Tea can be classified into many types, but one of the well-known traditional Chinese tea is known as the Oolong tea, which is prepared by a special process. It involves making the plant wilt under the sun. The process of oxidation is applied so that the flavor, chemical composition and appearance of leaves differ from the normal one. The oxidation process can vary the natural components from 8 to 85 percent as per the specifications of the type.
Types Of Oolong Tea
The types of oolong tea differ in flavors. Some of them are known for their roasted aromas while others for bouquet aromas. Few popular types of Oolong teas are as follows:
- Iron Buddha (Tie Guan Yin)
- Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao)
- Dan Cong Tea, and
- Ali Shan
Apart from a great history, did you know that Oolong tea possesses multiple medicinal components and health benefits? Yes, this is true. Hence, to make you aware of them, we have done a deep research and came up with this post.
When changed to The English language, the name ‘oolong tea’ means ‘black dragon tea.’ The tea is mostly derived from the plant Camellia Sinensis. Flavonoids in the form of polyphenols are abundant in oolong plant when ingested in the form of tea; it is good for health. You would be surprised to hear that all the tea comes from the same tea plant, but the only difference lies in oxidation. The processing part is something that makes every tea different.
Why Should You Drink Oolong Tea?
The leaves contain caffeine and catechin which have the ability to ward off free radicals. Oolong is used for its numerous healing properties and can be found in most grocery stores. Here are some of oolong tea’s healing properties.
Oolong can help in the following ailments:
- Tooth decay
- Cancer prevention
- Heart problems
- Eczema (skin allergies)
- Boosting the immune system, and
Nutritional Value of Oolong Tea
According to the Tea Association of United States, Oolong tea falls in the middle of black and green teas. Similar to any normal tea, this tea is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as zinc, carotin, copper, selenium, potassium, calcium. When looking at vitamins, it has A, C, K, E and B. The additional beneficial components are niacinamide, folic acid and other alkaloids, which can detoxify free radicals. Similarly, it also protects against stroke, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Many of the polyphenol components of oolong tea are flavonoids known as catechins.
Top 10 Oolong Tea Health Benefits
The various health benefits of oolong tea are as follows:
1. Weight Management/Promotion of Metabolism
The polyphenol components can control the metabolism of the body. Specific enzymes are activated and can reduce the unwanted fat. The mentioned components block enzymes which have the ability to build fat, provided you follow the natural way of dieting instead of stacking your tummy with artificial additives and sweeteners. According to the Journal of Nutrition (September 2014), this statement can hold true although scientific research is still going on.
The major way you can reduce obesity are by boosting the metabolism, prevent the major absorption of nutrients such as in fats and carbohydrates. The magical component is not only caffeine but also EGCG, the catechin in tea which can increase oxidation of fats. You can know more by clicking this link.
2. Promotes Healthy Skin
The polyphenols present in the tea also work as anti-allergenic substances. Thereby, getting relief from chronic skin and irritation problems, known by the name, atopic dermatitis.
The magical component is L-theanine, which performs the role of a stress buster. It blocks L-glutamic acid from getting attached to glutamate receptors in areas of the brain. If attached, there will be negative consequences such as neural stress responses and cognitive activity. On the other hand, the same amino acid binds to the sites and excitation will not occur; your mind will be relaxed and at rest.
4. Controls Diabetes
If Oolong tea is consumed on a daily basis, it reduces plasma glucose in the cases of type 2 diabetic patients. Usually, diabetes tests are conducted twice (once, before having food and next, after having food). It is done because some persons’ plasma glucose levels increase when they consume food.
5. Has Anti-cancer Properties
The polyphenols behave as anti-cancerous compounds and eliminate agents before they can cause harm. The Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, EGC; epicatechin gallate, ECG have antioxidant activity that prevents the cancer cells from causing harm.
6.Keeps Your Bones Strong & Healthy
It has been found that Oolong tea can promote bone mineral density (BMD). Persons who consumed tea for long periods of time had better bone density than the individuals, who did not. Some of the medicinal components in tea can make the enzymes in the stomach absorb more minerals from the food we consume.
7. Boosts Immunity
The flavonoids in the oolong tea prevents cell damage, build the immune system and supports body function. It increases the bad-bacterial resistance in the body and fights infections well. Some studies claim that oolong tea also helps retain essential nutrients in our body.
Some studies claim that oolong tea has the ability to improve brain-function and prevents Alzheimer’s. The component in the tea triggers good-hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine which are great stress-busters. The ‘Theanine’ found in oolong tea helps boost attention, relieves anxiety and Polyphenols present gives a calming effect.
9. Good for Hair
There’s no strong backing for this claim but some say that oolong tea prevents hair loss, when used in washing it improves the tresses shine and makes them strong.
There’s not strong backing for this claim too. But people claim that oolong tea will help relieve stuffiness after heavy meal and promotes quick digestion.
How Does It Work?
The caffeine content in oolong tea stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and the entire body. The components making the mark are theobromine and theophylline, having similar structures to caffeine. Oolong tea can prevent ovarian cancer. Although scientific research is still going on, women partaking oolong tea regularly have been known to have a low risk of ovarian cancer.
A Few Word of Caution
Since Oolong tea contains large amounts of caffeine, persons with allergies or suffering from indigestion can face symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, diarrhea, confusion, irregular heartbeat, heartburn, and sleeplessness.
In the case of more complicated situations such as surgery, refrain from taking this tea, as it could lead to complications such as irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Drinking more than the prescribed dose can eliminate the calcium in your body. Persons suffering from osteoporosis have to seek the guidance of a doctor before taking this medicine.