Oolong Tea and Why It's Good for You

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Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I loved going to Chinatown to our family’s favorite restaurant on Jackson Street. As soon as we sat down, the wait staff would bring over a large pot of the most delicious, fragrant tea—oolong. That tea was hot, flavorful and enjoyable and if you’ve ever had a “flavor memory” before, well, this is one of mine. I haven’t had oolong tea in a long time but lately, I’ve been craving it. I decided to do a little research to see if it has any beneficial properties. And, yes, it does.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

1)      Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant used to make both black teas and green teas. However, there is a partial oxidation process which makes oolong tea. Black tea has been fully oxidized while green tea is minimally oxidized.

2)     It was known in China as a tribute tea. Discovered in the mountainous regions of Fujian during the Tang Dynasty, this tea was chosen by the emperor to be presented as gifts at the royal court.

3)     It contains theanine, an amino acid known for its relaxing effects but it’s also thought to improve mental health.

4)     Oolong tea provides some benefits for heart health. In one study of 76,000 Japanese adults, those who drank about 8 ounces of oolong tea per day had a 61% lower risk of heart disease.

5)     It’s good for bone health as it may help us retain minerals from other foods we eat.

6)     It contains polyphenols which may help prevent tooth decay.

7)     There’s about 25 mg. of caffeine per cup of oolong; the same amount of coffee contains 95 mg. of caffeine.

8)     Avoid oolong tea: if you are sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or have a thyroid condition.

 

·      For more information: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/oolong-tea-benefits

https://www.teatulia.com/tea-varieties/what-is-oolong-tea.htm

Fight the Flu with Herbal Teas

Despite my best efforts to not get sick, I’ve now been sick with the flu for 8 days straight. All I can say is that I’m thankful I didn’t get this during the Christmas break when my kids were home. . . in the meantime, I have been drinking lots and lots of tea. There’s many choices but the one I find myself going back to is the simplest out there: freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh ginger chunks & manuka honey (regular honey works fine, too). Put all of these ingredients in a small teapot or teacup and pour boiling water over them—let sit covered for about 8 minutes. Sip slowly and enjoy the goodness in your cup!

There are a few loose herbs I wish I had on hand right now like rosemary and eucalyptus. . . it would take too long for me to order them and get them in time but I have been drinking thyme and olive leaf as well—hot water poured over these herbs and steeped for 8 minutes. 

And, if you don’t want to bother with chopping ginger & squeezing lemon when you don’t feel well, one great tea I’ve just discovered for the flu is Gypsy Cold Care by Traditional Medicinals. This tea is a nice blend of elder, yarrow and peppermint with their proprietary blend of herbs such as organic rose hips, organic cinnamon bark and organic ginger, etc. The company does list a few precautions with this tea: not recommended for children under 12 years old. Do not use this tea if you are allergic to plants in the daisy family, like yarrow, chamomile or echinacea. And, talk to your healthcare practitioner before you drink this tea, if you have gallstones, bile duct obstruction, hiatal hernia or acid reflux. Bottom line: this tea has medicinal properties to it and you probably don’t want to drink it if you are taking certain prescription meds for these various health issues.

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