Tea and Longevity

by on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 7:30:00 AM

For thousands of years, the native people of China have been enjoying tea as both a beverage and as a medicinal drink. The leaves from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) are used to create internal balance and stability to those who regularly enjoy its brew.

With large amounts of scientific studies being conducted, the health benefits of tea are starting to be understood from a chemical and biological perspective. All this new research has prompted thousands of new articles with oftentimes conflicting and confusing titles. It can be hard to separate out which tea is good for which condition because headlines often contradict one another.

At Shang Tea, we certainly realize that tea can be helpful when dealing with many short term issues, but we encourage the incorporation of tea into daily life for the long term balance that it can bring. Today we're going to look at tea as a healthy life choice and a great help for internal harmony, rather than a cure for a specific disease.

Tea is often viewed as a tool to relieve short term health issues ranging from the flu/cold to headaches to upset stomach, or as a way to quickly have an effect on long term issues such as body fat, cancer, heart disease, or other ailments. Oftentimes it is viewed as a miracle cure for any range of health issues. Can tea be helpful or provide benefit for short term issues? Sure, of course it can, but that being said when tea is viewed solely as a medicine then the medical results are sure to disappoint.

If you do not enjoy the tea that you are drinking, then you are much less likely to establish a connection with it that would lead to regular consumption. And regular consumption is important because it is this long term commitment that will help you to slowly bring your body back into balance both physically and mentally and will slowly allow your body to learn how to utilize all the components of tea such as the antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamins.

The quality of your tea leaves is another important component when talking about drinking tea for both taste and health. Teas grown at higher elevation, in richer soil with higher quality water, and without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers will taste better and make you feel better. Oftentimes the best way to tell the quality of a tea is to feel your body’s reaction to it. If the tea makes your throat dry and scratchy or if it upsets your stomach, then you might want to think twice about continuing to drink that tea, your body is trying to giving you some signs that the tea is not having a good impact on you.

And while we certainly think the most recent scientific endeavors in the U.S. and China have shown white tea to have the highest levels of antioxidant levels, anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamins, that does not mean you should always drink white tea or continue to drink white tea if you do not enjoy it. Nor does that mean that all grades of white tea are better for you than other categories such as green tea, black tea, etc. Lower quality, low elevation white teas will not have the same quality as high mountain grown white teas. Strive to make a connection with those from whom you purchase tea to ensure that the quality and production methods are top notch.

Tea is more than just a healthy beverage, it is a delicious drink that brings harmony in all aspects of life. If you enjoy tea and incorporate other healthy aspects into your life such as eating well, exercising, and getting a good night’s rest, then the medicinal aspect with naturally follow. And make sure you focus on how the tea makes you feel rather than what the headlines say.

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