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Tea offers soothing health benefits
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Forsyth County News

My mother was a tea-lover and I suppose she passed that on to me when I was a young girl.

I remember her making me hot tea on cold mornings and bringing me a steaming cup when she woke me up for school.

When I was sick, I remember her brewing chamomile tea. To this day, that tea takes me right back to the feeling of being cared for by my loving mother.

In warmer months, there was always a pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator. And while most Southerners think all tea is sweet, my mom made it unsweetened, which is still how I drink it today.

There are so many types of tea blends out there, but purists say the only “true” teas are green, black, white, oolong and pu-erh.

Tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, a shrub native to India and China.

I love that tea’s popularity has soared in the last few decades and we can find all sorts of varieties, including many loose teas.

There is something so relaxing about brewing a little pot of tea and enjoying a cup or two. Just ask the British.

Tea is not only delicious and refreshing, it is also quite good for us. There are so many health benefits, and researchers are discovering new ones all of the time.

Experts say tea contains so many antioxidants and can help improve skin, memory and reduce pollen allergies. Add some local honey to a cup of tea and it’s reportedly even more helpful for those allergies.

Much research has been devoted to show tea can help lower cholesterol. Some experts think it stops the cholesterol from being absorbed by the large intestine.

There is also research showing tea may help prevent blindness caused by cataracts. Other studies show that tea can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone that makes us accumulate pesky belly fat.

There is so much health buzz out there about eating a diet that is anti-inflamatory. Well guess what? Tea helps decrease inflammation in the body.

That inflammation contributes to arthritis and depression. In addition, inflammation can cause us to retain water and look puffy.

There is also evidence inflammation increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

With so many benefits, there are almost no reasons not to drink tea. Start the morning off with a cup of green tea, and sip on iced tea throughout the day. End the day with a hot cup of caffeine-free herb tea.

One last thing, I have been reading quite a bit lately about the questionable practices of some tea companies with regards to processing techniques and use of pesticides.

To avoid knowing which are the best quality and safest teas to drink, opt for organic. Also, be sure to let the tea steep for five minutes or so for maximum benefits.

 

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.