Posts made in February 2019

Mindfulness and Tea

  • Various health benefits of mindfully serving or drinking tea.
    • The Bliss Wisdom Buddhist Foundation did a study that showed statistically significant evidence that intent – enhanced tea improves mood and well-being. Questionnaires noted effects on vigor, fatigue, anger, tension, depression, self-esteem, and confusion. The conclusion has important implications for practitioners of any conscious, mindful tea service, including Chinese Gong Fu Cha and Japanese Chanoyu. Tea treated with good intentions improved mood more than ordinary tea derived from the same source. The belief that one was drinking treated tea produced a large improvement in mood, but only if one was actually drinking the treated tea, indicating that belief and intentional enhancement interact. This also suggests that the esthetic and intentional qualities associated with the traditional tea ceremony may have subtle influences that extend beyond the ritual itself.
    • When I prepare tea, I check in with myself first to see what I need. This may result in me selecting a fun dessert tea or a functional tea. At night I almost always have a herbal blend with chamomile to support restful sleep. On a monthly basis, I may do a detox tea to encourage clearing my system. I almost always have a tea light candle and teapot and enjoy several small warm cups at a time. I prefer to drink my tea slowly so the tea light helps to keep the tea warm. When I drink pu erh tea it’s full bodied like a merlot, so I enjoy savoring every sip. It feels like I am transported back centuries as I enjoy the aged fermented essence of the elixir.

Did you know

  • What is the relationship between tea, protein, and Alzheimer’s?
    • The author, Kenneth Cohen, suggests that green tea consumption might account for Japan’s low incidence of both dementia and Alzheimer’s compared to the West. Alzheimer’s progresses when amyloid protein clumps and bonds to brain cells, causing them to degenerate and die. EGCG extracted from tea, prevents this from happening.
  • What type of tea or tea extract is used in topical ointments?
    • Green Tea is traditionally the tea used in ointments. Topical creams or ointments with green tea or green tea extracts are useful for prevention of skin cancer and genital warts and in antibiotic ointments.
  • Reasons to believe that tea might have positive effects on addiction.
    • “After accounting for variables such as diet, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking, researchers found that men and women who drank at least one cup of green tea per week for 6 months had 20 and 50% less risk of developing esophageal cancer.
  • Two ways that tea may prevent cancer.
    • One reason for green tea’s stronger effects on cancer may be its higher levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG inhibits urokinase, an enzyme that promotes tumor growth. Tea can prevent dietary and environmental carcinogens from damaging DNA – which can cause cancer – including mitigating the effects of tobacco smoke and carcinogenic chemicals that form while cooking meat.
  • The British love to drink tea with milk. Since they are copious tea drinkers, why aren’t cardiovascular disease rates low in Great Britain?
    • Tea is an antioxidant, more powerful than vitamin C or E. Reactive oxygen (known as free radicals) rots and rusts our bodies, similar to the way oxygen turns an apple brown or rusts a piece of metal. Tea prevents this from happening, and research suggests that green tea is a more effective antioxidant than black tea. However, a 2007 study published in the European Heart Journal demonstrated that caseins, the proteins in milk, inhibit these effects and also block tea’s cardiovascular benefits. The Brits love tea with milk which may inhibit the full benefit of their high tea consumption.
  • Some conditions for which tea may be contraindicated.
    • People may need to exercise extra caution around stimulants – such as pregnant women and those with certain kinds of heart arrhythmia or anxiety disorders may need to avoid or reduce tea consumption. Tea may inhibit iron metabolism in children and make them more susceptible to anemia. It is possible to experience gastric irritation if one drinks too much tea, especially green tea first thing in the morning. And although some studies show that tea anti-oxidants prevent kidney stone formation (by inhibiting calcium oxalate formation), it may increase blood levels of this same chemical among patients prone to kidney stones or with a history of the disease. There are also various opinions about the advisability of drinking tea while on blood thinners or during chemotherapy or radiation for cancer.
  • Why is tea good to drink if your food has MSG?
    • GABA in tea neutralizes the glutamate that is in MSG. This will reduce the likelihood of the headaches, allergies, addiction, suppression of feelings of satiety.
  • How does tea prevent cholesterol from entering the bloodstream?
    • Tea chemicals can reduce blood coagulability, prevent platelet activation and clumping, increase clot-dissolving activity and decrease deposits of cholesterol in artery walls.
  • In what way might tea protect against one of the damaging effects of coffee?
    • Acidic foods and drinks (coffee) damage tooth enamel. Tea increases the resistance of tooth enamel to the damaging effects of acid.