What are some of the many benefits of tea? Tea is a nice remedy for when you are sick, but it has a lot more benefits than you might think. I personally like to drink a cup of warm tea at night while I’m doing homework. Also, whenever I’m tired or feeling under the weather, I opt for tea!
From panda’s poop to bug’s crap, the world has a taste for some of the most incredibly weird teas that one wouldn’t drink on a normal day. Click through to have a look at them.2/13 SLIDES© CHINA DAILY/REUTERS
Panda dung tea
If you think you are actually buying the poop, think again. Unlike what the name implies, this green tea is grown in southwest China using panda poop as a sole fertilizer. The tea is listed as one of the most expensive teas in the world with the price as high as US $3,500 for 50 grams.3/13 SLIDES© Sean Gallup/Getty Images
This cold tea, which originated during the 1980s in Taiwan, is more like a milkshake. Traditionally, the recipe has tea base, milk, fruits and chewy Tapioca balls. As the drink became trendy across the globe, coffee houses have started experimenting with different flavors.4/13 SLIDES© VeraPetruk/Getty Images
When the green tea is slowly aged with the help of fungus, pu-erh tea is produced. According to the Chinese government, authentic pu-erh tea is produced only in Yunnan province. Believed to be good for health, the brew is gaining popularity with tea lovers. Unfortunately not everyone can afford it as it’s one of the most expensive teas in the world.5/13 SLIDES© DANIEL ACKER/Bloomberg
Kukicha green tea
Japanese have their own method to produce this unique aromatic green concoction. Twigs, stems and stalks of the tea plant are used to make this traditional tea. As it carries negligible amount of caffeine, it can be used to make children’s drinks too.6/13 SLIDES© STRINGER/REUTERS
The leaves of the guayusa (Ilex guayusa), a tree native to the Ecuadorean rain forest, are rich in natural caffeine and antioxidants. Native tribes in Ecuador brew them like a tea for they enjoy its stimulating effects.7/13 SLIDES© PA ARCHIVE IMAGES/Press Association
Bug feces tea
Can you image the tea made from bug’s feces to be as expansive as gold? The Taiwanese farmers pick up the poop of the bugs, who only eat organic tea leaves all their lives, using magnifying glasses and tweezers. According to the tea-selling company Tearroir, this brew is believed to save lives and it’s value is equal to that of gold. (Pictured) Vijay Dudeja, chairman of Calcutta’s teabrokers, pours the world’s most expensive tea for Harrods’ owner and chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed.8/13 SLIDES© CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/REUTERS
Not so bizarre for people who want to lose weight as garlic tea is believed to help you maintain the perfect metabolism for shedding that extra layer of fat. This hot drink will also help you avoid heart problems and regularize blood pressure.9/13 SLIDES© marekuliasz/marekuliasz/Getty Images
Another tea of Chinese origin, this centuries-old brew is named so because its leaves resemble the grains of black powder. The leaves are rolled by hand or machine to avoid physical breakage, and to keep their flavor and aroma intact.10/13 SLIDES© Maren Winter/Getty Images
Made from salvia herb, this tea is an integral part of Mexican culture and rituals. Mazatec shamans, native to Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca, consume this drink to induce visions during rituals. As the brew is made up of hallucinogenic substances, salvia remains the main choice.11/13 SLIDES© David Pimborough/Getty Images
Fermented yak butter tea
Perfect for chilly weather of Tibet and Ladakh, yak butter tea takes almost half a day to prepare. The boiled tea is mixed with yak butter and salt until it’s as consistent as stew or oil. Tibetans consume it throughout the day as it provides high amount of energy and warmth.12/13 SLIDES© urbanraven/Getty Images
The tea gets its name from a Canadian region where it was invented and it has nothing to do with dogs of any kind. Made from three kind of plants from the Rhododendron family, the brew is effective for many ailments, including cold, heartburn and hangovers. However, one needs to be careful because it contains ledol, a poisonous substance that causes cramps, delirium, and even paralysis when consumed in large amount.13/13 SLIDES© GreenArtPhotography/Getty Images
Known for its sour taste, Kombucha is Russia’s answer to the world’s weirdest teas. The drink is prepared by fermenting the black tea with bacteria and yeast. People claim that it strengthens the immune system.13/13 SLIDES
A Scientific Explanation
Compared to coffee, tea contains more antioxidants, which are essential to prevent particles called free radicals that could damage the body’s cells. Also, tea also has less caffeine compared to coffee. Caffeine can make us feel energized and more alert because it stimulates the body’s central nervous system. As the saying goes, sometimes, too much of something might not be good for the body! In fact, a safe amount of daily caffeine consumption is up to 400 milligrams, which amounts to roughly 4 cups of coffee and about 8 cups of green tea. Due to this, if one prefers to drink in large quantities and still get a dose of caffeine, he or she could instead, go for some tea!
Physical Health Benefits
On top of that, tea could potentially reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to a study that compiled reports regarding the relationship between tea and heart health, there was a 20% reduction in the risk for heart attack, as well as up to 35% reduction in the risk for stroke. In addition, additional research shows that tea could help with weight loss, (although there is not enough evidence to provide complete support).
Mental Health Benefits
Besides the physical benefits of tea, tea can also help with your mentality as well. For example, a study showed that black tea reduced the participants’ stress levels, as seen by a 20% drop in cortisol levels (cortisol is a hormone released during stressful situations). Tea also generally eases irritability and headaches. Moreover, tea has multiple benefits for the body, whether it be physical or mental.
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What About Bubble Tea?
When talking about tea in the 21st century, we can’t leave out bubble tea! Bubble tea has been widely popularized, with its tasty appeal and chewy “bubbles.” However, drinking too much bubble tea might not be the best option when considering your health! The Tapioca pearls in bubble tea are known to be made with a lot of sugar and can add more calories to your drink. To compromise, you can still have the best of both health and taste by drinking a cup of herbal or plant-based teas! (If you want a sweeter taste like bubble tea, I recommend rooibos tea.)
Personally, I really love drinking tea for the slightly sweet taste and the way it relaxes my body after I drink it. My favorite types of tea include black tea and oolong tea, although I look forward to trying different types of tea in the future! I definitely encourage opting for tea once in a while over other beverages because of the amazing health benefits it has. For more information about tea, check out the perfect tea for every college situation and, if you’re new to tea, look out for the beginner’s guide to tea drinking!