The Tea Detective
Uncovering and Exploring the Facts About Tea
The Chemistry of Tea
It's What's Inside That Counts
For centuries the Chinese have used tea as much for medicinal purposes, as
they have a tasty beverage.  No one needed to prove to them that tea held
the key to better health.  The proof was in the pudding, so to speak...or rather,
in the teacup.
But the wary Western world
always insisted on proof,
proof, and more proof.  And they've gotten
what they've asked for in the form of
hundreds of colleges, medical centers,
scientists, and governmental agencies that
already knew;  tea is healthy for the body,
mind, and spirit.  It not only helps to heal the
inside, but the outside as well.

Numerous studies on everything from
halitosis (bad breath), to heart disease, high
blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes, show
that tea plays a major role in helping to heal
or eliminate sickness and disease.

It helps boost the immune system to aid in
fighting off infections, and warding off colds and flu, aids in digestive problems, irritable bowel  
syndrome, and helps strengthen teeth and bones, and more.

The tiny tea leaf is an amazing thing.  But I bet you're wondering what's in tea that makes it so
healthy.  Well, let's take a look.
Tea - What's in There?
                                               Tea is filled to the brim with good stuff - vitamins, minerals, and
                                              antioxidants in the form of polyphenols EGCG, and tannic acid,
                                              which fight diseases, inflammation, and cell damage resulting in
                                              some forms of cancer.

                                              But to make it easier to understand how it fights illness and
                                              disease, we'll break the tea leaf down, and look at some of the
                                              specific compounds and what they do.  We'll start with EGCG, an
                                              antioxidant with a great big  name.

                                              EGCG (epigallocatechingallate)
From the polyphenol group, EGCG is an important organic compound that helps in the fight
against everything from cancer to colds and viruses.  Polyphenols help in slowing down many
types of cancer, and in the case of lung cancer, works not only in the bloodstream, but in the
respiratory system as well.  

This is important to heavy smokers who can
help to reverse the damage done by free
radicals by drinking three to four cups of tea
a day.

          Like aspirin, EGCG has anti-clotting
          properties, helping to prevent blood
          clots in veins and arteries normally
          susceptible, helping to prevent
          strokes and heart attacks.

          Tannic Acid
          Lke EGCG, tannic acid is also from the
          polyphenol group. One of its unique
          qualities is the ability to slow the ab-
          sorption of
caffeine into the blood-
          stream.

          Another important function of tannic acid is the removal of the culture medium used by
          toxic bacteria living in the intestines.  By changing proteins into molecules it creates a
          substance parasites can no longer use.  Deprived of their food source the bacteria die.  

                                              This is one of the reasons tea has such a soothing effect on the
                                              stomach and intestines, and why tea is so effective in treating
                                              and preventing nervous disorders and inflammation of the
                                              stomach.

                                              Flavonoids
                                              Flavonoids play a key role in the fight against cardiovascular
                                              disease, helping to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol
                                              levels.  They also help to prevent strokes by reducing clots in the
                                              veins and arteries. Studies show they also help reduce the risk of
                                              stomach cancer, breast cancer, and cancer of the intestines.

          Other Vitamins and Minerals in Tea
          There are plenty of other vitamins, minerals, and various compounds in tea that make it
          so healthy for us.  Such as:

          Vitamin C - an anti-inflammatory and important antioxidant.

          Thiamine - a water soluble B vitamin.  Helps with concentration and mental acuity, and
          helps eliminate stress.

          
Flouride - aids in growth and strength of bones and teeth.

Aluminum - (contains trace amounts) helps relieve excess gastric acids and soothes heartburn
and stomach irritations and flare-ups.

Manganese - this trace element helps build connective tissue, such as muscle and tendons, and
helps metabolize fat and protein.  Together with calcium it also helps food to pass quickly to
bones.

This is only a partial list of the health benefits, and vitamins and minerals contained in tea.  Every
day there is more ongoing research into the contents of tea, and its impact on our health.  

Needless to say, tea not only tastes good, but is very, very good for us, too.  
Enjoy.
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