“Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind..."
~ Lu Yu, Classic of Tea: Origins and Rituals
Quite simply, there is harmony found in tea.
Many may treat tea as a simple addition to an appetizing meal, however, it is far more important to our lives than we may really know. Tea is a gentle vehicle for delivering various herbs and spices that, in the most intricate combinations, may encourage the release of various hormones, natural chemicals that are present in our body, eagerly programmed to bring us balance and true peace of mind as well as better health.
In an article entitled, "How a Cup of Tea Makes you Happier, Healthier, and more Productive," written by Drake Baer of Fast Company, it states some interesting facts, "New research into the relationship between nutrition and the brain is helping us to understand why tea time is such an essential part of the day- for the components of tea help us be more alert, more relaxed, and healthier over the long term."
He continues on to cite the following research from University of Chicago behavioral pharmacologist Emma Childs about how "caffeine increases alertness because it prevents the sedative adenosine" from working as a receptor.
"Adenosine has sedative effects," she says, "so by blocking those effects of adenosine, you're actually increasing the central stimulation. You're actually increasing the activity of the central nervous system."
Contrary to what many may believe, according to that study, drinking a cup of your favorite black, green or even white tea has amazing benefits for our health.
Remember to only use the beneficial properties of caffeine in moderation, as, although caffeine may serve to block off this receptor, it's benefits should only be used as needed and not as a means to stop us from getting a well needed rest when we need it, which, by the way, tea can also help us accomplish, especially various herbal teas.
Which leads me to the next case in point of that article, the benefit of tea for relaxation. Which, by the way, I like so many other mothers and fathers out there need plenty of.
Now, on to another natural chemical found in tea, especially Black and Green teas: Theanine.
According to a study on Theanine (1), an amino acid and natural component of green and black teas, "has received growing attention due to its reported effects on the central nervous system" because it "readily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it exerts a variety of neurophysiological and pharmacological effects."
In this study, it mentioned that theanine most well-documented effect has been its apparent anxiety-reducing and calming effect as well as its modulation over the release of the hormones serotonin and dopamine in the body.
In addition to this deeply calming effect of theanine, the study also cites that "an increasing number of studies demonstrate a neuroprotective effect" found in this amino acid, especially noted following various cerebral injuries, as well as its ability to improve "cognitive function including learning and memory, in human and animal studies".
According to Huffington Post writer and naturopathic doctor, Natasha Turner, "Theanine works by increasing the production of GABA in the brain. Similar to the effects of meditation, it also stimulates alpha brainwaves naturally associated with deep states of relaxation and enhanced mental clarity."
So there is really more to your cup of tea than you even realized, and the benefits truly outweigh the cup.
Lastly, who can overlook the many antioxidants found in your tea like thearubigins, epicatechins and catechins, all of which are well known factors in protecting the cells from free radical damage, reducing our risk of heart disease and stroke.
The next time you have time to make time for a cup of tea, remember that, and, drink to your health. Live in your harmony and by any means necessary, please, Enjoy Life!~
1. Nutritional Neuroscience: An International Journal on Nutrition, Diet and Nervous System, Vol. 17, 2014, Issue 4, pp 145-155, entitled, "Neurobiological effects of the green tea constituent theanine and its potential role in the treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders" by Anne L. Larner.