Check out the Functional Aspects of Tea
By Dr. Julie Monica
January is National Hot Tea Month. And this winter especially calls for warm comfort with a healthy perspective. Understanding the most functional aspects of common teas can help our patients make better choices.
- Herbal (teas): Caffeine – none, Tannins – none (because this “tea” is an infusion of leaves, seeds and roots, not really a tea), they have many modulating uses, i.e., passionflower tea is traditionally used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep, and studies have begun to truly support these uses.
- Green tea: Caffeine -30-50 mg/8 oz., about ½ of an equal amount coffee. Tannins – some, but contains the most powerful polyphenols and anti-oxidants in comparison here, most notably ECGC, a liver detoxifier. So powerful with consistent use that BP meds and others may need to be monitored as it can decrease effectiveness.
- Black tea: Made from Camellia sinensis like green and all other teas but is fermented and blended with other plant leaves. It is known for its strong flavors. Tannins – The most. Caffeine – the most, consistently 48 mg (or more)/8 oz. But also has some antioxidant qualities and the highest theaflavin content, which is being researched for effectiveness in aiding cardiovascular conditions.
My go-to is herbal teas because they have less acid, are always caffeine-free, and they also have some very unique, delicious flavors. They can help facilitate some functional goals. Lemon Balm tea helps improve arterial elasticity. Rose hip tea contains over 500 mg/8 oz of vitamin C, and has anti-inflammatory qualities.
Hot or cold we should drink up.