For many years, drinking tea has been a method used for medicinal purposes. The first people who are believed to utilize tea as a medical remedy are the Chinese.
There are a number of different kinds of tea that you can drink to help you. In this regard is oolong tea, which provides some unique benefits that cannot be found in other types of tea.
Tea comes in many types and flavors. On one end of the spectrum is white tea, which is barely processed and coming from immature tea leaves and blossoms. Then there’s black tea, which is fully oxidized contributing to its bold flavors. In the middle is a rather unusual type of tea, called oolong, which is semi-oxidized and often made only from particular varieties. The oxidation process varies per variety, and can be anywhere from 8% to 85%. This process gives Oolong characteristics that are midway between green and black. The weird color and process even gave oolong a different name for a time: blue tea.
Oolong has been hailed by many as a superior type of tea thanks to its unique properties. Oolong’s flavor can range widely, from thick to sweet, from fresh to complex. It can also vary in color, with a honey-brown tinge being the most common. As for the health benefits, oolong has also been ascribed unusual characteristics — so much that even its name calls to mind its semi-mythical status in the pantheon of tea types (“oolong” means “black dragon”). Oolong has also been the subject of various tea ceremonies, such as the gongfu tea ceremony.
While there are many health benefits ascribed to Oolong (in particular, and to tea in general), it takes a little effort to see which among those claims are actually backed by scientific proof. We did the heavy-lifting, and brought you the top 10 health benefits of oolong tea backed by solid science!
Oolong Tea Benefits
1. Oolong tea has anti-obesity properties.
In multiple studies, oolong tea has been proven to have significant anti-obesity effects. One of the first studies highlighting this was done in 1999, when a group of Japanese scientists tested oolong’s effects against subjects with diet-induced obesity. It was found that the caffeine content of oolong worked hand-in-hand with various other active substances, increasing lipolysis in subjects and reducing the effects of both obesity and fatty liver.
Just like green tea, oolong tea also helps boost metabolism through natural processes. If you are interested in achieving healthy weight loss, the way it works in influencing chemical activities taking place in the body can be beneficial to you.
2. It reduces the likelihood of diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll display indications of elevated blood sugar levels. Good thing that you can benefit a lot by drinking oolong tea. As a matter of fact, it can help in reducing the amount of blood sugar into manageable levels.
A Japanese study in 2011 has concluded that oolong intake prevents the onset of diabetes. The study has found that consumption can be a predictive factor in whether or not a person is at risk of this lifestyle disease, and the results show that there is a significant trend showing those who regularly drink oolong to be also having low blood glucose levels.
3. It helps improve the gut biome.
In a 2019 study, scientists have found that the polyphenols in oolong tea can help reset the circadian rhythm of the intestinal microbiome. In other words, the compounds in oolong can help the friendly bacteria in the gut biome to step in rhythm with the body, therefore optimizing their function. This contributes to the overall health of the person.
4. It helps reduce stress.
What’s more stressful than university and work life? There are many contenders, but a group of scientists decided to test oolong’s anti-stress effects against a university cohort. Here, they found that oolong tea consumption helped lead to an immediate reduction in reported stress levels, thanks to its alteration of the state of the autonomic nervous system.
This special tea is also known to revitalize mental performance because it contains caffeine. For you to achieve this, you should limit your consumption to one cup daily or just drink it a few times in a week.
5. It helps prevent cancer.
There are a number of anti-cancer agents present in oolong tea and it has been known to help reduce cancer risk. Although, it may not cure a person from several types of cancer, you can take it regularly to minimize the chances of getting the deadly disease.
A research has also found that oolong intake can actually help destroy the DNA in cancer cells, hence reducing their growth rate and inhibiting cancer cell growth. The experiment was done on breast cancer cells, and looks at oolong as an important chemo-preventive substance. This is especially important as many other similar substances, especially synthetic ones, can have adverse effects on the patient.
More so, if you combine it with other essential healthy practices, it can assist you in getting rid of cancer.
6. It helps prevent the onset of cardiovascular illnesses.
There are several benefits to the antioxidants found in tea, but oolong stands among the most potent thanks to studies that point to its cardio-protective properties. Oolong tea extract has been proven to protect the body on a cellular level, preventing injuries caused by oxidation, and also helping cells survive better.
It is one of the most important benefits of oolong tea. In fact, there are more antioxidants in the tea than some others. These are very important to overall health of the body. Antioxidants can be very helpful in reducing the number of free radicals that are in your system.
7. It helps reduce inflammation.
A comprehensive review of oolong’s health benefits, published in 2015, has found that this type of tea also has anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce the severity of various symptoms. This effect comes from the theasinensin content of oolong, which also has effects at the cellular level.
Apart from reducing the chances of getting cancer, oolong tea is also known to assist in maintaining a healthy immune system. For instance, the tea has antioxidants called flavonoids which are very important in preventing cellular damage. The production of antibacterial proteins is also much higher in people who regularly take oolong tea.
Skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) often occurs due to a reaction like allergies or hypersensitivities. Oolong tea has the capacity to suppress the allergic reaction with its actions against free radicals.
The antioxidants found in the tea are also essential for a vibrant, youthful skin. Besides, drinking oolong tea can significantly slow down the aging process.
- Monthana Weerawatanakorn, Wei-Lun Hung, Min-Hsiung Pan, Shiming Li, Daxiang Li, Xiaochun Wan, & Chi-Tang Ho (2015). Chemistry and health beneficial effects of oolong tea and theasinensins.
- Masami Uehara, MD; Hisashi Sugiura, MD; & Kensei Sakurai, MD (2001). A Trial of Oolong Tea in the Management of Recalcitrant Atopic Dermatitis.
8. It helps reduce the incidence of tuberculosis.
Among the many benefits of drinking tea is one that is pretty much neglected — its relation to tuberculosis. Another 2015 study touched upon this topic, revealing that oolong is among the tea types that could reduce the incidence of tuberculosis development.
9. It helps prevent bone loss.
Oolong tea also protects the bones and helps you prevent osteoporosis. According to a study with test subjects from a community of post-menopausal women, oolong tea consumptions help reduce the possibility of bone loss that comes with aging. The study found that for oolong tea drinkers, bone density is significantly higher than in those of non-tea drinkers of the same age.
If you consistently drink oolong tea, you are less likely to lose bone mineral density. Thanks to the calcium and magnesium content in oolong tea leaves.
Oolong tea also protects the teeth from acids produced by some bacteria. The growth of bacteria and the production of acids are both inhibited by the tea. This means it is an effective way of preventing the buildup of plaque and tooth decay.
10. It reduces the level of lipids in the blood.
Dyslipidemia is a condition that means having too many lipids in the blood. This lipid content includes cholesterol, which in the wrong amount can be harmful and lead to various cardiovascular issues.
Oolong tea is famous for reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body thereby promoting good health. A study has found that long-term oolong consumption helps reduce the risk of dyslipidemia in populations. Unlike some other types of tea, oolong has also been observed to reduce the level of HDL or high-density lipoproteins, the “bad cholesterol” that only a few types of tea seem to be effective against.
This is because of being semi-oxidized, meaning it produces perfectly sized polyphenol molecules that activate the enzyme lipase. The enzyme is capable of dissolving fat in the body.
The above are the most important oolong tea benefits known. For you to realize positive results, you may consider taking it regularly as you find necessary.
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