Already in the Middle Ages, tea was not only a popular drink, but was also frequently used in medicine because of its healing properties. Traditional teas such as black, green or even white tea have always been the preferred stimulants of humanity alongside coffee.
But also new tea trends, for example, Matcha or Mate tea, make their way into the domestic tea cups and enjoy more and more popularity. We will introduce you to the best teas and their health benefits.
Classic and traditional teas
There are many types and varieties of tea and accordingly many different methods of production. The extraction from the original tea plant (for the first time in China, later also in India) is thereby the oldest form. Depending on the process, the four classic types of tea are produced.
These four classic types of tea include:
- black tea
- Green tea
- White tea
In addition, yellow tea and Pu Erh are often counted among the classic types of tea. Of these traditional species, there are again very many different varieties, which usually differ by the cultivation area of the respective tea plants.
By extracting from the tea plant, the classic teas contain up to 4.5 percent caffeine, which is also referred to as Tein. The difference to caffeine in coffee is the delayed but often more intense effect of the tea.
In China, the classic teas have always been flavored by the addition of fresh flowers (such as jasmine). But also in Europe the most different kinds of flavored teas enjoy great popularity.
In general, emphasis is placed here on the addition of natural flavors (for example vanilla or cherry) or spices (for example anise or cinnamon). Due to the advanced manufacturing process no wish remains open here.
Hot infusion drinks such as fruit and herbal teas
Another way of obtaining tea is the production of so-called fruit and herbal teas. These are not obtained from the tea plant, but from mostly native plants, flowers, fruits, herbs and roots. For this reason, these teas contain no Tein and should strictly speaking not actually be called tea.
Examples of such herbal and fruit teas are:
- Camomile tea
- peppermint tea
Health aspects of tea
Even before our time in China, the tea, obtained from the tea plant, a stimulating and healing at the same time due to various ingredients was said. The contained tannins and phytochemicals tea has a digestive and krebsrisikosenkende effect.
Black and green tea also contain caffeine, which has a stimulating or less stimulating effect depending on the duration of brewing. The longer the tea draws, the more the stimulating effect diminishes due to its binding to tannins.
It should be noted that excessive levels of caffeine can have negative effects on the body. Possible consequences of overdose with caffeine include heartburn, diarrhea, headache and dizziness.
Black tea: The duration of brewing is crucial
Black tea is and remains the most popular tea. Whether Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon or Earl Gray: Black tea is a preferred stimulant to wake up because of its stimulating effect. However, if he pulls for at least four to five minutes, he loses his stimulating effect.
With regular enjoyment (about four cups per day), black tea is even considered as hypotensive. Excessive consumption of the tea, however, has a detrimental effect on the gastric mucous membranes and may cause headaches and mild sleep disturbances.
If the tea is left for longer than five minutes, more tannins are released, which cause a bitter taste, but also have an antibacterial and analgesic effect, for example in diarrheal diseases. At the same time the so-called feeling of nausea is suppressed.
Green tea: help with weight loss
Green tea is said to have a healing effect on gum disease due to the ingredient catechin. In addition, this tea also helps to prevent tooth decay. In addition, green tea should lower the cholesterol level.
Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, but a quite stimulating effect on the metabolism. Thus, green tea is great as a support in losing weight. In addition, it reduces the appetite for sweet foods through its high bitterness. Well-known varieties include Sencha and Gun-Powder.
Matcha tea: concentrated green tea
Matcha tea originated in Japan and consists of ground green tea leaves - it is a concentrated form of green tea. Matcha should have a particularly healthy effect and is considered a true pick-me-up.
Due to the concentrated ingredients, the tea has a positive effect on the entire metabolism - in addition it is used among other things for the treatment of hormone disturbances. The bright green drink is becoming increasingly popular: many fans also use the powder for cooking and baking.
However, it should not be forgotten that an excess of caffeine can have health side effects. In addition, Matcha has much oxalic acid, which, among other things, promotes the formation of kidney stones.
Fruits and herbal teas: used as medicine
Many fruit and herbal teas were originally made exclusively for medicinal and health-promoting purposes. While fruit teas with a high vitamin and mineral content score, herbal teas with a variety of healing benefits convince.
For example, herbal teas work like this:
- expectorant (for cough)
- detoxifying (use with detox cure) or
Nature gives us innumerable possibilities from which we can benefit.
Mate tea: remedy with a waxing effect
Obtained from the mate shrub, which has its origin in South America, the mate tea is by definition not considered to be real tea. However, this drink also has a considerable amount of caffeine. The addition of essential oils results in a full-bodied and pleasant taste.
The high vitamin content of the mate tea also promises a health-promoting effect. Tannins promote metabolism and digestion. It is worth knowing that the mate tea is approved as a medicine in Germany.
Tea: Tips for preparation
Always use fresh, soft water when making tea. The optimal brewing time of teas can be very different, but is usually stated by the manufacturers.
By adding more foods, the health benefits of tea can be enhanced. This includes:
- Milk: The addition of milk in green and black tea reduces the formation of kidney stones, as the so-called calcium oxalate (involved in the formation of kidney stones) is released.
- Honey: honey has an antibacterial effect and a high vitamin and mineral content. However, honey should not be added to the tea until after the brewing period because its contents may be lost due to excessively hot water.
- Ginger: Ginger has a circulation-promoting, appetite-stimulating and pain-relieving effect and also helps against nausea. Especially in the cold season ginger promotes the immune system and provides a strengthened immune system.
Tea in pregnancy
In pregnancy, according to the WHO recommendations, women can safely consume normal amounts (two to three cups per day) of black or green tea. Selected herbal and fruit teas can additionally achieve a health-promoting effect and reduce pregnancy symptoms.
However, it should be noted that excessive drinking of tea with a high polyphenol content (especially in fruit teas) can lead to iron deficiency in the body.