What is tea?
Tea is originated in Southeast Asia (Botanist believed it was China and its provinces). The plant was initially introduced to more than 52 countries from the center of its origin. The word Tea came into the English language from a Chinese word “tê” and “char” in British slang.
Tea is second to water and it is also a common beverage that is widely-consumed worldwide. It is mainly consists of leaves and may also add twigs, buds, flowers, spices, fruits and herbs which have been processed. The processing may include heating, steaming, drying and oxidation.
Camellia Sinensis (Latin name) is a tropical plant whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Green tea, Black tea, Oolong tea and White tea are all harvested from this species but are processed differently to attain different levels of oxidation. Kukicha is also harvested from camellia sinensis but uses twigs and stems rather than leaves.
Tea is classified based on processing techniques
Green Tea: wilted and unoxidized
- Black Tea: Wilted, crushed, and fully oxidized
- Oolong Tea: Wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized
- White Tea: un-wilted and unoxidize
Camellia Sinensis contains chemicals called polyphenols which give tea its antioxidant properties and also contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals and methylxanthines. Tea and tea extracts have been used to treat and prevent a variety of cancers, heart diseases, asthma, bacteria against bad breath and also been used for mental alertness, aiding in weight loss, lowering cholesterol level and protecting skin from sun damage, delaying aging, hypertension (high-blood pressure) and helps improve the function of digestive and excretory systems It also contains fluoride for strong teeth, virtually no calories and half of the amount of caffeine found in an equally sized cup of coffee.
Side effects and Cautions:
Tea is safe for most adults when used in moderate amounts.
Tea and Tea extracts contain caffeine. Caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, or frequent urination in some people. Caffeine can also raise blood pressure, and in very high doses, it can cause seizures, delirium, or irregular heart rhythm
Tea contains small amounts of vitamin K, which can make anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, less effective.
Ask your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including green tea. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.
Be healthy for 2-4 cups a day of freshly brewed tea.