Also Known As: Tea-White, Tea, white, White tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many enjoy.
The phrase herbal tea usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as rosehip tea or chamomile tea. Alternative phrases for this are tisane or herbal infusion, both bearing an implied contrast with tea. This article is concerned exclusively with preparations and uses of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.
Like black and green tea, white tea is also derived from Camellia sinensis. Thus, white tea shares many of the same chemical properties and health effects of tea. The particular amount and ratio of the polyphenol compounds found in tea varies widely from one type of white tea to another, frequently overlapping with chemical compositions found in green tea. This is due both to the variation between strain of Camellia sinensis, as well as the preparation process itself. These compounds have been shown to protect against certain types of cancer both in vitro and in vivo.
- Improved cardiovascular function
Catechins, a group of polyphenol antioxidants found in white tea, have been found to reduce cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and improve the function of blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Antibacterial and antiviral
White tea has been shown to protect animals from certain pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella tryphimurium. The antioxidants found in white tea may also help bolster the immune system, particularly in immunocompromised humans and animals.
A 1984 study at Pace University[specify] revealed that white tea extract may help slow viruses and bacterial growth, thus reducing the incidence of staphylococcus and streptococcus infections, pneumonia, fungus growth, and even dental plaque.
Findings from another study[specify] conducted at the Skin Study Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University reveal indicators that white tea helps skin cells by boosting immune systems when exposed to harmful ultra-violet radiation.
An article published in the Carcinogenesis journal by scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University[specify] found that consumption of moderate amounts of white or green tea may hedge against colon tumors consistent with the prescription drug, sulindac. When used in combination with the drug, the results were more effective.
A study at Kingston University in 2009 showed that white tea has high anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-collagenase, and anti-elastase properties which could potentially reduce the risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, heart disease and slow the enzymatic break-down of elastin and collagen, traits which accompany aging.