Cool weather? Hot tea for health and pleasure!

common cold teaWe know for sure that the Chinese have been drinking tea for thousands of years. There are several different legends about the discovery of tea—was it when some dried leaves fell from a tree and into a pot of boiling water that the first cup of tea emerged? Or was it when a drop of water from a tea tree dripped into the mouth of an ill person who then recovered? We cannot know for sure exactly when the Chinese recognized the benefits of tea, but written records from over 2000 years ago refer to tea.

The first benefit that tea was thought to have was improving digestion, and this is where the tradition of drinking tea after eating began.

True teas, which include black, green, white, and oolong, are derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to China and India. The difference among these teas is in how they are processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, while black and oolong leaves are crushed and fermented. Teas that come from the camellia plant contain antioxidants, important compounds that prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.

common coldHerbal teas are made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots. Unlike true teas, herbal teas do not contain caffeine. The herbal teas we carry contain a variety of dried herbs, fruit, seeds, or roots chosen by Chinese herbalists to maximize their effectiveness. For instance, Breathe Free Tea from Lin Sisters contains scutelleria root, also known as Chinese skullcap, which is known as an anti-inflammatory; Ligusticum rhizome, used to treat upper respiratory infections; and magnolia, used to treat coughs and cold.   Generations of Chinese people have used these ingredients to treat colds and allergy symptoms.

Additional benefits of drinking tea are that it is hydrating, naturally calorie-free, soothing in cool weather, and delicious!

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