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The healing power of a humble cup of tea


Healing tea

Healing tea

“Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary” – Chinese Proverb

For thousands of years, tea has been revered for its positive effects on the body. Drunk in ancient times not only for refreshment but for medicinal reasons, the health benefits of a steaming hot brew of freshly steeped tea leaves have long been touted by many different cultures.

But as 21st century living brings a host of new challenges to our physical and mental health, how can popping the kettle on in 2020 still be beneficial to our wellbeing?

The ingredients in tea can provide physical benefits

The ancient Chinese put their mortars and pestles to work on green and white tea leaves, to name but a few. These teas have high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties – all of which play a role in helping to prevent ill health.

Pu-erh is not only believed to help improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and aid the fight against chronic disease, but it may also assist with weight loss through increased fat burning due to its high level of polyphenols.

While the ancient Chinese thrive on their green, black and white teas, the soils of South Africa are home to red tea, or rooibos as it’s known. Rooibos is caffeine-free, oxidised tea rich in antioxidants, quercetin and several minerals. Quercetin is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of allergies, while the minerals in rooibos support bone strength.

Teas to support good digestion

Teas with digestive benefits include blended brews such as T2’s Pu-erh, Tummy Tea, Belly Blend and Detox Loose Leaf Tisane. These wellness teas contain a range of healthy herbs to calm agitated tummies and flush nasty toxins from our systems.

While it is understood that a healthy gut has far-reaching benefits to our physical state, there is also a potential link between gut health and mental wellbeing. Pu-erh strikes again, being a tea containing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which many believe can reduce anxiety.

Soothing teas for emotional wellbeing

We’ve long been making cups of tea during times of stress or when we need a pick-me-up, but have we ever wondered why? Is it a ritual we follow just because that’s what Mum does and what Grandma did before her? Or could it be that brewing and drinking certain teas makes us feel calm and relaxed, while others help us be more alert and focused.

Herbs have long been used to calm overactive or agitated minds, to relax us and prepare us for sleep. Tea blends containing herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, valerian, hops, jasmine and linden pave the way to the land of nod. Try teas such as Sweet Dreams, The Dreamer, Nighty Night or Sleep Tight for better sleep.

‘Immuni-tea’ boosting teas

Perhaps now more than ever boosting our immune systems is important. The simple act of brewing a satisfying cuppa is naturally stress-relieving but why not take the benefits further and drink specialty teas designed to boost immunity?

Japan lays its claim to fame as the proud owners of matcha – a powdered green tea drunk by Buddhist Monks since the 8th or 9th Century. Here in Australia healthy green matcha is purported to possess the greatest amount of superpowers of all the green teas. Matcha is laden with antioxidants and fibre, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals and does container a higher caffeine content than other green teas.

Regardless of why we feel like a cuppa when we need to reset, revive, or restore a state of equilibrium to our minds and bodies, the fact remains that the humble cup of tea seems to have a profound effect on our total health and wellbeing.

Words by Kate Willson