The Cultural Significance of Drinking Tea
It’s been more than 4500 years that tea became an essential part of life for the people in the East. Millions of people enjoy tea on daily basis and now it’s impossible to imagine life without it. Originating from China, tea influenced the societies and cultures around the world. To an extent that some cultures in many parts of the world have social decorum’s relating to drinking and making of tea, including the point of when, where and how to drink it.
Legends say that Shan Nong, a Chinese emperor discovered tea in 2737 B.C. when out of nowhere a few tea leaves fell in the water he was boiling for drinking. This action gave him a rich alluring aroma and when he drank it he realized it was energizing and refreshing. He instantly ordered the implantation of tea bushes in the palace garden. Later, at the beginning of the 17th century, tea arrived in the west i.e. Europe via Portuguese and Dutch sailors as they had trade relations with China. Tea was brought to Britain and Holland to start, sold at auctions and became popular among wealthy upper classes.
The major benefit of tea is its unique quality of being a natural product. No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are there. Furthermore, if drunk without sugar, honey or milk it serves as an essential constituent for balanced body liquids. Tea reduces the risk of heart attack, protects bones, gives a sweet smile as it is good for teeth, protects against cancer and helps the immune system to fights against infection.
However, most common types of tea used today are: white, green, black, oolong and fermented tea. White tea is one the scarcer and expensive kinds of tea carrying immense health benefits with lower caffeine level. It has countless benefits on health and wellness. Some are:
- Lower blood pressure:
White tea keeps the blood thinner improving artery functions which ultimately lowers the high blood pressure and maintains healthy life.
- Cancer prevention:
White tea have profound power against cancer causing cells and many other types of cancer. An antioxidant named Flavonoids in white tea inhibits the cancerous cells growth and even development of new cells.
- Lower cholesterol:
Antioxidant catechins found in white tea reduces cholesterol. White tea by decreasing the bad cholesterol increase the good one which prevents hardening of arteries and blocking blood flow.
- Heart protection:
White tea is said to be heart tonic in true sense. As it thins the blood, lessens cholesterol, lowers blood pressure- protecting the entire circulatory system and heart.
Rooibos is a member of legume plant family which grows in South Africa’s fynbos. The leaves of this plant are used to make herbal tea (Rooibos tea) which is not just popular in South Africa but all over the world now. Health benefits that rooibos gives is due to the presence of flavonoids aspalathin and nothofagin antioxidants. Benefits of rooibos tea: Avoids DNA damage, Protects cardiovascular through inhibition of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), Blood pressures is lowered, Helps in regeneration of liver tissues, Inhibits brain aging and lipid peroxidation and Improves glucose uptake and insulin secretion after meal.