When British actor and playwright Sir Arthur Wing Pinero wrote those words in his comedy "Sweet Lavender", little did he know just how scientifically accurate his words were. Or did he?
Thankfully, this ancient brew is still highly consumed and enjoyed in the modern world. Next to water, it is the most highly consumed beverage.
Iced tea. Chai tea. Or just your simple cup of freshly brewed tea. Depending where you are in the world, you'll encounter countless different ways to sip this pleasant drink.
Prosperi-tea! Longevi-tea! Vitali-tea!
In tea, there is definitely hope for better health. Numerous researchers have published countless promising studies clearly demonstrating tea's ability to improve short-term health and longevity.
Carminative herbs that help relieve bloating and flatulence can be enjoyed as tea. Peppermint tea, ginger tea, or tea made from simmered coriander seed can gently ease intestinal gassiness when sipped before a meal.
Green and black teas are antioxidant storehouses - one cup of green tea can boost your antioxidant capacity for a good two hours. Like an amped-up Swiffer wet jet, these teas mop up free radicals that promote disease. It's no surprise that regular tea drinkers have less cases of cancer and heart disease, thus increasing longevity.
Consider the fifth most common cancer in women (and one of the most difficult cancers to treat) - ovarian cancer. A study of about 61,000 women found that regular tea drinkers (2+ cups per day) had almost 50% lower risk of ovarian cancer. Risk was further reduced by about 18% with each additional cup of tea.
Tea can halt the progression of arthritis or prevent it altogether by blocking certain pro-inflammatory cells that can damage cartilage.
Get the Most of of Your Cup of Tea
A recent Journal of Food Science study published by the Institute of Food technologists shared some valuable insights in how to get the most antioxidants out of every cup. The temperature and length of time tea leaves are steeped can impact antioxidant levels and properties for different types of tea.
White teas, for example, need a longer steeping time for greater antioxidant levels in your cup. Black tea, however, has greater antioxidant activity when steeped in a short hot water infusion. Steeping black tea for too long can reduce antioxidant levels. Green tea is both temperature and time-sensitive. It provided the most antioxidants after a prolonged cold steeping of about two hours.
Is Tea ... Not Your Cup of Tea?
If you don't find tea particularly attractive, keep calm. Green tea extract can pack just as many cancer-fighting polyphenols as a simple cup of green tea.
EnergyFirst's Greenergy organic green superfood powder has matcha green tea extract and green tea extract with 50% EGCG (epilgallocatechin-gallate) - one of the most healing polyphenols in green tea. Even tiny concentrations of this green tea ingredient can stop the growth of cancer cells.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev August 2002 11; 713
Arch Intern Med. 2005 Dec 12-26;165(22):2683-6.
Journal of Food Science, 2015; DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.13149