During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Li Shizhen wrote a book entitled; the Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao Shiyi). In the book, it states that Drinking Tea for extended periods of time will make one live longer and prevent obesity.
Most loose leaf teas are healthy when consumed regularly. Personally, I feel that Oolong tea has the most health advantages.
Oolong tea is a semi-green fermented tea. The fermentation process is halted as soon as the tea leaves start to change their color. The tea is fragrant with a fruity flavor and tasty aroma. It is considerably low in caffeine and extremely relaxing.
Nutritional Value Tea is a gift of nature rich in anti-oxidants. It also contains vital minerals and vitamins such as calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium, and potassium; vitamins A, B, C, E and K in addition to folic acids, niacinamide and other detoxifying alkaloids. Developed in semi-fermented processing. Oolong tea is also rich in polyphenolic compounds.
Benefits The various health-related benefits of oolong tea include:
Weight Loss and Heart Health One of the most well-known benefits of Oolong Tea is its ability to promote weight loss. Recent scientific studies have shown that Oolong tea contains polyphenol, which activates the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving triglyceride, which increases metabolism, lowers cholesterol, and blocks fat absorption. A 2007 American study using rats as test subjects has shown that Oolong Tea reduces the concentrations of Triglycerides, the most common form of fat in the body, by 80% compared to rats on normal diets. In 2001 a Japanese study found that after one month of regular Oolong Tea drinking a noticeable reduction in cholesterol was found. A clinical test was carried out on 75 human participants between the ages of 22 and 68. Each of the participants was obese from poor diet habits and lack of physical exercise. Each participant refrained from exercising or taking any dietary treatment. They were each given Oolong Tea twice a day for six weeks. At the end of the study period, it was found that, on average, 4mm of subcutaneous fat was lost in the area near the naval. It was also found that the serum triglyceride level in some of the people who had a higher level than average fell. It was also discovered that the cholesterol level had dropped noticeably during the testing period. 67% of the participants had lost weight. It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of Oolong Tea promotes fat metabolism.
Removal of Harmful Free Radicals The polyphenolic compound is also responsible for the removal of free radicals in the body. Free Radicals are molecules which are linked to diseases and signs of aging, including cancers, wrinkles, and dark spots. Antioxidants are molecules which are capable of preventing or at least slowing down the oxidation of cells. Oxidation can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions which damage cells and cause the above-mentioned problems. Many teas contain antioxidants and a study conducted by Kenichi Yanagimoto in Japan found that Oolong Tea blocked oxidation by 50% in a period of over 15 days. The high levels of antioxidants found in Oolong Tea also promote dental health and the strengthening of bones. People who experience pain in their joints are advised to drink four to five cups of Oolong Tea every day to help alleviate pain and other symptoms associated with bone problems.
Treatment of Skin Disorders According to scientific experiments, patients diagnosed with eczema skin disorder can benefit from drinking 3 cups of oolong tea 3 times a day. The beneficial results of oolong tea were observed within less than a week with the tested patients showing remarkable skin improvement.
Treatment of Diabetes Oolong tea is used as an herbal brew for treating type 2 diabetic disorders and as an appendage to other supplementary drugs for treating the disease. A study conducted in Taiwan in 2003 found that drinking Oolong Tea is beneficial for diabetes patients. The 20 participants suffered from type 2 diabetes. All participants continued their hyperglycaemic drug intake during the study. Some of the participants drank 1.5 liters of water or Oolong Tea daily for 30 days. The participants who drank Oolong Tea experienced 30% reductions in plasma glucose and 20% reductions in fructosamine concentrations. The control group who drank water experienced no changes. It was concluded that Oolong Tea combined compliment oral agents in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Protection against Cancer It is a well-known fact that tea drinkers have a lower risk of acquiring skin cancer. Moreover, oolong tea compound polyphenol promotes apoptosis in stomach related cancerous growth. This polyphenol extract also acts as a chemo-preventive instrument against the development of other cancerous forms.
Stress Reduction In a detailed study conducted at the Osaka Institute for Health Care Science, in Japan, the experimental mice that were ingested with oolong tea showed a remarkable improvement in stress levels by more than 10 to 18 %. The natural polyphenols in the oolong tea are said to be the main stress buster. In China, it is widely believed that drinking four cups of Oolong Tea per day can help people suffering from depression, mood fluctuations, and anxiety problems.