What is Pu-erh Tea?
Teas that are more commonly talked about than pu-erh tea, such as green, white, and oolang teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Pu-erh tea, pronounced at, “poo-air”, actually comes from the same plant while boasting many of the same health benefits. Exclusive to the Yunnan province of China, it derives its name from Pu-erh County where it is harvested. If you want to experience the health and taste benefits of this incredibly scrumptious tea, then take a look at our some our best recommendations.
What Does Pu-erh Tea Taste Like?
Like other teas, pu-erh tea is available in both green and black varieties. These varieties offer a smooth taste and leave behind a subtly sweet profile. When brewed, the leaf variety emits an aroma similar to that of a Fall day. Brewed pu-erh leaves give off a dark tint and have a richer, fuller taste and smell. Pu-erh tea is great to consume in the morning as a coffee alternative to boost your energy, as it is caffeinated.
For step by step guide of Pu-erh tea brewing, please go to "How to Brew Pu-Erh Tea ? Step by Step Guide".
Fermented Pu-erh Tea
The fermented form of this tea is aged and undergoes a natural process, traditional to ancient societies in the Asian region. The fermentation process boasts the benefits of polyphenols, flavonoids, and cetechins. Pu-erh tea is comparable to wines as it is oxidized and is said to get tastier with time. Ages pu-eh teas are more subtle in flavor and can be hard to find in stores. The pricier fermented teas are aged for as long as 50 years.
Fermenting pu-erh tea leaves is multi-step process, using traditional Yunnan tea leaves in a moist environment. This allows for advantageous bacteria and fungus to work its magic. Once everything is fermented and properly aged, they are sold as dense bricks or otherwise distributed as loose leaves.
8 Pu-erh Tea Benefit Tips
1. Energy Boosts
The caffeine content in the tea helps boost and maintain energy levels throughout day while also increasing your ability to focus. There are approximately 70 milligrams of caffeine in one eight ounce cup of pu-erh tea, which is slightly less than a standard cup of coffee at 105 milligrams per eight ounce cup. A slightly lower caffeine content is great for people who are trying to cut back on caffeine or who just find a cup of coffee to be too strong.
As said before, caffeine is known to boost your focus and pushes you through groggy and slow mornings. Consuming this tea can assist in getting you going for a long day ahead. A quick cup of pu-erh tea in the morning can ignite your motivation and get you going for work.
2. Healthy Heart
Another massive health benefit of pu-erh tea is that it can actually lower your risk of heart disease. One cup of pu-erh tea in the morning is a tasty and relaxing way to assist in preventing heart disease, as it aids the production of lovastatin. Lovastatin in naturally occurring and often used to treat patients with high cholesterol.
A study done in China demonstrated that pu-erh tea decreases the negative cholesterols, or LDL cholesterol, and also prevent health issues associated with being overweight. The same study used pu-erh on mice on high fat diets over a two month trial.
The mice that ingested the pu-erh tea boasted decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both which are linked to being overweight. While lowering the bad, the pu-erh tea also boosted positive cholesterol levels, referred to as HDL cholesterol, which is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease (1).
3. Rids Toxins and Free Radicals
The oxidative characteristics of pu-erh tea translate to elevated levels of oxygen, which ultimately improves your circulatory system and improves blood flow. More oxygen flowing throughout your body, and ultimately to your brain, can help fight off unwanted headaches and migraines, while decreasing free radicals that may unfortunately lead to severe sicknesses.
Pu-erh tea has been utilized for centuries by the Chinese to assist the digestive system, particularly the spleen, in filtering toxins from the system. This is due to the sugars and other microorganisms which assist the spleen rid the body of free radicals (2). Enjoying a nice cup of pu-erh tea each morning is the best way to take advantage of these benefits. You may also use pu-erh tea as a detox cleanse from time to time to get your body back to its pure state.
4. Cancer Prevention
Frequent ingestion of pu-erh tea fights cancer by inhibiting the birth of new cancer cells. A study conducted by the University of Kunming Science and Technology showed that constituents of pu-erh tea specifically attack tumor cells while limiting unwanted side effects (3). Another study demonstrated that pu-erh tea increases cell proliferation, also linked to halting the cancer cell growth (4).
Many experts even have confidence in the possibility that oxidized pu-erh tea polyphenols are the driving force behind the leaf’s ability to prevent specific cancers. Irregular cells are halted and free radicals are eradicated thanks to the polyphenols in the tea. Before you choose pu-erh tea to help fight your cancer, please do consult your physician to see if they think that this is a safe option for you.
5. Safeguards Bone Health
As we age, our bones lose their mass and become less strong than when you were young. Osteoporosis is a major concern when it comes to bone diseases as you age and can even result in hospitalization in extreme cases.
The bone’s ability to absorb and utilize vitamins and minerals decreases over time, which leads your bones becoming weaker. If you are a smoker or a heavy drinker, you may face bone disease issues in your later years.
Rodents and other mammals have been studied and proved the polyphenol benefits to combating bone disease by increase bone density and overall bone strength. Antioxidants within the polyphenols are also known to carry ant-inflammatory properties that aid in decreasing aches and pains associated with bone diseases.
6. Weight Loss
As talked about previously, pu-erh tea is great in aiding digestive health and may decrease unwanted pains of constipation and indigestion thanks to that lovastatin the pu-erh tea leaves. Digestion and breaking down of fats is thanks to these same antioxidants and polyphenols.
Some studies conducted have alluded to the possibility that pu-erh tea may assist with weight loss, along with an all-around healthy eating schedule and regular work-outs. By inhibiting the creation of new fatty acids, your body naturally stops developing a high fat content. Wishful thinking says that you can consume a high fat diet and combat the negative side effects with pu-erh tea, but that’s not the case. A weight loss journey is a complex process and is always accompanied by hard work, exercise, and an all-around healthy diet. Pu-erh tea inspires you to naturally create a hormone called epinephrine and a hormone called norepinephrine. Both of these hormones decrease the storage of fatty acids which lead to weight gain. Consuming pu-erh tea after your breakfast, lunch, or dinner will help you take advantage of the weight loss benefits of pu-erh tea.
7. Stress Reduction
Although pu-erh tea is caffeinated, the low content in comparison to coffee won’t have you overly stimulated. In contrast, pu-erh tea may actually be able to lower your stress levels thanks the anti-inflammatory constituents. These constituents are linked to the ability to relax when undergoing discomforts such as migraines.
Phytochemicals such as theanine and GABA are also constituents of pue-erh tea. These phytochemicals are linked to the ability to lower levels of stress in the human body. The same chemicals have been shown to produce melatonin, meaning that you may be able to fall asleep better if you have a cup of pu-erh tea in the evening time.
8. Illness Prevention
The antioxidants that we’ve been talking about, along with vitamin C, can generally aid in preventing sicknesses like the common cold or seasonal respiratory viruses. Remember, fermented pu-erh tea has more antioxidants, which means it is even better at fighting off viral infections. One benefit of being harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant is that the tea contains more antioxidants and sickness-combative catechins than traditional herbal teas.
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