HOW DOES TEA PROMOTE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
Tea has a 5,000-year history as a potent medicinal herb. Long before the flavor was developed, transforming it into a palatable beverage, the bitter tonic from boiled tea leaves was recommended for treating specific ailments.
Noted in ancient Chinese texts on medical practices, tea had many accepted healing qualities including aiding digestion, increasing mental focus, dispelling heat and dampness, dispelling toxins, and maintaining a healthy balance in the body.
POSITIVE HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEA
There are hundreds of new studies being published every year, but a few recent notables help build an important body of evidence so that the following assumptions can be made:
- Tea is a powerful neurological stimulator that invigorates the mind and may help protect the cells of the brain.
- It contains significant amounts of antioxidants that may help disrupt the growth of certain kinds of cancer cells.
- Tea’s antioxidants help lower levels of undesirable cholesterols and may reduce the threat of clogged arteries.
- It helps maintain stable blood sugar.
- It is 99 per cent water and assists with hydration.
TEA IS USED FOR RELAXATION AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Buddhism’s emphasis on meditation and the invigorating properties of tea are closely associated. Monks helped spread the usefulness of tea in their practice, and it became an important part of rituals and spiritual traditions throughout China, Japan, and Korea. Tea’s association with the practice of clearing one’s mind to relieve the stress of the day is especially valued today.
- Tea preparation is a form of tea meditation in many different cultures. The way it is brewed and served requires focus and practice to ensure unwavering attention to detail.
- It inspired a philosophy called Teaism, closely associated with Taoism.
- It was served ceremonially to samurai warriors preparing for battle.
- Tea preparation and consumption is a ceremony and performance art. In addition to formal rituals, it is also part of weddings and business meetings.
TEA BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER
Tea has woven itself into the fabric of life for many cultures around the world. A simple cup can be the focal point of large and small gatherings.
- Tea is a social event. From royal garden parties to wartime dances to contemporary fundraisers, tea sets a standard for group gatherings.
- It offers a time of day to rest and pause, to take a break from work. Many factories in Great Britain provide tea carts for break times in offices and factories, realizing that the stimulation of the tea and a small snack increases productivity.
- Tea is a light afternoon meal introduced to the British court in the 1840s by Anna Maria Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, which quickly gained popularity in many social classes. This afternoon repast is now popular around the world today. In Britain, “high tea” refers to the hearty evening meal eaten by workers home from work, served at the “high” table rather than a “low” table in a parlor or drawing-room.
- It is a way in which guests are welcomed. Hospitality in many societies—both Eastern and Western—is demonstrated by immediately offering tea to the guest.
- It can be a moment of comfort shared with a friend in crisis.