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The Health Benefits of Chinese Tea

Tea ceremony

Tea was considered an elixir in ancient China. The legendary founder of herbology, Shen Nong, contributed to the development of Chinese medicine with his extensive knowledge of herbs; he tasted hundreds of herbs, including poisonous ones in order to distinguish those which had medicinal value from those which did not. He drank tea to counteract the effects of eating poisonous herbs.

According to TCM understanding, tea has both sweet and bitter flavors and possesses cooling properties. Tea helps to refresh the mind, enhance alertness and boost concentration. Tea can also promote body fluid production, quench thirst, clear heat and phlegm, promotes digestion and urination. Traditionally, it is used as:
A beverage to relieve indigestion and smooth bowel movements. It is especially good when combined with Tetradium ruticarpum (wu zhu yu), ginger or green onion. It is also used to relieve headaches, dizziness, heat stroke and sleepiness.
An antidote to clear toxic heat evils by promoting bowel movements and urination.
When tea is processed with vinegar, it can relieve diarrhea. Decoction of fried tea can treat dysentery.
A concentrated decoction of tea is used to expel phlegm due to wind evil and heat invasion.


Modern studies have found that tea contains more than 300 chemical substances, such as catechin, caffeine, flavonol, butyric acid, vitamins, minerals, pectin, saccharides and saponin. These ingredients work on the central nervous and cardiovascular system by acting as antioxidants, muscular relaxants and diuretics; they promote gastric secretions as well as inhibit bacterial growth. These pharmacological effects have the following health benefits:

Improve the immune system, slow down aging and can help prevent cancer;
Lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure and prevent arteriosclerosis;
Prevent tooth decay, freshen the breathe and assist in digestion;
Enhance the eliminating functions of the kidneys.