I think we all intuitively feel good about drinking tea whether we know the intricacies of the health benefits or not. The warmth and ritual of steeping tea lends itself to calm and comforting feelings. But the really wonderful thing is that tea has proven health benefits, and is continuing to be studied by researchers from all over the world.
I just returned from the 5th International Symposium on Tea & Human Health held in Washington DC and am excited to share what I learned…which is easier said than done. Researching any substance is complicated and much of the experimentation was done in a laboratory and on rats. There have been some human studies, but these take much longer (years) and are harder to control with reliable findings. (On many occasions I’ve sat down to blog about tea’s health benefits but become overwhelmed with the complexity of what I’ve read/heard so I appreciate how difficult it is for a researcher to qualify and explain their methods and findings.)
Basically, the researchers reported positive effects of tea with weight management, better cognitive performance, reduction of some cardiovascular diseases, cancer prevention and recurrence, and improved bone density. The actual studies need to be read and digested by people to really get the substance of how the experiments were conducted and all the qualifications to the findings. In some cases, researchers were presenting review of other previous studies and looking for consistency to form or better confirm conclusions.
I think the big take-aways for me include:
–Tea is found to provide protective benefits in new (to me), diverse ways such as bone health, stroke recovery, and blood pressure stabilization.
—Both green and black teas are featured in the studies and both found to be beneficial
–Tea has the attention of major researchers from all over the world and not being a prescription drug, it’s exciting to see continued money and effort extended for study
But fundamentally, attending the Symposium just reinforced what I tell customers every day: tea is part of a healthy lifestyle. For any readers who are local, you may pick up a summary of the handout at Experience Tea Studio.