Depending on the culture, the consumption of tea is quite frequent, as a habit has been created. Today, the drink attracts the attention of the most different tastes thanks to the variety of aromas , flavors and benefits that medicinal herbs provide for the body. From the nineteenth century, countries such as England, United States, Australia, Canada, among others, began to consume the drink even more.
How did teas come about
Some legends point out that tea originated in China , around the year 2800 BC, through Emperor Shen Nung. Trying to avoid the great epidemics that happened in his kingdom, Shen Nung determined that all and any water should be boiled before its consumption. The emperor was in the habit of drinking hot water under a tree when some leaves fell into the container.
This act of chance ended up pleasing the emperor’s palate, who soon began to do other experiments using other species of flora. The emperor began to write about the taste he felt and also about how he felt after consumption . This all started to appear as the first step towards the creation of teas .
Although many believe the legends, there are written historical records that prove the use of the first tea around the 3rd century BC in China. There, the Lu Yu treatise was developed – the first technically written treatise on tea. As in the legends, the country responsible for introducing teas in the world was China .
The healing powers of teas
If a brief assessment is made, it will be seen that there is a type of tea suitable for the most varied problems in the world, from the treatment of some diseases. The drink has become popular over the years, so much so that new uses have been incorporated into people’s daily lives. One is the elimination of extra weight.
But before going around drinking all kinds of teas, the pharmacist, master in therapeutic innovation and coordinator of the clinical and sports phytotherapy postgraduate course at the Educational Development Institute (IDE), Leandro Medeiros advises that a doctor be consulted . In addition to enabling the treatment, the patient can avoid potential problems.
Some teas can be useful to help cure illnesses, in addition to the discomfort caused by their symptoms. “Teas with anti-inflammatory action, for example, can be palliative resources for acute inflammatory processes, such as devil’s claw and cat’s claw”, exemplifies Medeiros.
The teas can also help you recover from flu symptoms such as fever, malaise and body aches. “Garlic is the classic in this sense. And that can be mixed with lemon juice too, for better adhesion”, he clarifies. At this point, it is important to make it clear that the tea will not eliminate the disease-causing virus, but rather, it will alleviate the symptoms.
Regarding the mode of consumption , the specialist explains that the therapeutic effect of teas depends on many factors, from the way they are prepared, through the quality of the herb used, until the time when it is consumed. This information, however, can be obtained from the doctor’s consultation, as each patient has different characteristics and needs.
For some time now, the benefits of some herbs have been applied to aid weight loss . This is due to the advancement of research in relation to their properties. Another factor that has been driving this consumption is the exposure that certain digital influencers give to the drink. However, its consumption is useless if a beneficial change in habits is not carried out. At this point, the changes refer to the diet and frequency of physical activities.
The hibiscus tea, horsetail and green tea are among the most used for this purpose. For those who prefer to explore the thermogenic properties of teas , Leandro Medeiros also suggested other types: black tea, red tea, white tea, yerba mate and cinnamon . However, he warned that, to obtain a significant effect, it is necessary to consume it daily for at least three months. “Weight loss depends on a series of combined actions, including healthy eating and regular exercise”, he stresses.
How to prepare teas
Making tea may not be as simple as people think. Taking certain precautions makes the properties present in the herbs be used to the full. “Usually, it is done by infusion , that is, when hot water is placed on the plant. But if the part in question is more woody, difficult to extract, the correct thing is to cook, a process we call decoction . As an example, we have ginger and cinnamon, as they use rhizome and stem”, explains Medeiros.
If the plant has compounds that are sensitive to heat, that is, they evaporate or degrade, it is recommended to do it cold, a process that is also known as maceration . Each plant has a specific amount to be used in the preparation of tea, especially if the purpose of the drink is linked to the medicinal side of the thing.
The ease with which herbs are now offered in supermarkets has spread the consumption of teas even more. But, for those people who decide to use the drink for curative purposes, the best option is to use the fresh plant , instead of industrialized bags.
Many people have preferred the use of iced teas, sold in cans , as an alternative to soda and other industrialized beverages. According to the expert, drinks in this form do not have therapeutic properties and may not be such a healthy option .
“These types of teas are actually called soluble teas. They are usually water-based, carbohydrate-based and contain a content of extracts from plants or dried plants. They are not intended for therapeutic use and are simply for recreational use. And because they have carbohydrates, they can have the same bad effect as the soda ”, he says.
Indiscriminate use of teas
The indiscriminate use of teas can pose problems , especially if the patient follows a medicated diet prescribed by the doctor, has some type of serious illness or even has sensitivity to certain substances.
“Although there is no specific rule regarding the amount to be consumed, we understand that one to three cups a day is ideal. The interesting thing is that there is also a rotation of plants, to prevent the body from becoming overloaded with the same type of natural substances found in plants”, explains Medeiros.
The excess of green tea, according to him, for example, can increase blood pressure or cause or worsen gastritis if used in excess. It is also necessary to be aware of possible interactions between teas and medications used by individuals. “ There are teas made from plants that can reduce the effect of medications , such as green tea and antihypertensives; teas that can enhance the effect of medications, such as hibiscus and antihypertensives; and teas that do not interact with medications, such as boldo and anti-hypertensives”, he explains.
Teas and pregnant women
Pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding should also pay close attention to the consumption of teas, since, depending on the action of the herb, it can cause abortion or cause specific problems in newborns.
“It has already been shown that hibiscus interferes with fertility in animals (rodents), but there are no studies that prove this same effect in humans. Other plants can interfere with contraceptives with relevance in human beings, observed in clinical trials, such as the St. John’s Wort”, concludes the specialist.