History of Tea: Health and Healing Properties

For more than 4000 years now, tea has been a faithful staple in many cultures and countries around the world. Used as a sustaining liquid for those suffering from infectious disease, there are many believers who have always asserted that tea holds powerful healing properties. In some cases, they believe that tea can actually cure ailments and sickness. New emerging studies are elevating these assumptions from myth to scientific reality, providing significant evidence that tea is indeed a source of health and contains legitimate healing properties.

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, second only to water, and in many parts of the world, green and black teas are mass produced from the plant Camilla Sinensis. Because of the way the beverage is brewed, it is also one of the safest beverages made on the planet. This is because it is made with boiling water until it is sterile. It is this process that eradicates just about every type of bacteria or virus commonly found in water.

For centuries, tea has not only helped promote health, it also has served as a as a social outlet (tea time), battlefield sedative (the British for years served their wounded tea on the battle field as a way to calm them), and has played a major role in at least one revolution (the Boston Tea Party).

Pirates used to raid tea ships and bounties were put on these pirates’ heads, sometimes even surpassing the bounties placed on pirates that raided gold and silver ships. Rumor has it that this beverage was so popular in England and the colonies that during the American War for Independence, tea was still served in many of the thirteen colonies under a collection of aliases.

Throughout this time, however, tea was also believed to possess qualities that promoted good health and it was believed that tea could help a sick or injured person heal. For centuries, this was merely attributable to antidotal experience, with no scientific foundation on which to base those beliefs. Recently, however, detailed research done by an array of colleges, universities, and research centers have focused on teas positive properties.

Japan and China initially carried out the lion-share of this research, which primarily focused on their tea-of-choice: green tea. Europe and the United States, though, have begun to get in on the act, focusing on green and black tea and the results have been nothing short of astounding.

Not only have many of the alleged healthful properties been certified, researchers have also identified other, previously unknown qualities of tea that have proven that the beverage possesses qualities that can fight cancer, ward off tumors, and prevent the introduction of free radicals into the body.

This results of these tests indicated that because teas possess a high level of the antioxidant tea polyphenols, it is a great disease fighter. Research has shown that not only can tea fight cancer and ward off tumors and other defects; it also is can reduce the risk of heart disease.

As researchers have discovered these properties, they also have been able to map out the chemical composition of tea and pinpoint what they believe are the critical properties of this near wonder-drug.

These findings have allowed researchers to begin to understand what makes tea so effective in healing and promoting health. The most productive tests have come in the form of multi-disciplinary approaches, which consider data from epidemiology and field studies, laboratory tests in animals and historical accounts that are compared to current testing results. Researchers have tested tea against many different ailments and the results have shown that it is one of the most effective methods that a person can employ to ensure that they are able to adequately fight against any of these sicknesses. The jury, however, is still out, as tea’s potential is only just now beginning to be understood.

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