7 Types of Tea Linked to Their Benefits
For most of us, waking up to our drink of choice is a critical component of our morning routines to ensure that our days start off the right way. While some of us may elect for water, OJ, green juice, or coffee, there will always be those who opt for a classic cup of tea. Whether you like yours with milk, sugar, none, or both, there is no denying the host of benefits from banking on your favorite brew in the mornings. So if you want to know the tea, here are 7 benefits of tea linked to their tea type.
- There are over 3000 varieties of tea worldwide that have been used for their medicinal properties for centuries.
- Most teas contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that prevent inflammatory responses from happening in the body when they aren’t needed.
- Some of the most regularly-consumed types of tea are white, peppermint, green, matcha, chamomile, hibiscus, and ginger.
The history behind tea
As a staple in millions of homes and cultures worldwide, tea acts as the world’s most beloved drink (besides water.) In fact, it is estimated that well over two billion cups of tea are consumed worldwide each day. Despite the contemporary popularity surrounding tea, the craze is nothing new. Tea has served as a warming, rejuvenating boost around the world for an unfathomable amount of time. Grab your favorite mug and your favorite brew, and gather around for a brief history of tea!
While the true story of the beginning of tea as we know it is clouded in stories, myths, and legends, the original references to tea date back to nearly 2700 B.C.E. (Yes, B.C.E!) Chinese legend has it that a small leaf landed in a pot of water boiling for the Emperor Shen Nung. Lo and behold, he found the taste and smell intriguing, and he mentioned a warm feeling that explored every crevice of his body. This goes to show that the warm, fuzzy feeling surrounding a cup of tea is nothing new– even the world’s first tea drinker embraced the coziness!
After substantially contributing to globalization over the centuries and continuing to shape the foundation of cultures across the globe (NBD), tea resumed its rise to popularity as its medicinal properties came to light. While some brews are known to supply more health benefits than others, there is no doubting the wholesome healing capabilities of a cuppa.
7 Types of tea linked to their benefits
There are thought to be over 3000 varieties of tea in the world, and each brings its own unique characteristics to the table. With unique characteristics come unique health benefits, so (fortunately) we’re here with a comprehensive guide to some of the most popular teas and their benefits.
1. White tea
White tea is known for its delicate, gentle flavor due to its claim of being the least-processed variety of tea, as well as having the lowest amount of caffeine. Thanks to its sky-high level of powerful antioxidants, research links white tea to abundant cancer-fighting properties. Specific test-tube studies have revealed that white tea can inhibit the spread of colon cancer cells and destroy lung cancer cells.
Additionally, white tea contains significant fluoride levels, catechins, and tannins, which strengthen the enamel of teeth, grapple against pesky plaque, and shield the teeth from harmful sugars and acids. Perhaps the saying should go, “A cup of white tea a day keeps the dentist away” instead!
2. Peppermint tea
Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of peppermint tea extend well beyond mimicking the delicious smell of a candy-canes and Christmas time. This caffeine-free tea has been used for centuries as a medicinal cure for digestive concerns and cold and allergy symptoms.
Specifically, peppermint tea contains essential oils menthol, menthone, and limonene, which are known to soothe upset stomachs and support digestion. Also, when combined with other herbs and extracts, it enhances the digestive benefits even more to ease constipation and IBS symptoms such as bloating and gas. The menthol found in peppermint tea is also a productive decongestant as it alleviates stuffy noses, sore throats, and coughs caused by colds and allergies.
3. Green tea
Green tea is a caffeinated alternative to your morning cup of joe– with more potential benefits. Similar to white tea, green tea contains strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have shown cancer-fighting effects in animal and test-tube studies. Additionally, several studies have concluded that the catechins found in green tea (and caffeine) play a role in boosting metabolism, and thus, potentially leading to weight loss.
A study conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA) revealed that daily consumption of green tea can be associated with a small (but nonetheless, positive!) change in the risk of stroke. Overall, green tea has also been linked to improved brain function, lower cholesterol, and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. This (magical?) tea seems to do it all!
4. Matcha tea
Matcha tea has pretty much exploded on TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and everywhere in between in recent years. Aside from its install-worthy aesthetic, this benefit-packed beverage is known to supply an energy boost, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance skin health.
Similar to green tea, matcha is rich in antioxidants that eliminate bad molecules from the body and minimize oxidative stress. It also contains the same catechins that have been linked to weight loss. Aside from providing a laundry list of internal benefits, matcha also gifts topical benefits. The caffeine and EGCG found in matcha can rid your skin of redness and provide a dreamy skin glow.
5. Chamomile tea
Also commonly known as “Sleepytime Tea,” chamomile tea is most widely known for its relaxation and sleep benefits. In a study conducted with rats, chamomile extract acted as a sleep aid for sleep-disturbed rodents. Research may indicate that chamomile tea may actually function similarly to benzodiazepines in the body– prescription drugs that reduce anxiety and support sleep. Au natural baby!
A 2010 study (among others) also concluded that drinking chamomile tea for a month could minimize pain caused by period cramps. While it may not provide relief when consumed during your period, women in the same study reported fewer feelings of anxiety and anguish surrounding that time of the month.
6. Hibiscus tea
She is yummy, pretty, and jam-packed with health benefits. What more could you ask for from hibiscus tea? There is a good reason it’s been named one of the 2022 top food trends.
Hibiscus is an edible flower plant native to Africa and Asia, but it is also grown in parts of Mexico and Central America. In regard to the seemingly universal tea benefit of having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, hibiscus tea is known for its ability to lower blood pressure and combat respiratory diseases. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is thought to affect up to 47% of the U.S. population, as reported by the CDC. Research shows that a specific compound in the hibiscus flower releases nitric oxide from the cells, lowering blood pressure.
7. Ginger tea
Ginger has strong antibacterial properties that aid the body in fending off harmful pathogens to keep you strong, happy, and healthy. That being said, partaking in a glass of ginger tea in the morning or evening can serve your immune system for optimal functioning.
Recent studies have also shown that drinking ginger tea can aid in focus and cognitive processing abilities, particularly in middle-aged women. On the same page, it has been linked to having a plethora of positive impacts when it comes to degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. On top of all of this, ginger tea is also great for providing relief from upset stomachs, bloating, and cold and sore throat symptoms.
For all the die-hard coffee drinkers out there, I understand there is probably no changing your mind. However, drinking the occasional cup of tea *could* supply more benefits than your simple caffeine boost. Try adding a cup of tea to your morning (or perhaps evening?) routine!
Written by Morgan Taylor
- Photo by CHI CHEN on Unsplash