Tea and Health Care
traditional product of China, has become one of the world¡äs
three major kinds of non¡ªalcoholic drinks. In fact, tea is presently consumed in a larger area
worldwide than coffee and cocoa; the other popular vererage.
Why did the habit of tea¡ªdrinking
spread from China to every corner of world? The answer lies in
its health promoting properties.
¡¡¡¡That drinking tea can benefit us both mentally and physically is frequently mentioned in ancient Chinese book. In¡å Shennong¡äs Herbal, ¡å it is said that¡å habitual drinking can ease one¡äs mind and benefit one¡äs Qi (vital energy)¡increase one¡äs stamina and keep us refresh and young .¡å Shennong¡äs Treatise on Food¡å also records that¡å drinking tea gives one a clear mind. ¡å Later on , it was discovered that drinking tea not only strengthens the body but also cures certain diseases. For example. Lu Yu in his book¡å The treatise on Tea¡å said,¡å Tea is cold in taste and is most suited for drinking¡¡If one is thirsty or has headache, tired eyes, restlessness of four limbs and uncomfortable joints, then a few sips of tea can be as good manna. ¡å In the Ming Dynasty, Zhang Qiande, author of a book also called¡å A Treatise on Tea¡å says,¡å Drinking tea slakes thirst, aids digestion, keeps off diseases, shortens the time for sleeping, retention, improve eye ¡ª sight, brings clear thinking and removes disturbances; humans should not stop drinking tea for even a single day.¡å In the past hundreds of years, many people have believed that there really are numerous advantages of drinking tea. However, until recently, this was only a kind of intuitive understanding, since there was no supporting evidence or exposition in scientific theory.
¡¡¡¡With the recent advancement in science and technology, the substances that comprise tea and their effects on human physiological mechanisms have become the subject of scientific experimentation and research; and mystery of tea in promoting bodily health and curing diseases is gradually being unveiled. According to chemical tests, tea is now know to contain more than three hundred and twenty different kinds of chemicals. The major ones are polyphones, caffeine, perfume oils and various vitamins. These chemicals have certain positive effects on people¡äs health.
¡¡¡¡The polyphones, which amount to around 20% to 30% of the total weight of dry tea, have restraining properties, activate saliva secretion and so slake the thirst, Polyphones are in blood and alkaloid. Therefore, drinking tea can aid sobriety and reduce the effects of nicotine on smokers. Polyphones have a strong ability to solidify proteins and, since the main constituting substance of germ cells is protein, concentrated tea can kill germs. Concentrated tea be applied effectively instead of iodine, and it also helps to cure dysentery.
¡¡¡¡Polyphone in tea is composed of more than thirty phenol substances of which caffeine amounts to around 7%. Caffeine benefits the human body in a number of ways. Function ting in the same way as vitamin p, it facilitates the accumulation and assimilation of vitamins; reduces the accumulation of end and neutral fats in the blood and the liver and improves the elasticity and pressure¡ªresisting ability of blood capillaries. Consequently, the halit of drinking tea will prevent high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and coronary teart diseases.
¡¡¡¡Caffeine is a major alkaloid. It stimulates the central nervous system, facilitates blood circulation, strengthens muscular contraction and aids metabolism. Thus one¡äs efficiency level. It is also a diuretie which stimulates the kidney, relieves water retention and thus speeds up the expulsion of bodily toxins and wastes. Hence, tea drinkers rarely suffer from nephrosis. Owing to the diuretic functions of caffeine, drinking concentrated tea helps to relieve drunkenness by expelling the dissolved aalcohol through urination. Therefore, the old saying that¡ä relieving drunkenness demonstrates the usefulness of tea¡å is scientifically well grounded.
¡¡¡¡It has been said that the excessive intake of caffeine will lead to intoxication; but heavy tea drinkers need not be alartmed by this since they are well within the recommended limits. According to some studies, the permissible intake of caffeine is 0.35 to 0.5g in one dose and the daily intake should not exceed 1.5g Since we use no more than 3g of dry tea, containing only 0.012g of caffeine, to make each cup, it can be seen that, even if we drink 20 cups of tea a day, our total intake of caffeine is only 0.24g well below the permissible limit.
¡¡¡¡The aromatic compounds are the main constituents in determining the quality of tea. Having a cup of flagrant tea makes one feel relaxed and the aromatic compounds help dissolve fat and aid digestion. Therefore, people who consume a lot of fat and dairy products, will benefit from drinking tea and they will fell uncomforted table if they don¡ät drink tea for even a single day. In some cases, they will even feel sick.
¡¡¡¡There are various types of vitamins in tea. Among them, vitamins B1, B2, C, P and PP can be absorbed by the human body and vitamin C predominates. In lkg of tea, there is 1.5g of vitamin C. In general, vitamin C wil be spoiled if it is kept in water at 30¡æ for 15g minutes. For this reason, drinking tea is a good way to replenish this important vitamin.
¡¡¡¡A small amount of Fluorine; an essential building element of bones, teeth, hair and nails, is found in tea. Flourine can strengthen the acid resistance of teeth, thus preventing cavities, and tea provides a convenient and readily absorbe source of this valuable chemical.
¡¡¡¡Furthermore, the inorganic salts and carbohydrates compound in tea are also beneficial to metabolism and health care.
¡¡¡¡Recently, some countries have conducted extensive research into how to combat excess¡ªweight; and they have discovered that tea is really effective in this ares. In 1977 a medical faculty of a Japanese University conducted a research of the pharmacological effects on Chinese Oolong tea. The research comprised comprehensive chemical examination and clinical experimentation. According to the report, the even subjects who on average drank 5¡ª6 cups Oolong tea a day for six weeks, had their Cholesterol level reduced form 214/100ml to 205/100ml and weight from 61kg to 51.9kg. The results were significant and no side effects were detected. Many countries were very interested in the result, and various brand of slimming tea are now being promoted in sensationally.
¡¡¡¡According to foreign reports, a lot of people died fo atomic radiation at the end of World War II when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. However, the symptoms were less serious and the death rate was lower for those people who had the habit of drinking tea, Later, some countries conducted experiments on this. After rats were exposed to radiation, one group was fed with concentrated tea whereas the other group was not. The former group survived but all rats in the latter group died. This was because the caffeine in tea can neutralize the atomic radioactive substance, thus preventing of lessening its harmful affects on living organisms. Recently, reports form abroad conclude that the lip polysaccharide in tea has certain effects in eliminating the harm incurred by atomic radiation. Therefore tea can also claim to be a¡å drink of the atomic age.
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