Tea and Health
The function of tea and natural, bioactive compounds in tea, as elements in a healthy lifestyle is best explained by the first line in Kakuzo Okakura’s 1906 philosophical treatise on tea, The Book of Tea. Okakura sums up the historical and ancient belief in tea as more than just a pleasing beverage by writing, “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage…”
Scientific research confirms what Asians believed for centuries – that green and black tea contains powerful natural antioxidants which can protect regular tea drinkers from many degenerative diseases.
The main degenerative diseases of concern today are heart disease, high blood pressure stroke, cancer and diabetes. Studies have shown that the antioxidant activity of flavonoids in green and black tea reduces the risk of many degenerative diseases and help maintain good oral health.
Revelations on the therapeutic qualities of tea have been overwhelming. According to research, there are not many of mankind’s ailments that are untouched by its therapeutic qualities. No other natural or synthetic substance comes even close to tea in terms of benefits across such a multitude of fronts. A panacea it may not be, but there is no denying that in this health conscious era, science is excited by what tea has to offer and has placed it under their microscopes like none other before.
Tissa Amarakoon, Shang Hong Huang & Ranil de Silva. Therapeutic Applications of Ceylon Tea: Potential and Trends [pp. 377- 417 in Yi-Zhun Zhu, Benny K-H Tan, Boon Huat Bay, Chang-Hong Liu (ed.), Natural Products, Essential Resources for Human Survival. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2007].
W.W.D. Modder, A.M.T. Amarakoon. Tea and Health. The Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, 2002.