shēng chá. Both of these forms then undergo the complex process of gradual fermentation and maturation with time.
There are so many herbal teas. Besides the traditional teas I have mentioned above, herbal teas have been used for thousands of years all around world for a variety of reasons. We have figured out that specific herbal teas have benefits.
Chamomile Tea – Calming, reduces inflammation, stomach pain, sleep aid, and muscle relaxer
Peppermint Tea – bad breath, stress reliever, aiding digestion and soothing stomach, boosting immune system and relieving the symptoms of common cold
Rosehip Tea – achieving weight loss goals, protect the brain and skin from aging, boost Vitamin C and antioxidants
Rooibos Tea -reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure, colic in infants and increasing airflow to the lungs
Ginger Tea – upset stomach and nausea, protects the brain and heart, lowers blood sugar and anti-cancer properties
Cinnamon Tea – anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help with lowering blood pressure and protecting the heart
Lemongrass Tea – relieve the pain and anxiety, lower blood pressure, act as antioxidant and help with weight management
Tulsi Tea – reduce stress naturally and benefit the overall health. Adaptogenic herbs are often used for dealing with lifestyle-related diseases, especially different types of stress, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anticancer, antimicrobial and radioprotective properties
Rosemary tea – helps with Alzheimer’s disease, helps with anxiety
Olive leaf Tea – potential use in preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, and helping with weight loss
Barley Tea – aids digestion and promoting weight loss.
Licorice Tea – used for treating stomach pain and cough
Eucalyptus Tea – antiseptic and antibacterial properties, for different breathing and lungs related problems–from treating the common cold and flu to sore throat and pneumonia.
Iceland moss Tea – treating a sore throat and dry cough, and may provide an instant relief, use is treating the loss of appetite
Gingko Tea – Although there is not enough scientific research to confirm the benefits, gingko is still one of the most popularly used herbal remeries for memory problems.
Ashwagandha Tea – treats stress and anxiety and sleeping problems. Studies have showed it has may help protect the brain and heart, improve memory and even improve muscle strength.
Sage Tea – relieves pain and fighting infections and helps with depression, dementia, obesity, diabetes, lupus, heart disease, and cancer.
Raspberry leaf Tea – used by pregnant women to shorten the labour.
Valerian root Tea – treats insomnia.
Anise seed Tea – used for problems related to breathing and digestion
Elderberry flower Tea – antibacterial and antiviral properties and help in treating influenza, bronchitis and pain relief.
Linden flower Tea – treats common cold, fever, cough and anxiety
Turmeric Tea – protecting heart after some heart surgeries, reducing skin irritation and pain
Moringa Tea – helpful with heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and fatty liver.
Lavender Tea – relaxation, relieving anxiety, calming and lifting mood
Pine needle Tea – antidepressant and lift the mood
Echinacea Tea – treats symptoms of common cold and depression.
Honey bush Tea – treats cough and for calming
Hibiscus flower Tea – help with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
Osmanthus Tea – may boost the immune system and help fight allergies
Chrysanthemum Tea – has a strong antioxidant activity, help fight free radicals. It’s used for its cooling effect, especially during warmseason, for potential sedative effect and lowering blood pressure.
Rose Tea – rich in antioxidants and may help reduce the oxidative stress
Jasmine Tea – treats anxiety, fever, sunburn and stomach ulcers.
Yarrow Tea – treat wounds, soothe the upset stomach, and to relieve menstrual cramps and pain.
Stinging nettle Tea – reduce the risk of heart diseases, cancer and diabetes, and has a positive effect on blood pressure and even psychotic disorders.
Dandelion Tea– help destroy cells of some cancers and have a potential of becoming a part of alternative treatments
Cranberry Tea – treats some bacterial infections, mostly in urinary tract infections in both infants, children and adults
St John’s Wort Tea– treats depression, both mild and moderate.
Yerba mate Tea – contains antioxidants and may be beneficial for diabetes and weight loss, aid in digestion and even help with depression.
Guava Tea – treats diabetes and heart disease and parasite infections.
Gotu kola Tea– traditionally used for many health problems and may have a good impact on brain, including treating anxiety, depression and enhancing memory
Marshmallow Root Tea – treats dry cough and inflammation in throat and stomach.
Thyme Tea – may help with problems related to respiratory, nervous, and cardiovascular systems
Calendula Tea -Because of its calming, soothing and healing properties, calendula is an ingredient in many skin care products. Externally, tea is used for treating inflammation and for gargling, and internally, for soothing the stomach.
Kuding Tea – may be one of the best teas for skin, may help protect skin from damage caused by UVB rays and is potential help with losing weight.
Jiaogulan Tea – a may have a great potential in treating many cancers
Passion flower Tea – is as a sedative and as a sleeping aid.
Kava Tea– sleepy time and calming tea is used for treating insomnia, anxiety and promoting overall relaxation. Also may be beneficial for treating those problems, it may also be toxic for liver, especially when combined with alcohol.
Lapacho bark Tea- Dry bark of lapacho tree is traditionally used for reducing inflammation, treating cancers and boosting immune system.
Lemon balm Tea – used for stomach problems, calming the body and mind and as diuretic.
So knowing all this I did a round up of delicious tea recipes. Have fun trying new things and benefiting your health.
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