The amazing benefits of oolong tea for your health
If you’re here for the benefits of oolong tea then you’re in the right place.
Firstly let’s take a look at what oolong tea is and where it comes from.
Oolong tea is a true tea since it is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, which also produces black tea, green tea, and white tea.
Oolong tea is especially popular in southern China and Taiwan, but it’s also gaining popularity for being a healthy food product, particularly in the United States.
The earliest mention of oolong tea was in the poems written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), though the tea is known to have been consumed since before 1368.
Known initially as Baiyun tea, oolong tea was commonly used as a tribute tea, and it was considered an upper-class drink, often offered as a sign of great honor.
The tea is an excellent source of beneficial nutrients, flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, and more.
This article delves deep into the 21 extraordinary health benefits of oolong tea.
We will also look at its potential side effects.
What Is Oolong Tea?
Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea that is sometimes labeled a green tea.
The tea can accurately be described as half green and half black.
Black tea leaves are fully oxidized, and green tea leaves don’t undergo oxidation or fermentation process to retain their green color and produce a lighter grassy taste.
Comparably, oolong tea leaves are partially oxidized and partially fermented, which makes it one of the most exciting teas for tea masters and tea drinkers.
This is because they are able to play with its flavor profile.
The history of oolong tea is quite interesting, with one theory stating that the ancient people of China first named it Wulong, a name which later changed to oolong (black dragon).
This was due to the long, dark (almost black) and twisted shapes of its leaves.
Beyond its history, oolong tea is considered an ancient healing tonic, providing a whole host of health and therapeutic benefits.
The Flavor Profile Of Oolong Tea
The flavor of oolong tea is quite varied, thanks to how the tea is processed.
There is a lot of room for tea masters to create unique blends and special flavor profiles.
The evocative tea can be oxidized anywhere between 8-80 percent.
Whereas the lightly oxidized tea produces a delicate and light flavor, heavily oxidized oolong tea offers a bold and bright earthy flavor.
In a nutshell, the flavor of oolong tea varies greatly depending on its Japanese or Chinese tea master.
21 extraordinary health benefits of oolong tea
Traditional Chinese teas are famous for their touted medicinal properties and health benefits.
But only recently have Western researchers and doctors taken note of oolong tea and begun studying its beneficial health effects.
Below are some of the amazing health benefits of oolong tea that tea drinkers can expect.
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1. May Help With Heart Disease
Research points towards the potential of oolong tea to lower cholesterol levels.
According to the researchers of a study, drinking at least 8 ounces of oolong tea every day puts you at a lower risk of high triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and total cholesterol levels.
During a study, 76,979 participants drank oolong tea every day for a couple of years.
The researchers concluded that drinking oolong tea can enhance heart health and help prevent the risk of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes.
This benefit is attributed to the polyphenol antioxidants and catechins compounds contained in this traditional tea.
2. May Reduce The Risk of Cancer
The National Cancer Institute states that there is insufficient evidence to confirm the potency of oolong tea in reducing the risk of cancer.
However, multiple studies suggest that daily consumption of oolong tea may significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
These include lung cancer, skin cancer, and ovarian cancers.
A small laboratory study has linked the naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds in oolong tea with the potential to protect cells from DNA damage and inhibit tumor cell growth.
The polyphenol compounds in the tea can also boost your overall immune system.
However, while early research finds oolong tea very promising in cancer treatment, researchers are yet to zero in on how or why the tea works.
Hence, they do not recommend drinking oolong tea in cancer treatment for now.
3. May Help With Eczema
Besides giving your internal organs a healthy boost, oolong tea provides endless benefits for the wellbeing of your external organs- including your skin.
A cup of this herbal tea will bring free radicals to a calm, reducing skin sensitivity and allergic reactions.
The antioxidant activity in the tea is also vital in reducing the physical signs of aging, giving you a youthful, fresh complexion.
4. May Help With Diabetes
According to researchers, oolong tea consumption may not improve insulin and blood sugar levels.
However, a few cups of oolong tea may significantly lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and effectively prevent diabetes symptoms.
A small Japanese study found that drinking oolong tea on a daily basis dramatically reduced glucose levels in the human subjects by as much as 30%.
5. May Improve Sleep Quality
Oolong tea possesses GABA receptors which inhibit neural activity, consequently facilitating sleep.
These receptors have also been shown to effectively reduce mental and physical stress, alleviate anxiety, and create a calm mood, hence improving sleep quality.
In addition, L-theanine, an amino acid in the tea, works in combination with GABA, providing a deeper and long-lasting sleep.
6. May Help With Tooth Cavity and Overall Tooth Health
Oolong tea is a good source of fluoride, a natural mineral commonly released from rocks in the water and soil.
Drinking oolong tea can naturally prevent tooth decay and the demineralization of tooth enamel.
This oolong tea benefit is attributed to the tea’s fluoride content which can replenish lost calcium and phosphorous, keeping your teeth hard.
The fluoride in the tea can also prevent tooth cavities and maintain oral health.
7. May Boost Energy Levels
L-theanine is an amino acid found in oolong tea and it can help boost energy levels.
This amino acid significantly inhibits the release of caffeine, meaning that the energy kick will last much longer.
In addition, unlike an ordinary cup of coffee that gives you a caffeine crash, the energy boost of oolong tea is much smoother.
Another main benefit of oolong tea bags is that they can also help eliminate the body toxins that lead to healthy cell damage.
This energy drink contains a class of flavonoids known as catechins and antioxidants that prevent or lessen the effects of free radicals that have been linked to oxidative stress.
8. A Rich Source of Antioxidants
Oolong tea has a high level of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are beneficial compounds that inhibit oxidation, the chemical reaction that often produces free radicals, which can damage our healthy cells.
The tea has half oxidation, meaning that it possesses the antioxidants contained in black tea, such as thearubigins and theaflavins, as well as the catechins in green tea.
A Chinese study on 30 different tea types found that oolong tea possesses a significantly higher oxidative count than most other teas, including green tea at times.
9. May Boost The Immune System
As noted above, a cup of oolong tea contains flavonoids that can boost your immune system while preventing cellular damage.
It also increases antibacterial proteins, which are vital defense molecules that help the body fight harmful microbes.
10. Helps Fight Cold and Flu
This is a significant benefit of oolong tea.
Besides the warm liquid helping with congestion, it also enhances the antibacterial properties in your body, helping cure colds promptly.
11. May Lower The Risk of Stroke
Multiple studies on green tea and oolong tea extracts show that those who consume a cup of tea per day are at a lower risk of a stroke than those who did not.
In fact, those who drank three cups of oolong tea daily had their chances of having a stroke reduced by a significant 21%.
12. May Improve Brain Performance
Caffeine can be very beneficial for your brain when consumed in moderation.
The caffeine content in oolong is just right to boost metabolism in the brain, which can improve your brain function and alertness.
The polyphenols in oolong tea can also help reduce stress levels and prevent plaque proteins from forming around your brain cells.
There are even claims that the tea can potentially prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
13. May Strengthen Teeth and Bone Destiny
A unique benefit of oolong tea is that it can enhance many aspects of your dental and bone health.
Perhaps you already know that calcium and fluoride help put back minerals to your tooth that might have been lost due to other foods?
These natural compounds can also strengthen your bones.
The good news is that oolong tea provides an abundance of calcium and fluoride, protecting and enhancing your bone mineral density.
In addition, the tea can help prevent teeth cavities and combat tooth decay while strengthening your enamel.
14. May Promote Healthy Gut
There is evidence that a healthy gut directly contributes to a strong immune system, healthy heart, healthy brain, healthy liver, better sleep, improved mood, and a properly functioning digestive tract.
Recent studies show that oolong tea can help you create a healthy and positive gut environment, allowing your microflora to thrive.
15. May Enhance Your Mood
The milligrams of caffeine in oolong tea plus the l-theanine content are potent enough to improve your cognitive function.
In turn, this can boost alertness, and relieve anxiety while providing relaxing effects that can benefit your mood.
16. May Lower The Risk of Parkinson's Disease
Another incredible benefit of oolong tea is that it may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.
As noted above, oolong tea can boost brain health.
In addition, sipping on this tea may boost neurotransmitter activity and increase your mental alertness.
This potentially lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease and cognitive decline.
17. May Lower Blood Pressure
GABA is a special form of oxidized oolong tea created by Japanese scientists almost 35 years ago.
This tea still gets a lot of buzz for its gamma-aminobutyric acid.
It contains at least 150mg of amma-aminobutyric acid in every 100g and studies points toward its ability to reduce high blood pressure by more than 14%.
18. Possesses an Anti-hyperglycemic effect
Oolong possesses an excellent amount of tea polyphenols which can help inhibit the digestive enzyme alpha-amylase.
Hyperactivity of alpha-amylase leads to high blood sugar levels. Therefore, drinking oolong tea may be very helpful for type 2 diabetes patients.
19. May Reduce vascular inflammation
Findings from multiple studies suggest that oolong tea may be helpful in reducing vascular inflammation.
By doing so this helps to minimize the risks of cardiovascular disease.
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20. May Alleviate Stress
Oolong tea may be the perfect tea to help you de-stress.
Besides improving your general mood, the L-theanine compounds in oolong tea can help improve relaxation.
In turn, this lowers both your blood pressure and remedies irregular heartbeat.
21. May Reduce Menstrual Pain
During a small study, the researchers observed that sipping on either green tea or oolong tea can significantly lessen the pain associated with a menstrual cycle.
Other teas such as stinging nettle tea are also great for helping with menstrual pain.
The Health Benefits of Oolong tea - The Bottom Line
Oolong tea health benefits are numerous.
Although this herbal remedy is very safe, it’s crucial for beginners to start slow and gradually increase how much oolong tea they use until they find the optimal amount for their needs.
In addition, people sensitive to caffeine should consider a tea without caffeine or take oolong tea with caution as it does not contain much caffeine.
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