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Who out there drinks tea for the health benefits?

Which ones and why? Have you personally experienced the benefits?

28 Replies
Angrboda said

I don’t. Flavour all the way.
I don’t generally believe in that sort of ‘miracle food’. If you eat healthily and varied and make sure you get your excersise every day, I don’t believe all these extra health benefits in tea or any other product really have all that much of an impact. And if you don’t eat healthily and varied and get your excersise, drinking tea or eating guava or whatever is not going to be enough to compensate. I find it a little off-putting when something is made trendy by supposed experts and especially the media (various women’s magazines hold a great deal of blame here. At least they do in Denmark). A couple of years ago it was blueberries this and blueberries that everywhere around here. Certain media went so overboard that it almost sounded like they thought blueberries could allegedly make people live to be 300 years old and cure everything from the common cold to terminal cancer. Every time you bought blueberries people automatically thought it was for all these super-powers, not because you just happened to think that a blueberry is a pretty yummy berry. And then of course it all fell apart over a couple of days when it was discovered that the blueberries actually sold in Denmark was not the right sort of blueberry. Food, in my opinion, doesn’t have to be a chemistry lesson.

So no, I can’t be bothered with the health benefits and chemistry lessons. I’ve even skipped those chapters when reading the literature that I’ve got, mostly because it’s OMG so boring. And I’m a lab tech, you would think it would be right up my alley… Maybe that’s actually the reason I remain sceptical about miracle food come to think of it.

I do, however, very hypocritically and ironically, keep some licorice root and chamomile tisanes around that I use when I’m feeling poorly, trying to placebo myself into feeling better. It helps pass the time until I actually do start feeling better, and I’m not above lying to myself that it happens quicker. I’m not certain this really counts in answer to this specific question, but I rather suspect that it does. :) It definitely feels soothing on a sore throat to drink, but possibly anything warm would do that. In such situations I tend to find that real tea takes on a quite unpleasant side-flavour, so it’s easier to deal with a tisane. Even if I don’t even like the tisane in question that much.

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I drink tea because I love the wide variety of choices, never boring, perfect a mood drinker and eater. Plus I love what I have tasted and even if I run into something I don’t care for I am not detered and will try another new tea again. As for healthy benefits… Well if I am getting them then great but I don’t drink tea exclusively for that purpose. If there are in fact some that is a bonus. I don’t have any guilt when I drink tea assuming there are health benefits which is better than if or when I crave a pop. So I suppose for me the health benefit is I don’t feel guilty drinking tea and can indulge myself as I feel knowing it most likely should be alright. Trust me I have tested my limits and have yet to have seen a side effect. :)

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I don’t drink tea particularly for health benefits. But I do believe we should follow the instructions of our body and chose the tea we feel most comfortable with. Here is something I wrote a while ago about my view of health benefits :-D
http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2010/10/tea-and-inner-climate-of-body.html

Not much scientific information though. Basically I believe what’s showed health benefits on me may or may not does the same on you, and vice versa. So you are the only person who can find out what’s good for you :-D

Wow! I just read your post on blogspot; I really like what you address in it. This is more or less along the lines of what I was looking for: someone else’s personal experiences in regards to the impact that tea has had on them (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.).

One reason why I like asking other people for their perspective is to compare and contrast it to mine. In your post you have mentioned a number of things that seem to be in alignment with my approach about science and the individual. “I believe human body is an extremely complex system and general theories, no matter oriental or occidental, traditional or modern scientific, can’t summarize the mechanisms of every single body.” Well put!

I personally subscribe to a both/and world-view, which applied in this case is that BOTH how YOU experience things, AND how I experience things are valid, and matter. And I believe that ultimately what matters most to each individual is their own perspective and experiences regarding, in this case, our encounter with that wonderful thing called, tea.

btw, I checked out your website earlier today and I like it, especially the sample sets you offer :)

Thank you so much for your kind words :D It’s indeed very interesting to exchange with others how one feels about a tea under specific circumstance!

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Cofftea said

I do not like plain water. Can’t stand it. Out of all of the other beverages in the world I have chosen it for it’s wide flavor varieties, the culture, the health benefits, and the fact that it is calorie and sweetener free. So while it is definitely at the bottom of the list it is definitely a factor as I do not drink pure tisanes.

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OolongLily said

I do. It’s not the only reason, but it’s one of them. My adrenal system is a little shot so tea helps regulate my energy swings. When I’m crashing I go for a black or green. I find the caffeine in them to work much better than coffee. It’s a smoother , longer lasting energy increase vs coffee’s initial jolt and more immediate consequent crash. Oolongs are good for energy too, though I also use them for their balancing properties. I also brew tisanes of course, like chamomile, peppermint, ginger, etc for their medicinal properties.

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I do not. I drink tea because I love tea. Other than water, it is the only thing I drink on a daily basis. I don’t care for soda for the most part, and will only drink it when I’m out to eat and I don’t want to try what they (the restaurant) thinks will suffice for tea. I generally do not drink alcoholic beverages (maybe once a year … maybe?), and I can’t drink coffee. So tea and water are my main sources of hydration. The fact that tea is a healthy beverage is a bonus.

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Sara said

I actually started drinking tea because I was trying to lose weight when it was right around the time when green tea started being touted as a weight loss aid. First grocery store brand green, the Yogi, then at some point I discovered Teavana and it was all over from there, haha.

The health benefits are definitely something I keep in mind. For example if I’m having a heavy meal I’ll make a cup of oolong with it, as I’ve read that oolong can help block fat absorption. I drink ginger or peppermint tea for stomach aches, though I guess those would be classified as herbals. I like black tea in the morning for the caffeine boost. Plus drinking a lot of tea always helps my skin look better (whether this is tea itself or simply that I’m well-hydrated, I’m not certain). I also occasionally fall into the trap of Republic of Tea’s wellness teas – their digestion one is good and quite helpful. And detox teas do help with hangovers.

In conclusion: yay health benefits! They brought me in, they keep me around. And all the dessert teas in my cupboard are beneficial because they keep me from overindulging…that counts, right? ;)

OolongLily said

RoTs detox helps with hangovers? I tried Yogi’s and it didn’t do much for me. Does it taste good? Or at least not terrible?

Cofftea said

I started drinking oolong because of the “weight loss aid” hype. I now know better to not believe such hype. Any non calorie non artificial sweetener beverage in place of a beverage or food that contains those things will cause you to lose weight and those calorie free artificial sweetener free beverages that contain caffeine help even more because they speed up metabolism. To speed up your metabolism more, drink iced tea. I suggest either double strength (if using plain ice cubes) or make ice cubes out of tea- that way you don’t dilute the flavor and you get more health benefits per glass.

Sara said

OolongLily, RoT’s detox is definitely my favorite detox tea, and I’ve tried many. It’s almond and vanilla in a rooibos base, very tasty. There’s a Daily Detox brand that also makes tolerable flavors (I like the Apple Cinnamon) and Kusmi’s Detox is pretty good as well.

Cofftea, it’s condescending of you to say that you now “know better” (than me, I guess? how nice) to believe such “hype.” Perhaps that’s not how you meant to come off; if that’s the case, I thought it would be good to make you aware of how you sounded just then. Thanks for the tips.

Cofftea said

Well it’s pretty self righteous of you to assume someone is undermining you and then get upset about it. Thanks for asking for clarification (which you didn’t). You’re responsible for reading into something you shouldn’t have, not me. Take responsibility for it and actually apologize (and mean it) instead of making it my fault. Because it won’t work. All you’ve proved is that you don’t read things correctly. Your “than me, I guess?” question is a “no.” If you’d go back and re-read the sentence I clearly finished it “to not believe such hype” (the word than should have been included the word “to” so the sentence reads smoother) and did not compare it to the knowledge of someone else. If you’re feeling like I may know more than you in some (by far not all) areas, maybe you’re just envious. In that case I’d encourage you to take some time and read up on the genuine health benefits of tea vs. the hype- although it’s not easy, there are a lot of conflicting materials out there.

OolongLily said

@Sara That sounds awesome. I’ll check it out. Thanks much. :D

If I may, I would like to offer a different way to look at this current exchange (or any other disagreement between two parties). I considered waiting for a response to my offer, but that is not realistically feasible given the nature of this forum. So, here goes …

The perspective I want to offer you has helped me tremendously, and it may help you; then again, it may not. It’s totally your choice to accept the offer of my invitation, or not. If you are not interested, please disregard this, and do not continue reading.

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I look at conflict/disagreements/etc as great opportunities to learn about ourselves. I have already learned much about myself in reading the pages and pages of posts on this blog (including the posts where I judge strong feeling have surfaced, if only briefly). As cliché as it may sound, I believe we are all gifts to one another, even if those gifts seem painful and/or uncomfortable at first.

I have four simple questions for you (which I don’t advise answering on this post because your response is personal and for you alone). Read on at your own risk. It may not be pleasant (but it may very well be rewarding!).
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1) What is it about the other person that really makes you mad/upset/afraid/sad (what is your judgment about them)? And when you have that answer (and not until then, hopefully you will understand why later), read on …
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2) Ask yourself: where in my life do I show/exhibit the same behavior?

If you are open and honest with yourself, you may be amazed at your response.

3) If you see yourself reflected in the other person, are you willing to forgive them (for exhibiting the behavior)?

4) The final-and most important-question: Are you willing to forgive yourself (for exhibiting the same/similar behavior)?

I have been practicing this for many years and it amazes me every time; my ‘charge’ has dissipated or disappeared, and I feel peace and or joy. Why not try it?

teatiemz said

This is a really interesting conflict resolution technique- I’ll definitely have to try it! And Sara, I find that dessert teas definitely help keep my sweet tooth at bay too :))

I prefer to criticize others viewpoints and promote mine … oh wait I’m not in this this discussion … ah, well, carry on. Quietly backs away.

Sara said

SimpliciTEA, that’s very sweet of you to offer that technique, thank you. :)

Sara said

And Cofftea, I was just letting you know how you can come off to people, as I thought you might not be aware of it, but it appears you know exactly what you’re doing. Just trying to help, as I know most people don’t deliberately aim to be cruel. Good luck on your own personal journey. :)

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I drink for so many reasons… health benefits, caffeine, flavour…
I’m a mood drinker, taking into account all sorts of factors when choosing a tea.
Also, I can’t stand eating processed food so try to stay away from it as much as possible, which is partially what drew me to loose-leaf teas in the first place, but then I just fell in love with the variety and richness in flavour.
So in short, I don’t drink tea to be healthy, but it certainly fits into my lifestyle preferences.

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teatiemz said

I originally got into tea because I had this weird throat problem where I had to clear it all the time, and tea was the only thing that would make it better- I would drink it after every meal, and before I went to class (so as not to drive the people around me crazy). So I suppose you can say I got into tea for health benefits… but not weight-loss related things. I eventually figured out what had been causing it, and have learned to steer clear of sugar and dairy products accordingly (or be sure to have a mug of green tea around for afterwards!), but by that time I was hooked.

However, since I started drinking tea in place of the soft drinks I used to have all the time, I’ve lost about 20 lbs… so that’s definitely been a bonus!

Wow, that is so cool. What an interesting start and outcome of what tea is for you. :)

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Wow! Thank you everyone for responding. I enjoyed reading your posts, and I relate to much of what was written. Now I understand a little better where some of you tea enthusiasts are coming from and see I am not alone out here in Steepster cyberspace.

If you choose to read on, here is my disclaimer: I enjoy writing, and some judge it is lengthy. I did my best to make this as clear and concise as possible:)

A little about how I came to tea.

Nine months ago, loose-leaf tea was barely even on my radar. At that time I was looking for a natural way to supplement what I was already doing to help relax and focus my mind (my mind races like you wouldn’t believe). After many hours searching the Internet I eventually stumbled upon an article telling me about the existence of a wonderful little amino acid in green tea called theanine. After more digging, I found all kinds of research on the effects of theanine on the human body. As some of you may know, Chinese Buddhist monks have been drinking green tea for thousands of years to help them to stay awake and alert during meditation. Certainly, while that doesn’t mean drinking green tea will have that same effect on me, it makes me take notice, especially when their habits support the mounds of scientific data.

That one article was my entry point into experiencing the wonders of green tea. Since that fateful day I discovered through my own experiences that drinking green tea does indeed help to me to relax and focus. Clearly though, what matters most for my health and mental attitude are basic things like eating a well balanced diet, daily exercise, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding unhealthy foods/behaviors, and relaxing and enjoying life (certainly tea is a big part of that for me right now). Tea simply and beautifully complements all of those other things.

Without my wanting to find something to help me to relax naturally, I probably would have never discovered the wonders of loose-leaf tea. That is what I call Serendipity, where everything belongs.

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