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Thursday, April 23, 2015
The benefits of drinking tea are endless
The benefits of drinking
tea are endless
For a lot of us, nothing can or will ever stand in as an adequate
substitute for that morning cup of joe. For one thing, there's the
caffeine content, and then there's the ritualistic aspect of making (and
drinking!) coffee in the morning.
In spite of our nation's coffee obsession, it doesn't mean we can't make
room for tea, too. The benefits of drinking tea - be it a mug of
rooibos, chamomile or earl gray - are incredibly compelling.
China's long history of tea-drinking led us to reach out to Chinese
native Catherine Yin for some additional tips and guidance on imbibing
the hot beverage.
Yin, a 27-year-old assistant to the dean of admissions at a school in
Shanghai says that one of the draws of tea is its budget-friendly price
tag. Although some specialty tea leaves will surprise your wallet, "many
are not expensive, so everyone can drink tea," hence making it an easy
part of the eastern lifestyle.
Many of us have heard of certain herbal teas' abilities to assist with
digestion, but Yin cautions: "It's not good for your stomach to drink
tea right after meals. You need to wait about half an hour. Even though
tea leaves are very natural, they will add some burden to your stomach
for digesting." So before you reach for that mug of peppermint after
dinner, wait a little while. Yin notes that the many different types of tea "all have different
purposes," and goes on to say that flower tea is good for beauty and
jasmine for the complexion. Purists technically believe that only five
types of tea exist (green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and
pu-er), with the other existing herbal varieties being derivatives of
one of these.
Certain teas are also said to carry other heavy-duty health benefits,
which we might be skeptical of: does drinking oolong tea regularly
really reduce our risk of diabetes? Does pu'er tea really reduce fat in
the stomach, as Yin asserts?
Perhaps these larger claims are best taken with a grain of salt--or a cube of sugar as it were!
We can, however, be less suspicious of tea's mood-enhancing qualities,
and would do well to appreciate the fact that tea, if nothing else, is
simply satisfying, soothing and makes for good socializing.