The Benefits of Tea



Erika Hartman, In-Depth Writer

While tea has been around since ancient times, it has not been until recent years that science has come to fully understand the plethora of medicinal benefits that it attributes to. Tea became a popular commodity as early as 3 C.E. and became more widespread when hundreds of years later, the British Empire carried it around the world. Even the most common teas that one can find at a supermarket have been shown to boost immune functions and ward off everything from inflammation to heart disease and cancer.


A recent comparative study on the effects of tea shows that it has high levels of antioxidants that perform these magical functions.


Herbal teas, such as the sleepy time favorite chamomile, have been shown to reduce muscle spasms and cramps, such as menstrual pain, as well as improve sleep, stress and relaxation. Peppermint, another common herbal tea, contains a chemical called methanol which helps individuals with anything from an upset stomach to migraines. 


On the other hand, the very popular green tea can help lower bad cholesterol, reduce blood clotting and ward-off breast, prostate and liver cancers. Additionally, green tea has been discovered to be anti-inflammatory, which can help keep the skin of hormone-packed high school students luminescent and clear. 


Similarly, the most frequently-drank tea of all, black tea, is known for its topical and oral benefits. The leaves contain many powerful antioxidants; when steamed and applied to scrapes, bumps and bruises, they can help reduce pain and relieve swelling. Black tea can also be applied to irritated skin and rashes to lessen tenderness. 


Oolong tea, perhaps the most elusive of the rest, contains a powerful amino acid called l-theanine that can work to increase attention, alertness and diminish anxiety. In more contemporary studies, scientists have found that the amino acid even works to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 


In short, next time a high school student is curled up with a book on a dreary Sunday morning or racing out the door to catch the school bus, they should consider grabbing a cup of tea over a typical mug of joe; for even a frothy matcha latte (which contains ten times as many antioxidants as normal green tea) can help start one’s day, year and lifetime on a healthy and advantageous note.