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Alternative medicine: Tea
Sat, 15 Mar 2008 22:44:42
By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran
Tea not only helps fight several cancers and cardiovascular diseases but also relieves
headaches and provides a calm mental state.
Botanical: Camellia thea
Family: N.O. Camelliaceae
Synonym: Thea sinensis (Sims). Thea Veridis. Thea bohea. Thea stricta Jassamica. Camellia
For thousands of years Tea has been cultivated in Asia especially in Assam, Ceylon, Japan and
Tea is a small evergreen shrub which grows 2 to 3 meters tall and has dark green, lanceolate
or elliptical leaves.
It is noteworthy that the processing degree determines whether tea will be green, black or
Green tea is the least processed and is simply steamed quickly before packaging. Black and
red teas are partially dried, crushed and fermented.
Part Used Medicinally:
Tea consists of caffeine (theine), tannin (10 to 20 percent gallotannic acid), boheic acid,
volatile oil, aqueous extract, protein wax, resin, ash fluoride, and theophylline.
Tea contains antioxidants known as catechins, which are highly concentrated in white and
green teas, while black tea's oxidative preparation results in a lower concentration.
Tea is a dietary source of important vitamins and minerals. It contains carotene (a precursor
to vitamin A), Thiamin (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Nicotinic acid, Pantothenic acid,
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin B6, Folic acid, Manganese, Potassium, and Fluoride.
Tea virtually has no calories, and half the amount of caffeine found in an equally sized cup of
Tea is believed to have stimulant and astringent properties. Its' simulative property is useful
for treating tumors, abscesses, bladder ailments and lethargy.
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Because of its high L-theanine content, tea affects the brain's neurotransmitters and
increases alpha brain-wave activity, resulting in a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind. It is
also effective in alleviating neuralgic headaches.
Tea, in any type, contains polyphenols, which give tea its antioxidant properties. These
compounds help protect the body from free radical damage.
Tea has anti-cancer properties and can help reduce the risk of gastric, esophageal, ovarian
and skin cancers. White tea has the highest anti-cancer properties.
Tea polyphenols also prevent blood clotting and lower the blood pressure as well as
cholesterol levels. As a result, drinking tea lowers the risk of heart attacks.
Tea inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause halitosis.
Tea boosts the body's immune system response to infection.
Drinking tea helps delay Alzheimer's disease and reduces mortality risks by 44 percent.
In the case of heart disease, the antioxidants in tea prevent death from a second heart attack
by relaxing blood vessels and allowing blood to flow more easily, lowering blood pressure and
reducing the stress on the heart.
Tea also contains fluoride, which benefits the teeth and its bacteria killing properties help
control halitosis and plaque formation.
Drinking tea regularly can produce stronger bones. Those who drank tea on a regular basis
for 10 or more years have higher-bone mineral density in their spines.
Tea helps prevent flu and fights allergies especially sneeze-starting allergens, including
pollen, pet dander, and dust.
It also results in longevity and slows aging. Oolong tea is believed to possess the highest
Drinking hot tea lowers the risk of certain skin cancers.
White tea has more powerful anti-cancer qualities compared to other types of tea and helps
fight viruses and bacteria
Green tea is helpful in preventing atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diabetes, liver
disease, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and halitosis.
Green tea can help prevent tooth decay and food poisoning. It can also kill the bacteria
resulting in dental plaque.
Drinking tea can be a prophylactic for arthritis and helps arthritis patients by reducing the
inflammation and slowing cartilage breakdown.
Drinking five cups or more of green tea daily lowers the risk of breast cancer recurrences; it
also slows the spread of the disease.
Green tea is an effective compound in skin care.
Drinking green tea lowers the risk of developing neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders. A