Saturday, October 26, 2013


Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD
and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones
Proverbs 3:5-8

In October, Port Orange Public Library has been celebrating healthy living month and on Oct 22nd I did a presentation on Tea, Tisane & Health – The benefits and uses of tea & tisanes for a healthy lifestyle.  Here is some of the information I shared, plus you can also check out this earlier post on Tea & Health.
In order for a preventative effect on health, the daily intake of tea must be 3-5 cups.  However, it’s not just about the tea, but the soothing, therapeutic feelings as well as the brewing process which takes time and provides a break to revive your body and refresh your mind, reducing stress which is destructive to our immune system.  We all need to drink more hot drinks with meals and after since cold drinks solidify the oily foods, slow digestion and line the intestine!
Remember these tips too – the higher the quality of tea, the higher the health benefits (loose leaf vs tea bags), fresh brewed teas have more health benefits than instant or bottled teas, and adding milk negates the benefits since caseins, a group of proteins in milk, react with the flavonoids in tea to cancel out the benefits.
THE TEA PLANT(Camellia sinensis)
All tea comes from the same plant – Camellia sinensis – the different types are a result of the processing.  All types of tea – green/white, oolong, and black/pu’erh – have general health benefits:
    • Tea is completely natural and contains B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, panthothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, manganese, fluoride, carotene, vitamin C, iron, zinc, chlorophyll and calcium
    • Tea contains caffeine which is a stimulant of the central nervous system for high level of concentration, less reaction time, general alertness as well as improving memory.  In tea, the caffeine is absorbed slower (30 mins) and remains longer (1-3 hrs) than in coffee.
    • Tea’s combination of caffeine, tannic acid and the amino acid L-Theanine stimulate the cardiac muscle without raising blood pressure but increasing the metabolic rate.  Tea is one of the only sources for L-Theanine which is relaxing, mind calming and stress reducing
    • Tea contains fluoride and tannins reducing the amount of oral plaque, dental cavities and gingivitis plus counters bad breath better than mint, parsley or chewing gum.  You can also use a warmed tea bag on an aching tooth.
    • Tea contains both fluoride and phytoestrogens, which are known to increase bone density even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors.  2 cups of tea a days is equivalent to 2-3 servings of dairy.
    • Tea strengthens the body's natural immune system to fight viral infections and is strong enough to kill disease causing bacteria.  Gargling with tea will help prevent the onset of colds and flu.
    • Tea is a satisfying, calorie-free beverage that contributes to rehydrating and maintaining your daily fluid balance.
    • Tea can be used externally to alleviate foot odor, itchiness of insect bites, soothe shot site, paper cuts, tired eyes and sunburn,  reduce inflammation from arthritis, treat acne, heal planter warts and draw out infection
FOOT SOAK (Restore tired feet)
(Refreshing & Relaxing Bath)
FACIAL SCRUB (Sloughs off dried skin)
EYE TEA (Restore tired eyes)
    • Dry tea leaves in pillow can reduce blood pressure, relieve insomnia & soothe headaches or stuffed in shoes in “tea socks” can be used as deodorant
    • Highest in antioxidants from internal or external use.  Antioxidants protect the body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution, neutralize free radical damage to tissues and cells and reduce risk of certain cancers, including skin, stomach and colon cancers.
    • Since antioxidants are water-soluble, drink at intervals throughout the day and on an empty stomach.
    • 3 cups/day = 6 apples
    • High in polymerized polyphenols which are linked to burning fats and flushing carbohydrates from the body
    • Has the ability to increase resting metabolism greater than any other tea type
    • 3 cups/day = -80 calories 
    • Helps  improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL and raising HDL plus lowers blood fat (triglycerides)
    • High in catechins which have thermogenic properties that promote fat oxidation
    • Lower in tannins thus aids digestion of fatty foods and prevents ulcers of stomach, esophagus and small intestine
Any plant material that is infused in boiling water that is not from the Camellia sinensis plant is referred to as a “tisane” or infusion.  Two of the most popular are Rooibos (Red Tea) and Honeybush, both from South Africa, because they have the body of a black tea and the versatility of the best herbals.  They both also have some general health benefits:
    • Caffeine free
    • Low in tannins that can sometimes cause digestive problems and affect the absorption of iron
    • Rich in antioxidants which strengthen the body’s natural defenses against aging and may help lower blood lipids and help repair sun damage

Aspalathus linearis)
    • Naturally rich in minerals – iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, fluoride and sodium for healthy bones and teeth plus a healthy nervous system.  It is also a great isotonic sports drink.
    • Anti-spasmodic properties and can be used to relieve indigestion in adults plus stomach cramps and colic in infants
    • Anti-viral properties to fight infection
    • Contains no oxalic acid and can be consumed freely by people suffering from kidney stones
    • Contains zinc and alpha hydroxy acid, which promote a healthy skin plus relieves itching and certain skin irritations when directly applied to the affected area such as diaper rash, eczema or acne

(Cyclopia intermedia)
    • Contains vitamin C and has been a long time tonic for colds/flu
    • Contains potassium, calcium and magnesium for healthy teeth and bones
    • Contains phytoestrogens used in the treatment of menopausal systems and prevention of breast, prostate and uterus cancer plus reduces the risk of osteoporosis
    • Contains a substance, pinitol, useful in regulating blood sugar in diabetes

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