Two weeks ago a reader asked for more information on the types and health benefits of tea. It’s no wonder there’s confusion. The word “tea” is used for practically every hot beverage other than coffee and chocolate. Regardless of what it is, if you soak it in hot water to make a beverage, you’re making tea. Understandably, however, different plants have very different health benefits and hazards. As in the case of wild mushrooms, it’s important to know what you’re doing before you start drinking a brew.
All true tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference between green and black teas, for example, has to do with how the leaves are processed. To make black tea, the leaves undergo a process of oxidation that changes the color and flavor of the tea. To make green tea, the leaves are steamed, rolled, and dried. It’s possible to process the leaves into other colors as well. Although both black and green teas have anti-oxidant properties, black tea has more caffeine and fewer polyphenols — so I typically reach for green. That is, when I don’t reach for the red tea, called Rooibos, which comes from an entirely different plant, Aspalanthus linearis, and grows wild in South Africa. Rooibos also has anti-oxidant properties but it has no caffeine and minimal acid, which makes for a very smooth brewTo learn more about Rooibos tea, and where to order on line, read Wellness Pathway #104. To order green tea on line, you might try the sites recommend by Dr. Weil, http://www.inpursuitoftea.com or http://www.japanesegreenteaonline.com.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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