From cancer-fighting properties to heart health, if you’re sipping a cup of tea while reading this, you’re supporting just about every organ in your body.
Of course, unsweetened tea is the best, but a touch of local honey or stevia can have their own benefits as well. Tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body. “Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, most importantly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio. “These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.”
So pick your finest cup; it’s time to learn about the amazing benefits (and just a few risks) of drinking tea.
- Your risk of certain cancers can go down.
Most common cancers benefiting from daily tea drinking are skin, lung, prostate and breast cancer. According to Una Naidoo, MD, Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Faculty at Harvard Medical School. “Different types of tea benefit different types of cancers.” Drinking tea is just one simple daily habit you can apply to help prevent cancer.
- Relieve stress and anxiety.
Herbal teas calm and relax the mind, relieving stress and anxiety. Since it calms the mind, drinking herbal tea before going to sleep also helps people who suffer from insomnia.
Chamomile tea is one of the best teas for stress relief and difficulty sleeping. The comforting effect may also act as a mild anti-depressant for some as it stimulates the brain to reduce feelings of depression.
- Slow down Aging.
Doesn’t everyone wish they could look and feel younger? Well, the antioxidants found in herbal teas have shown to aid in slowing down the ageing process. They prevent free radical damage and reduce the ageing of cells in the body. This makes your skin and hair look and feel younger.
- Lower Blood Pressure.
Instead of taking pills, try drinking herbal tea to lower your blood pressure. Herbal teas such as Hibiscus can decrease blood pressure without potentia negative side effects. Drinking hibiscus tea may benefit people with hypertension (high blood pressure), according to a 2015 review of studies published in the Journal of Hypertension. The researchers from Australia, Iran, and Romania evaluated five previously published trials involving 390 people, 225 who were given an H. sabdariffa and 165 who were provided a placebo. Investigators concluded that the daily use of hibiscus tea reduced the systolic blood pressure by an average of 7.5 mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure by an average of 3.53 mmHg.
Since high blood pressure can negatively affect your heart and kidney, Hibiscus tea may be one natural way to go.
- Aids in digestion.
One of the great health benefits of herbal tea is that they help with the breakdown of fats and speed up the emptying of the stomach. Doing so, they can reduce symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and vomiting. Some of the best teas for these symptoms are dandelion, chamomile, cinnamon, peppermint, and ginger tea.
- Fight the common cold.
Herbal teas are great for treating a cold. The elder tree herb is one of the best for fighting a cold as it has properties that clear the nasal passages and stops heavy coughs making is great for treating the common cold and reducing the symptoms of asthma.
- Boost your immune System.
Elderberry, echinacea, ginger, and liquorice root tea are some of the best herbal teas for boosting your immune system. The antioxidants and vitamins found in herbal teas are have been used forever in fighting disease and infections. Teas can further, protect against oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic disease.
- Reduce Inflammation.
Daily drinking of herbal tea can greatly help those that suffer from arthritis. Herbal tea can reduce pain, swelling, and tiredness in joints. Ginger is one of the best herbs to relieve inflammation, due to its main component, gingerol. This makes the tea an ideal treatment for joint and muscle pain. *Ginger is also used for settling an upset stomach and for morning sickness.
- Want stronger teeth? Drink more tea.
Yes, sipping tea throughout the day could slightly stain your teeth, but that is treatable, and it may be worth it. A study in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, found that green tea has an antibacterial effect and could reduce cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. Drinking it daily could also make cavities less severe. (Check out 7 foods that whiten your teeth and several to avoid.)
- Daily tea can equal a Happy Heart
Keeping your blood vessels relaxed, putting less stress on your heart, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition is another potential benefit for drinking tea. “Catechins reduce inflammation and thus inhibit plaque formation in vital arteries,” says Dr. Kouri and Dr. Naidoo recommends drinking three cups of black tea per day to achieve the heart benefits.
- Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Herbal teas calm and relax the mind, relieving stress and anxiety. Since it calms the mind, drinking herbal tea before going to sleep also helps people who suffer from insomnia. Chamomile tea is one of the best teas for stress relief and difficulty sleeping. The comforting effect may also act as a mild anti-depressant for some as it stimulates the brain to reduce feelings of depression.
- Decrease your risk of developing Diabetes.
Did you know that drinking black tea every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to control your blood sugar after meals. This is according to a study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, black tea can lower your blood sugar after eating foods containing sucrose.
- Your risk of Alzheimer’s disease could decrease
“Green tea can help you develop resistance against stress, and potentially Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Naidoo. “The polyphenols protect cells from damage.” The thought of you or your loved ones being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is frightening. Know the early warning signs and do what you can to prevent it.
- Improve your sleep.
If you spend your nights tossing and turning, try winding down with a cup of herbal tea—no caffeine, of course—before bed. According to a study in Integrative Medicine Research, drinking tea can help improve sleep and quality of life in those with mild-to-moderate insomnia. Not only that, the process of slowing down and mindfully sipping a hot cup of tea, helps to quiet the mind and prepare us for a better night’s sleep.
- Stay alert. Improve your attention span.
Just like coffee, the caffeine in tea can improve your attention and alertness. Unlike unlike coffee though, “Theanine is an amino acid that is virtually unique to tea (apart from the fungus Bay bolete),” explains Dr. Naidoo. “It may also improve attention by relaxing the brain, but stimulating it when it is time to focus.” If you ever find yourself having difficulty with focus or concentration, try steeping a warm cup of tea just before it’s time to focus. Green, black and herbal teas can all help you achieve your peak performance.
- Kick start your metabolism.
“The caffeine in tea helps to improve mental acuity as well as increase metabolism and fat burning (up to 100 calories per day),” says Dr. Kouri. Just be sure you’re not overdoing it in the caffeine department. One cup of green tea contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, and Dr. Kouri recommends limiting your daily caffeine intake to no more than 300 to 400 milligrams. The catechins in tea can alter your body’s ability to absorb iron. This means that even if you eat enough high-iron foods, you won’t get the benefits and could become anemic. “Though most healthy people will not be affected by this, those who have iron deficiency or anemia should abstain from large amounts of green tea,” recommends Dr. Kouri. This includes children, pregnant women, and anyone with a history of kidney disease
- Improved Skin Health
Herbal tea is a useful treatment for acne, without the side effects that some medications cause. The tea can either be ingested normally or by directly applying the tea onto the skin.
Rooibos and chamomile tea are some of the best teas for treating the skin due to their antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Spearmint tea may also work as it reduces the breakout of acne.
Now that you know what many of the health benefits of teas are how do you know which teas are best for each desired benefit? Well, stay tuned for our next blog post, part 3 in our 4 part series on the reasons, benefits, rituals and more of tea… Pinkies up! Grab a cup!
*As with all of our education, information and inspiration, we recommend that you research any suggestions you choose to implement. You do so strickly by your choice. When in doubt, consult a physician or appropriate professional. Your health and well-being are in your hands. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.