Tea & Health

Tea has been recognized from its inception for its medicinal properties. Several studies have been undertaken to research the health benefits of black tea consumption.

The polyphenols present in tea are active anti-oxidants, which are thought to act protectively against cardiovascular disease risk and carcinogenesis.

The free radicals found within us, are oxidants, which are very active, combining with a variety of other chemicals to cause undesirable effects. Polyphenols and other compounds in tea neutralize the free radical oxidants by reacting with them, in effect acting as free radical scavengers.

In green tea, which has not gone through an oxidative fermentation process, natural constituents known as "Catechins" have similar anti oxidant properties to the vitamins A, C & E. General results so far obtained by in-vitro experiments, animal experiments or human interventional studies have suggested that tea Catechins may contribute towards the prevention of cardiovascular related diseases. These benefits of tea Catechins derive from their potent antioxidative and free radical scavenging capacity. With improvement of techniques for identification, black tea Polyphenols may also be found to be linked to the beneficial effects of tea. "Theaflavins", which give the colour to black tea, are also powerful anti-oxidants and have q substantial contribution to the NO scavenging of black tea.

The Inter-Governmental group on Tea in 1992 proposed that the Common Fund for Commodities under- take research on the health benefits to humans on the consumption of black tea. The studies have produced positive results in the contribution to preventive effects of some biomarkers of carcinogenesis, and suggested a possible mechanism of association with a reduction in cardiovascular risk. Studies are also being done on the beneficial effects of tea on dental enamel, caries and oral bacteria.

Apart-from these effects, tea also plays a part in human nutrition and is widely accepted as a healthy low caloric drink.

“Tea is the beverage of ceremonious people, and like the dense monsoon rains, it is both calming and stimulating, encouraging conversation and relaxation…. Ideas and traditions seep slowly in its steamy transparence”

Pascal Brucker