Tea as Part of Your Wellness Routine: An Introduction
Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage on the planet... and for good reasons! Besides the fact that tea is DELICIOUS, experts and enthusiasts have been spouting the health benefits of tea for a very long time. And let me be clear...I'm not talking about that sugary, iced drink that my family in the South grew up on. Once you add sugar, assume there are no health benefits to what you are consuming. I'm talking about plain, hot. brewed tea leaves here, my friends.
I also want to encourage you to not accept health benefit claims by people who profit from these claims. Please do your own research and fact check anything you read on the internet (including this post).
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing with you a few reasons you need some loose leaf tea in your life and wellness routine. We'll chat about:
- The Health Benefits of Switching to Organic Loose Leaf Tea
- The Physiological Benefits of Tea
- The Psychological Benefits of Tea
But today, we are going to chat about what IS tea anyway?
At first, this seems like a simple question with a basic answer. But unless you're a tea nerd, some of this knowledge I'm about to throw at you might be surprising.
First of all, green tea, white tea, black tea, and oolong all come from the exact same plant...the Camellia sinensis. In fact, the only differences between these varieties is how old the leaf was when it was picked and whether or not the leaf was oxidized. How can so much goodness come from one little plant?
You may hear of many kinds of teas that are all green tea (or black or white, etc.) with many kinds of names and very different looks. If they all come from the same plant, how does that happen? Though scientifically the plant is the same, depending on the weather, country, elevation, etc., tea can take on a drastically different appearance and flavor. Just like a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard are genetically the same animal, they have very different characteristics.
What is NOT tea? Any herbal blend (chamomile and lavender are popular herbal “teas”), Rooibos, and Yerba Mate. Delicious, hot, steamy, brewed drinks...but not tea. Herbal blends have their own health benefits and share many of the same psychological benefits of tea, but we'll get into that later.
Until next time, happy tea time!