Tea, one of my favorite beverage is said to be the second most-consumed beverage in the world, after water, with literally thousands of varieties in existance. Nowadays we seem to be finding more reasons to drink tea every day, whether it be black, white, green, herbal, Chinese or any other type. The anti-oxidising and cleansing abilities of the tea leaf make for a healthy choice, so say the scientists, but what else is tea good for?
Here are 10 facts that you might not have previously known about tea.
1. The origins of tea:
Legend has it that tea originated well over 5000 years ago in ancient China. The innovative and science-curious emporer Shen Nung insisted that for hygeine purposes, all water in the palace must be boiled. When he was out visiting his kingdom one day, him and his men stopped to boil water to drink and it was said that leaves from a nearby bush fell into the water. Apparently the brew that resulted was so refreshing, the emporer ordered samples of the bush to be brought back to the palace for analysis. Afterwards, word got out and this new phenomenon became fashionable.
2. From the Camellia bush:
Tea comes from the leaves of a tree called Camellia sinensis. The three main types of tea are Black, Oolong and Green. Herbal tea does not come from the leaves of a tea plant, therefore, is not considered to be real tea. Roots, stems, flowers and parts of plants are used to make herbal tea.
3. Antioxidant and Anti-Cancer:
In recent Australian studies CSIRO scientists found that the occurrence of skin cancer in laboratory mice was greatly reduced when they were given black tea. It is thought that polyphenols which are very strong antioxidants and are contained in the tea are the most likely reason for this phenomenon.
Scientists have reported for many years that men in Asian countries who drink green tea have very low instances of prostate cancer. Many prominent researchers believe that this is due to green tea containing many powerful antioxidants and preventative anti-cancer agents.
4. Vitamins and minerals:
When combined with milk, tea can offer an array of vitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin B6, Riboflavin B2, Thiamin B1, manganese for bone growth and repair, and potassium, important for neuron and brain function.
5. Puffy eyes and sunburn:
To cure puffy eyes lie in a horizontal position and place either a moist teabag or tea compress over both eyes and leave for about 20 minutes. The swelling around the eyes will to your amazement disappear and your eyes will return to their former glory.
6. Tea reduces risk of heart attacks:
Studies in the Netherlands have shown that men who drink black tea which contains catechins are 50 percent less likely to die of ischemic heart disease. This takes place when our arteries become clogged and are unable to work properly because of constriction.
7. Odour absorbant:
Tea will absorb odors around it. Here is a tip for removing food odors from your hands. Pour some tea over your hands and the tea will remove all odors from your fingers, and leave them smelling great. It even works great with fish odors!
8. Warts and all:
Black tea bags can be used to treat planter warts. Tannin in tea is acidic and can be just as effective in removing warts as various over the counter wart removers! Leave a cooled bag on the wart for about 15 minutes three times daily and slowly the wart will shrink and disappear.
9. Improve Fertility:
Recent studies have shown that drinking between one and two cups of tea per day may promote fertility by stopping abnormalities in our chromosomes. In a recent test 250 women drank as little as half a cup of tea per day and their pregnancy rates were twice as high as those who did not.
10. Oral Health:
A report issued by the UK Tea Council in 2006 stated that the fluoride content of tea makes it a potent defender of oral health. Fluoride binds to the tooth enamel, slowing down the tooth decay process and preventing cavities. Also, the instance of tannins in tea inhibits the growth of certain plaque-forming bacteria.