Tea and its associated health benefits came around 5000 years ago and modern medicine has been around 100 years which is only 2% of tea history. Tea is also the second most widely drank beverage in the world second only to water. That context should prove that anecdotally tea is well regarded. Tea is a great enhancement or alternative to western preventive medicine.
The most well-known health quality of tea is caffeine. Caffeine is great for mental alertness and clarity. Generally speaking, black tea has half of the caffeine as coffee and green and white tea has even less. However, may factors contributes to caffeine levels in tea including, elevation of the growing location, tea style, temperature used in brewing tea, so it’s best to evaluate each tea individually when it comes to caffeine levels.
Other less known stimulants (xanthines) present in tea are theophylline and theobromine. Theophylline (thee-off-a-lyn) is the basis for asthma medications. It is found in trace amounts in tea and it relaxes the bronco muscles in the lungs, it is an anti-inflammatory and it increases heart health. Theobromine is a vasodilator so it opens up the blood vessels aiding circulation and may be responsible for lowered blood pressure. These three stimulants do a great job in waking up the body from the inside out.
History proves that monks loved tea. They were the first ones to cultivate it and promoted its growth throughout Southeast Asia. During long stints of mediation they needed tea to provide them with alertness and they loved the calming effects of L-theanine (l-thee-a-neen). L-theanine interacts directly with the brain to provide a feeling of tranquility and reduces anxiety. Increased calmness and alertness is magical combination.
Tea is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are touts for their contribution of removing free radicals that damage cells. There are many antioxidants and tea’s is a particularly powerful antioxidant. It is found in high concentrations in tea and less so in chocolate, grapes and berries. It is called epigallocatechin 3-gallate or EGCG. EGCG is more present in green and white tea and less in black tea.
In sum, tea is good for you for a number of reasons. These qualities have been enjoyed by a lot of people for 5000 years. Modern science is now breaking down what makes tea so good for us.