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Tea Facts


The Ten Most Famous Teas of China

Tea Name
Pronunciation
English    Pronunciation
Metropolitan area   
Province   
Type

西湖龙井
Xi Hu Long Jing
20    Dragon Well    Hangzhou
Zhejiang
Green tea

洞庭碧螺春
Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun
20    Green Spiral    Suzhou
Jiangsu

安溪铁观音
An Xi Tie Guan Yin
20    Iron Goddess    Anxi
Fujian
Oolong tea

黄山毛峰
Huang Shan Mao Feng
17    Yellow Mountain Tip    Huangshan
Anhui
Green tea
武夷岩茶
Wu Yi Yan Cha
Red Robe    Wuyi
Fujian
Oolong tea
君山银针
Jun Shan Yin Zhen
Silver Needle    Yueyang
Hunan
Yellow tea

祁门红茶
Qi Men Hong Cha
Keemun Black    Qimen
Anhui
Black tea

六安瓜片
Liu An Gua Pian
Liuan Leaf    Jinzhai
Anhui
Green tea
云南普洱
Yun Nan Pu'er
Puer tea    Simao
Yunnan
Post-fermented


The results of research at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta indicated compounds in green tea selectively induced cell death only in oral cancer cells while ignoring normal cells.

The authors of the study conclude that green tea could inhibit, delay or even reverse cancer.

"Green tea appears to be chemopreventative, both before the onset of malignancy and following cancer treatment", states the study titled "Chemoprevention of Oral Cancer by Green Tea".

The study was published in the March/April 2001 issue of the journal "General Dentistry", which is published by the Academy of General Dentistry .

Although the research must be duplicated before green tea is labelled as a public health strategy and a bona-fide anti-cancer agent, lead study author/cell biologist Stephen Hsu said:

"The evidence of benefits appears to be sound, but we need a lot of different groups to agree on this and there is research going on in various places that will help answer that," he said, referring to a human trial at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre involving oral cancer and green tea.

Hsu, whose research was funded by his academic institution, not the tea industry, said while further trials are being conducted, there is no reason why people shouldn't indulge in green tea.

"There are a lot of different brands, but that doesn't appear to make a difference. What does matter is that people choose a high quality tea that is without additives and has not been processed, because the fermentation process reduces the concentration of polyphenols and their beneficial effects."

Green tea comes in both caffeinated and decaffeinated forms.

Oral cancer rates in China are half that of North America
In China, oral cancer rates are 1/2 that of North America, even though smoking rates - a known risk factor for oral cancer are 3 times higher in China. Each year, more than 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, resulting in an estimated 7,800 deaths.
The mouth's oxygen-rich environment connects to several blood vessels which provide a perfect habitat to house oral cancer cells, and in turn allows the cancerous cells to multiply quickly. Ingesting or swishing with green tea introduces the tea's polyphenols to the oral cancer cells lining the mouth. For patients, in order to reap green tea's anticancer benefits, the mouth's mucous lining must be exposed to 4 to 6 cups of green tea a day.

Green tea is not just beneficial for cancer

Green tea also appears to be beneficial for heart disease: It lowers cholesterol, reduces platelet aggregation (clumping), and lowers blood pressure, all of which may contribute to a decreased risk of heart disease.

Evidence is increasing that consumption of green tea may have beneficial effects on prevention of several cancers in addition to oral cancer, including colon, pancreatic and stomach cancer.(3)

Green tea may stimulate the immune system

immune system to help defend the body against bacterial infections, including dental plaque.(4) Green tea has anti-bacterial properties and stimulates the production of immune cells.(5,6)

Green tea or green tea extract?

Capsulized extracts of green tea are available, and a typical dosage is 100 to 150 mg 3 times daily of a green tea extract standardized to contain 80% total polyphenols and 50% epigallocatechin gallate. The efficacy of these preparations compared to the consumption of the tea itself is not known at this point.

Contraindications for green tea

Green tea contains caffeine, although usually about 4 times less than coffee. Individuals with conditions which may be complicated by high caffeine intake (including insomnia, depression, and pregnancy) should not add green tea to their diet. People taking the class of antidepressant called MAO inhibitors may want to avoid the caffeine in green tea.

We spend a lot of time researching the internet and we found that the most affordable high quality green tea (in bags) on the internet can be found here Green tea extracts in capsules can be found here

Dentalnotes, Winter 2001 pg 1
Chemoprevention of Oral Cancer by Green Tea; Biochemistry 11/01; Dr.
Hsu, Dr Singh, Fr Lewis, Dr Borke, Dr. Dickinson, Ms Drake, Dr. Caughman, Dr Schuster.
Imai K, et al. Cancer-preventive effects of drinking green tea among
a Japanese population. Prev Med 26(6): 769–775, 1997
Hamilton-Miller JM. Antimicrobial properties of tea (Camellia sinensis
L.). Antimicro Agents Chemother 1995;39(11):2375–77.
You SQ. Study on feasibility of Chinese green tea polyphenols (CTP)
for preventing dental caries. Chin J Stom 1993;28(4):197–199.
Hamilton -Miller JM. Antimicrobial properties of tea (Camellia sinensis
L.). Antimicro Ag Chemo 1995;39(11):2375–2377.
disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Tea (Camellia sinensis) has a history of mythological proportions, no matter where in the world you look. In the West, the word Thea, which is Greek for "goddess", gives tea its name. In the East, in China , a popular legend has Chinese emperor Shen Nung "discovering" tea when some leaves from a nearby tea bush blew into a pot of water he was boiling for drinking water. In India , ancient legend tells the tale of Siddhartha Guatma, the founder of Buddhism, despairing after falling asleep during meditation. He was so upset with himself that he ripped off his eyelids and threw them to the ground where they rooted and grew into the first tea plant, with the shape of its leaves resembling the eyelid.

Whether you believe any of these stories or not, we do know that the leaves from this evergreen shrub have been consumed for over 4,000 years and that they have always been known for health.

Some historians assert that tea was first consumed in China to flavor water that was boiled to protect people from bacterial contamination. In 1211 a.d., a Japanese monk named Eisai wrote a book called Maintaining Health by Drinking Tea in which he said, "Tea is a miraculous medicine for the maintenance of health. Tea has the extraordinary power to prolong life. Anywhere a person cultivates tea, long life will follow. In ancient and modern times, tea is an elixir that creates the mountain dwelling immortal." The sixteenth-century European explorers who first tried tea reported that it was used to treat fever, headache, joint pain, and stomachache.

Green Tea

Today, green tea is getting the majority of the press for its positive effect on health. This is due to the power of its constituents, which include carotenoids, chlorophyll, polysaccharides, fats, vitamins C and E, manganese, potassium and zinc. However, experts agree that it is one type of constituent in particular that provides most of the health benefits. These are polyphenols.

Tea Production and Tea Types

Tea shrubs are capable of growing to heights of 25 to 30 feet; but when cultivated they are pruned to about four feet. The leaves are harvested every six to 14 days. Each bush produces about a quarter-pound of tea leaves a year and can continue producing for 25 to 50 years, and even up to 100 years, especially if organically grown.

After tea leaves are harvested, green tea is heated to prevent fermentation, while black tea is dried and fermented. During the fermentation process black tea loses some of its medicinal activity. Green tea is also higher in essential oils than the black variety. There is a third type of tea called oolong, which is partially fermented. There are more than 3,000 tea varieties. They are often named for the areas in which they are grown, such as Assam or Darjeeling.
 
Polyphenols are members of the flavonoid family. They are catechins made of several ringlike structures. Each of these structures has chemicals attached to it called phenol groups, hence the name polyphenols (poly means "many").

Of all three types of tea (green, black, and oolong), green tea contains the most polyphenols: about 15 percent to 30 percent of its weight. The polyphenols in green tea are recognized as anticarcinogenic, and this polyphenol content, along with the naturally occurring vitamin C, helps strengthen blood vessel walls.

Four of these polyphenols are of particular interest: epicatechin (EG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In green tea, about half of the polyphenols are EGCG.

EGCG is a powerful antioxidant and has been found to be 20 times stronger than vitamin E in protecting brain lipids, which are very susceptible to oxidative stress. (Chem Pharm Bulletin 38 [1990]: 1049) In animal studies with mice, ECG has been shown to reduce the rate of lung, skin, and stomach cancer. (Preventative Medicine 21)

Green tea is regarded as an antioxidant. The polyphenols, especially EGCG, prevent free radical damage and have even been found to detoxify free radicals produced by the environmental toxin paraquat. (Carcinogenesis 10 [1989]: 1003)

As a whole, human studies indicate that consuming green tea can lower the rate of esophageal cancer, mouth cancers, and gastric cancers. Recent research indicates that green tea may reduce the risk of some forms of stomach cancer. Surveys of Japanese tea drinkers show that those who consume four to six cups of green tea a day have lower levels of breast, esophageal, liver, lung, and skin cancers than those who consume less green tea or none at all.

At a meeting of the American Chemical Society in 1991, researchers reported that even cigarette smokers who consumed green tea had a 45 percent lower risk of cancer than non-tea drinkers. As an anti-tumor agent, green tea has an anti-mutation factor that helps DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to reproduce accurately rather than in mutated forms. Green tea's catechin content is believed to be responsible for this effect. Even though Japan has one of the highest rates of smokers in the world, they have one of the lowest rates of lung cancer of any developed nation.

Green tea is a hypotensive, lowering blood pressure and helping to increase blood flow to the heart. Many Asians have long consumed green tea with meals, and this practice is now showing to reduce arterial disease. Many heart attacks are brought on by blood platelet aggregation and green tea prevents the blood from "clumping together" and forming clots that can lead to stroke. One study indicates that 6,000 Japanese women who were nondrinkers and nonsmokers over 40 who drank about five cups of green tea a day had a 50 percent decrease in the risk of stroke. (Natural Health [March/April 1994])

Whereas coffee can elevate cholesterol levels, green tea helps lower them. (HerbalGram 37 [1996]) The catechin content of green tea helps to break down cholesterol and increase its elimination through the bowels. Green tea also helps to keep blood sugar levels moderate.

Green Tea & Brigitte Mars

Green tea has been used throughout history to improve ailments such as allergies, arteriosclerosis, asthma, cholera, colds, congestion, coughs, depression, diarrhea, digestive infections, dysentery, fatigue, hangovers, hepatitis, migraines, and typhus. Tea helps to constrict the blood vessels, thereby reducing the throbbing pain of an impending headache. In China , medicines made from the polyphenols in tea are used to treat hepatitis, nephritis, and leukemia.

Prevents dental decay by inhibiting the bacteria streptococcus mutans, which are responsible for plaque formation. It can also help inhibit the bacteria that cause halitosis. Green tea is traditionally consumed after a meal to leave the mouth feeling fresh and clean. It is currently being studied to see if it will help prevent osteoporosis.

Green tea is also used topically and in this case is known as a styptic, which helps stop bleeding when applied topically. It has been used lukewarm on open wounds, acne, athlete's feet, and sunburn, and appears to protect the skin from damage from ultraviolet radiation exposure. Researchers are not yet sure why this works but think it may be due to its antioxidant activity.

Excessive use of green tea can cause nervous irritability and aggravate ulcers, and those with hypertension and insomnia should consider avoiding it.

With so many health benefits, it would be wise for more Americans to consider switching from coffee to tea. I think I'll go brew some tea right now...

Brigitte Mars is an herbalist and nutritional consultant from Boulder , Colorado , who has been working with natural medicine for 30 years. She teaches herbology, has a weekly Boulder radio show called Naturally, and is the formulator for UniTea Herbs. She is the author of Elder; Herbs for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails (Keats Publishing), and of a comprehensive CD-ROM on herbs, The Herbal Pharmacy. This is available from Hale Software at 1-800-856-6081. Get a free demo program at http://www.halesoftware.com.

Green, Black, Oolong Tea Recipes

Green Tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves which have been steamed and dried. Want to make you own healthy, anti-oxidant Green tea? We will send you instructions for harvesting, drying and brewing you own, fresh from the plant!

Black Tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have been fermented then dried. Green tea and black tea are really the same plant! We will send you step by step instructions to fermenting your own Black tea and Oolong tea from the leaves of the green tea plant.

Grow your own Green Tea Plants

You can grow Tea plants! Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub grown in part shade to full shade. Most are hardy from zone 6B to zone 7B. You can grow a Tea plant easily in a greenhouse or on a porch even if you have bring it in during the winter. Most Tea varieties tolerate temperatures down to 20 degrees F. Tea prefers a wet humid summer and a cool, dry winter with no soil freezes. Email us with your questions anytime.
Uniqueplants@aol.com  or call us at 352 617 3673

Want to know how to care for your plants? When you buy your tea plants from www.greenteaplants.com we will send you the complete care instructions needed to produce healthy Tea plants. Everything you need from unwrapping your tea plant out of the box to testing your soil, even how to harvest your tea, is included in your “tea plant kit” We are also available by e-mail to our customers any time you have questions.

We live where it is cold in the winter, can we grow Green tea plants?

Camellia sinensis Common name Tea plant. An evergreen shrub or small tree grown in part shade to full shade. Some Tea varieties are hardy to zone 6B most are hardy to zone 7B. Tea plant can be easily grown as a greenhouse plant or a porch plant that you bring in during the winter or if your local zone permits grow it in the ground under a tree in dappled light. Most Tea varieties tolerates temperatures down to 20 degrees F. The Korean and Small Leaf varieties can survive to zone 6B with protection ( -5 to 0 degrees F). Tea prefers a wet humid summer and a cool but not very frosty, dry winter with no soil freeezes. What I normally tell people to do is to ask you local nursery about how Camelias do and taht should give you most of the story. But be risky! Put them in a pot and bring them in on cold nights, or protect them with plastic or bales of hay, even a light bulb. Just remember they are not an indoor tree and should not be treated like one on the long term.

Care of your plant the first week

Carefully remove wrappings around plant. Your plant has now been in total darkness for up to three days or longer so you will need to gradually introduce it to sunlight. Put it on a shady windowsill that gets no direct sun or place your plant under a tree where it will get dappled sunlight for three days. Tea plants prefer dappled light under a tree or part sun. Gradually expose it to the growing conditions it will live in. Give it a small drink only if it needs it. Don't over-water your plant. If your plant arrived in poor condition please notify us within three days.

What do Growing Tea Plants require grown in the ground?

Tea plants requires well-drained, light sandy or medium loamy soils. The plant must grow in acid or neutral soils (4.5 to 6 pH) and can grow in very acid soil. You can add sulfur to the ground to acidify your soil. You can also add Greensand, compost or any amendments just as long as you keep the soil acid. Don't add Lime for it will make the soil alkaline. Plant in semi-shade. If you live in a very hot climate plant under a tree where it will get dappled light. Mulch under your plant. Protect your plant during the winter the first year till it is well established. If we are expecting an especially cold and not usual cold snap I protect my plants by covering them with a blanket during the night or I stack hay bales around my bushes.

Growing in a Pot?

The directions for growing tea in a pot is the same as above only use a fast draining soil mix of sand, peat, fine bark shavings and soil. Do not overwater!!! Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Re-pot as the plant grows or trim back roots if you plan to keep the Tea shrub in one pot for the life of the shrub

 

How to you make Green tea, Oolong tea and Black tea?

Green Tea is made from Camellia sinensis steamed and dried leaves.

Tender young growth is picked by hand from Camellia sinensis. Young shoots with 2-3 leaves are recommended. Any surface water on the leaves and shoots is allowed to dry in the shade for up to a few hours.

In preparing green tea, the oxidizing enzymes are killed by steaming the freshly plucked leaf in a vegetable steamer on your stove for less than one minute, or by roasting in a hot pan (cast iron skillet) for a few minutes. This process is called "sha qing" (killing out) in Chinese.

The leaves are finally dried in an oven set at 250 degrees F. for 20 minutes. This step is necessary to remove any moisture in the leaf so it won't mold and it stops any fermentation.

You may add dried Jasmine, dried blackberry leaf or other fine tasting leaf teas to this tea to give it a fruity flavor. Enjoy your Green Tea!


Oolong Tea is made from partially fermented Camellia sinensis leaves

The freshly plucked shoots from Camellia sinensis are spread out thinly over a cleared area of flat ground, which is usually covered with a mat or a towel to keep the leaves from contact with the earth. The shoots are wilted under the sun for 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the temperature.

The leaves are then taken indoors, where they are left to wither at room temperature for a number of hours. During this period the leaves are gently agitated by hand every hour. This process causes the edge of the leaf to turn red, and the moisture content drops about 20%. These controlled actions causes biochemical reactions and enzymatic processes in the leaf, which in turn produce the unique aroma and colors found in Oolong teas.

After withering, the leaves are then dried in an oven set at 250 degrees F. for 15 - 20 minutes. This stops the enzymatic process. Enjoy your Oolong Tea!

Black Tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have been fermented then dried

Tender young growth is picked by hand from Camellia sinensis. Young shoots with 2-3 leaves are recommended. Any surface water on the leaves and shoots is allowed to dry on racks for 10 to 20 hours and it's purpose is to bring down the internal moisture of the leaf to somewhere between 60% and 70% of the original moisture. This step makes the leaf more pliable for the next step.

The leaves are bruised to allow the fermentation process to begin. Several shoots are rolled between your hands or crushed until the leaves darken and become crinkled. This process is repeated until all the leaves are bruised till they turn a bright copper penny color.The leaves are allowed to ferment by placing thin layers of leaves on a tray in a shady location. After 2-3 days the leaves are ready for drying.

The leaves are dried in an oven set at 250 degrees F for 20 minutes. This step is necessary to remove all the water in the leaves and to stop the fermentation process. It also seals in the flavor. Now the tea is ready to use or store in an airtight container. Enjoy your Black Tea!Green Tea Plants .com.


How many plants do I need to buy?

We recommend at least 6 plants per person and here is why. You only harvest the new growth, or tips, from each plant. For for one thing, your plants are young and they need leaves to convert sunlight to energy so they can grow. The more you steal from the plant the slower they will grow. So if you only buy a few you will be frustrated waiting for them to get big enough for you to harvest enough to get something from. The second thing is if you want some serious tea in a few years you need enough shrubs, with enough growth to be able to go out into the garden and collect some buds on a regular basis, know what I mean? Of course more is better.

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