This month we’re celebrating what is arguably the most widely drunk beverage in the world - tea. This humble plant has shaped dynasties, fueled empires, and sparked revolutions. What you may not know is that black, green, white and oolong are all the same plant, Camellia sinensis. I’ve always found that fact pretty remarkable given the vast differences in taste and aroma. A tea’s flavor is determined by when it’s harvested and how it’s treated and fermented afterwards. All tea contains caffeine with black tea having the most and green tea the least.
Tea is ridiculously high in antioxidants and flavonoids, namely catechins. I invite you to search tea and catechins in the National Institutes of Health database pubmed.gov. What you’ll find is an impressive number of studies and evidence linking them to the prevention and treatment of chronic illness. Tea has been widely researched for its positive effects on heart health, metabolic syndrome, cancer prevention, and oral health. I personally use green tea in most of my topical and skin care preparations as well. Those same antioxidants that feed the heart help to tighten and tone skin tissue. A facial steam of green tea, rose, chamomile, and lavender is one of the best forms of self-care magic I can think of! Speaking of magic, tea is often used in spells to attract money and riches.
To get the most from your tea I highly recommend purchasing organic, free or fair trade, loose leaf tea. Unfortunately much of the premade bags sold here in the United States are of poor quality and are often contaminated with toxins or heavy metals. There have been examples of products containing green tea extract adversely affecting the liver. My vote is we trust Mother Nature and drink the tea as she intended - in its whole plant form. For more information on the story of tea (and our human relationship to it) I recommend the book ‘A History of the World in 6 Glasses’ by Tom Standage.
I invite you all to get outside tonight and look up into the sky at the glorious full moon. Perhaps even with a cup of tea in hand! Green blessings!