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January 05, 2021
Slow down, take a break, and sip a cup of tea. That's what Qianlong, the fifth Chinese emperor of the Qing dynasty did on the daily. The successful emperor lived to be 89 years of age. What was his secret for longevity? He claimed it was tea. Traveling from province to province, one thing he made sure to do was taste the local tea, participating in royal tea ceremonies. Tea has not only been an important part of Chinese culture, it is also a form of medicine.
For me personally, drinking oolong tea is a perfect way to hit pause. Taking the time to boil water, pouring it over the little balled up dried leaves, watching them wake up and unravel, and breathing in the earthy, floral aroma has become a time just for me.
Tea has many different variations, and today we are going to talk about Oolong tea. Oolong tea is in between green tea and black tea on the fermentation scale. It carries richness like black tea, but also has the fresh fragrance of green tea.
Oolong tea contains more than 450 organic chemical components and more than 40 inorganic mineral elements. The organic chemical components mainly include tea polyphenols, plant alkaloids, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, pectin, organic acids, and enzymes. These organic chemical components in most oolong teas are significantly higher than other teas. The main inorganic compounds include potassium, calcium, magnesium, cobalt, iron, manganese, aluminum, sodium, zinc, copper, nitrogen, phosphorus and fluorine.
What can a liquid with all these components and elements do for your health? If drank often enough, oolong tea can help you in many surprising ways. Beware of some of the scientific, plant, and medical lingo. After doing much research, I tried to simplify it as much as I could, as well as provide new information that we don't already know.
According to a Japanese research report, drinking three cups of oolong tea daily relieved the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, a disorder that causes itchy, scaly skin on the insides of the elbows, the backs of the knees and on the face. Their research found that basically, polyphenols found in the oolong tea work through antioxidant activity and oxidize free radicals in response to allergens.
Oolong tea is better for loosing weight than black tea and green tea. Oolong tea can stimulate the activity of pancreatic lipolytic enzymes, while reducing the possibility of carbohydrates and fatty foods being absorbed by the body. It can also rev up the metabolism, which is especially effective in reducing the accumulation of abdominal fat.
Many of us know that vitamin C has anti-aging effects. What we probably didn't know is that Oolong tea has the same anti-aging effect as vitamin E. When sufficient vitamin C is taken orally every day, drinking oolong tea can maintain a higher level of vitamin C in the blood (like vitamin E) and reduce the excretion of vitamin C in urine. Add that up with the fact that Oolong tea includes its own antioxidants, we've got a brilliant beauty tea that can help us fight wrinkles and keep our skin looking bright and elastic.
A study from Taiwan found that middle-aged and elderly people often drink oolong tea to help protect their hearing. In a study involving 265 participants over 55 years of age, researchers found that before adjusting for other factors, the PPS (Pitch Morphological Sequence Score of Central Hearing) of the participants in the oolong tea group was significantly higher than that of the other group.
After the researchers excluded factors such as age, gender, waist circumference, smoking, drinking, drinking coffee, vitamin supplements, chronic diseases, etc., they found that the participants in the oolong tea group were significantly better at recognizing sounds of different frequencies than those who did not drink oolong tea.
Oolong tea does have a bit of caffeine, 10 to 60 milligrams (mg) per 8-ounce cup. For comparison, coffee contains approximately 70 to 130 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. In addition, oolong tea contains an amino acid (L-theanine) that helps inhibit caffeine release, making the energy boost more of a slow and gentle kind, without any crashing afterwards.
The practice of drinking tea after drinking alcohol to flush it out and prevent the unpleasant effects of alcohol is quite common in Taiwan and other parts of the earth. There is not much research done yet, but here's the information I've found:
Alcohol is eventually broken down by the metabolism into ethanol. Ethanol is then broken down into carbon dioxide and water, and excreted through the blood circulatory system and the urinary system.
Tea contains a lot of tea polyphenols, which can effectively promote the metabolism of ethanol and can play a very good role in protecting the liver. Drinking tea can increase the constriction of blood vessels, and also contains theophylline which has a good diuretic effect, thus causing alcohol to be excreted quickly, making you feel "less drunk".
Lastly, tea can excite the central nervous system that is inhibited by alcohol. Because of all these reasons, many people drink oolong tea after having a couple drinks to flush out the alcohol and feel better the next day.
Research has shown that due to polyphenols, oolong tea has the ability to emulsify fats, a process that actually helps remove oils from the mouth and stomach. Studies have also shown that drinking 1 liter of oolong tea a day can effectively inhibit the rise of cholesterol.
In addition to polyphenols, oolong tea also contains a bitter component "tannin". Tannin has a close relationship with fat metabolism, which can help you dissolve the fat that has accumulated in your body and make it easier to metabolize. So if you've had a greasy meal, drinking a cup of oolong tea afterwards might just be the perfect choice.
Fermented tea has more cancer fighting effects than unfermented tea with Oolong tea and Pu'er tea ranking high, while green tea ranks low.
This is because firstly, EGCG in tea polyphenols has antioxidant activity. Second, EGCG inhibits the activity of enzymes that have a tumor-promoting effect. These enzymes include protein kinase C, ornithine decarboxylase, cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase (whatever that stuff is).
Third, tea polyphenols can promote the activity of enzymes with anti-cancer activity. These enzymes include catalase and glutathione-S transferase. Fourth, it can resist tumor proliferation activity. Fifth, people who drink tea regularly can enhance immunity.
The antioxidant flavonoids in oolong tea can help prevent cell damage and maintain a healthy immune system. Drinking oolong tea is said to increase the production of anti-bacterial proteins, which helps in fighting infections.
Related research shows that Oolong tea has the effect of lowering blood lipids. Experts suggest that patients with hyperlipidemia can drink oolong tea every day after meals to achieve the goal of blood lipid control.
I have always loved the floral fragrance oolong tea provides, but sometimes was just too lazy to make it. Since spending a lot of time researching oolong tea and its health benefits, I was inspired to drink more of this medicinal wonder.
Using my Mora Ceramics Tea mug with its handy loose leaf infuser, I found it so much more convenient to brew my oolong tea. Once the tea is finished steeping, I just place the infuser on the lid which acts as a coaster. With high quality loose leaf tea, you can brew the same tea leaves up to five times!
Photo shown above is the Mora Ceramics Large Tea Mug.
I've noticed that on days I drink oolong tea, my metabolism seems to work faster. I get hungrier more quickly, my stomach feels "lighter", and going to the bathroom hasn't been an issue (if you know what I mean).
If you have ever joined in on a real tea ceremony, you would know that drinking tea isn't only about the health benefits. It's also about the experience. The same can be said when drinking tea at home. Taking the time for yourself, hitting pause. Measuring out the leaves, boiling the water. Pouring the steaming water over the dried leaves that came from hundreds of miles away. Extracting all the polyphenols, minerals, organic compounds into that cup to nurture your body and your soul. You can't do it any other way.
I hope this article has inspired you to try oolong tea for yourself if you haven't already. If you have tried it, I hope this encourages you to drink it more often. These health benefits only work if you drink tea regularly. So let's be kind to our bodies, practice self care, and drink oolong tea.
If you're an amazon shopper, you can find our small tea mug and large tea mugs here. If you would rather shop directly, just explore our site! Our large tea mugs come in white, nightwaves, merlot, deep blue, olive green, almond, and sleet. If you are more of a coffee lover, check out our double walled ceramic travel mug in our newest color, nightwaves, or our best selling color, cotton white.
Below are the links that I found most of my information from. Since I am fluent in Chinese as a second language, some of my research came from news article in Taiwan.
For an article on Self Care and Sleep, also incorporating a little Traditional Chinese Medicine, you can look here.
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As some of you may know, I am a huge chocolate lover. I could eat a whole chocolate cake if I could. But, just like most people, I try to watch my sugar intake a little.
A huge part of self care is balance between fitness and "treating" thyself. So that's why I love making desserts that include some healthy ingredients such as chickpeas.