What You Need To Know About Oolong Tea
- Origin: Oolong tea has been produced in China for centuries by harvesting the plant and allowing the leaves to brown in sunlight.
- Form: Normally in tea bags, loose leaf, or powdered form as well as bottled.
- Potential Benefits:
- Weight Loss
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Dental Health
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Side Effects & Interactions: Always consult with a licensed healthcare provider.
- Research: Oolong tea: A critical review of processing methods, chemical composition, health effects, and risk
What You Might Want To Know
What Benefits Might I Get From Oolong Tea?
Let’s start with something fun. The tea pet. The tea pet traces its roots back to the Yuan dynasty in ancient China, about the 13th century. Traditionally made from Yixing clay (near Jiangsu province) these tea pets share the same highly-sought clay as that used in some of the world’s best tea pots and bowls. While they start unfinished, the tea pet develops a beautiful luster and smell as owners pour the first steep of tea over their pets. Whether for good luck, meditation, sacrificial offering is up to you… just enjoy the company and a nice cup of tea.
The Way of Tea
A friend presented me
With tender leaves of Oolong tea,
For which I chose a kettle
Of ivory-mounted gold,
A mixing-bowl of snow-white earth.
With its clear bright froth and fragrance,
It was like the nectar of Immortals.
The first bowl washed the cobwebs from my mind –
The whole world seemed to sparkle.
A second cleansed my spirit
Like purifying showers of rain,
A third and I was one of the Immortals –
What need now for austerities
To purge our human sorrows?
Worldly people, by going in for wine,
Sadly deceive themselves.
For now I know the Way of Tea is real.
Chio Jen (Tang Dynasty)
Source: Chinese Tea Poetry
While only about 2% of global tea production, oolong tea has deep roots in Chinese culture. As Chio Jen pointed out over one thousand years ago, each cup (or bowl, if you like) brings additional benefits (up to a point anyway). What other benefits might we recognize… aside from purification and immortality? 😎
Teas like oolong are a great source of catechin which have well-documented antioxidant effects. Researchers have found that tea catechins can help fight obesity. In other words, nutrients in oolong tea might help move fats through the body… instead of onto the body.
Aside from the positive effect from avoiding obesity, oolong tea may provide other cardiovascular benefits like keeping down LDL levels and maintaining cleaner arteries. Basically, oolong tea seems to help all the good things for heart health like better HDL cholesterol while reducing the bad things like LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Prolonged (i.e., a year or more) consumption of oolong tea showed a reduced risk of developing hypertension in a Taiwanese study. Reducing hypertension, of course, also helps avoid cardiovascular disease. Of course stress is a major influence on hypertension and, as Chio Jen, pointed out in his poem a few cups of oolong tea is more relaxing than wine!
Yes. Tea can stain your teeth. Please see your dentist for professional advice. However, oolong tea has hydrophobic properties that make it harder for nasty bacteria to stick on your teeth. That means less opportunity for those bacteria to inflict tooth decay.
Type 2 Diabetes
Like we discussed under cardiovascular disease, oolong tea helps the body reduce plasma glucose along with oral hypoglycemic agents (again, check with your healthcare provider!!!).
Additional Information & References
You are in charge of your health. Doing a little extra research will not only let you make better decisions but also empower YOU with knowledge. To help you learn more about oolong tea let HealthCare Too start you with some links:
Oolong Tea Products
When you are ready, here are some products that may help you experience some of oolong tea benefits for your own health and household.