Tea drinking may lower anxiety and blood pressure

Tea Drinking  is the most widely consumed beverage in the world

In China, tea was valued for its medicinal qualities.

It has long been known that tea aids in digestion, which is why many Chinese prefer to consume it after their meal

There are four basic categories of Chinese tea and are hundreds are varieties

White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened

Green teas are not fermented during processing, and thus retain the original color of the tea leaves.

Grown in the hillsides of Hanghou, are the most famous green tea

"Red Tea" or black teas are made from fermented leaves, which accounts for their darker color

Popular varieties of black tea include Bo lei, a Cantonese tea often drunk with dim sum

Oolong teas are partially fermented, resulting in a black-green tea.

Examples of oolong tea include Soi sin, a bitter tasting brew cultivated in the Fukien province.

There is also a fourth category known as "scented teas," made by mixing various flowers and petals with green or oolong teas.

The best known among these is jasmine tea

White tea, are made with unripened tea leaves that are still covered with a downy, silvery fuzz, is getting quite popular

It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many people enjoy: tea drinking

Consumption of tea (especially green) is beneficial to health and longevity given its antioxidant, flavanols, flavonoids, polyphenols, and catechins content

Tea catechins have known anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities, help to regulate food intake, and have an affinity for cannabinoid receptors, which may suppress pain and nausea, and provide calming effects

A new study supports prior evidence that tea drinking can not only reduce blood pressure, but calm anxiety, despite its caffeine content

Japanese researchers tested two compounds found in tea — L-theanine, the amino acid contained in tea leaves, and caffeine — and their effect in the body when under stress.

They enlisted 14 subjects who underwent three separate trials, in which they took L-theanine and a placebo, caffeine and a placebo, or a placebo only.

The subjects were then asked to complete mental activities under varying degrees of stress, such as solving arithmetic questions with their non-dominant hand submerged in a bucket of ice water

New Japanese research finds that a compound in tea known as L-theanine may lower anxiety and blood pressure. — Reuters

Ai Yoto and her team from the University of Shizuoka found that L-theanine significantly inhibited the blood-pressure increases in a high-response group, which consisted of subjects whose blood pressure rose more than average while performing a mental task after taking a placebo.

Caffeine also had an effect on blood pressure, but to a lesser degree than L-theanine. In addition, the L-theanine was shown to reduce tension-anxiety scores on mood tests.

The study was published this week in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology.

In a separate study published this January in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Australian researchers found that people who drank three cups of tea a day lowered their blood pressure levels by an average of two to three points.

Meanwhile, flavonoids in tea are thought to improve the blood vessels’ tone and reduce body weight and abdominal fat.

A Dutch population study also found that high tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease. — AFP/Relaxnews Tea drinking is an art in China and Japan

Tea Drinking is an art in China and Japan

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