Home Blogs Herbs Black Tea : Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Black Tea : Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   20-Nov-2020

Black tea is the type of tea that is usually more oxidized than oolong, yellow, white, and green tea. Although all four tea types are made from the shrub Camellia sinensis, black tea is generally stronger in flavor. Two main varieties of black tea are used. They are the small-leaved Chinese variety plant used for most other types of tea, and the large-leaved Assamese plant, which is traditionally and mainly used for black tea. In recent years, various green and white tea has also been produced. The concept of black tea was originally developed in China, and it is called "red tea" instead because of the oxidized leaves when processed properly. Compared to the tea leaves used for black tea, green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, whereas black tea retains its flavor for several years. Because of this main reason, it is quite popular and is heavily used as an article of trade and import. Compressed bricks of black tea are blocks of whole or finely ground black tea leaves that have been properly packed in molds and pressed into blocks. These blocks of compressed tea leaves also serve as a form of de facto currency in Mongolia, Tibet, and Siberia in the 19th century.

Black tea is usually graded on one of four scales of quality. Whole-leaf teas are of the highest quality, with the best whole-leaf teas and graded as "orange pekoe." After the whole-leaf teas, the scale comes down to the broken leaves, fannings, which are the small pieces of tea left behind after higher grades of tea are separated to be sold. And then comes the specks of dust. Whole-leaves teas are produced with little or no alteration to the tea leaves. This results in a finished product with a coarser texture than compared to bagged teas. Whole-leaf teas are widely considered the most valuable, especially if they contain the leaves' tips, and the broken leaves are commonly sold as medium-grade loose teas.

Smaller broken varieties may be included in tea bags. Fannings are occasionally manufactured specifically for use in bagged teas. Dust is the finest particles of tea leaves left behind after the production of the high-grade varieties and are often used for tea bags with very fast and harsh brews. Fannings and dust are useful in bagged teas due to the many particles' greater surface area, which allows for fast, complete diffusion of the tea into the water. Fannings and dust have a darker color; it lacks sweetness and has a comparatively stronger flavor when brewed.

The History of Black Tea

The concept of brewing tea originated thousands of years ago. The simple act of putting leaves into hot water has provided ancient societies with medicinal benefits and a tasty beverage to enjoy by itself or with a meal or consumed for relaxation.

Many people and historians associate the discovery of black tea with the Emperor, Shen Nung, who was a Chinese ruler in the 2700s BC. According to the story, a leaf had accidentally dropped into a glass of hot water, and the concept of brewing tea came into being. This has become highly popular worldwide, and almost everyone consumes freshly brewed tea and has become an ongoing trend.

In the 1800s, tea had become popular across the world, from China to Europe, and from there, to a New World full of tea drinkers in the far west. That's where the Boston Tea Party and other events in American history show the power of tea in the marketplace. As the ancient Chinese began to produce more and more tea, they realized that tea leaves became darker and oxidized with a special fermentation process. The tea made from these leaves was more potent, and they could be stored for longer periods without losing their potency or taste. These tea types are called black tea because of the change in coloration of the leaves through the fermentation process.

The fermentation in black tea brewing is a process that oxidizes the tea leaves. It also increases the amount of caffeine by weight, making black tea a unique source of energy. Because of how black tea is made, the finished product holds its flavor and potency well, making it a hot commodity for generations before our modern food preservation methods.

In the olden days, ancient tea sellers made black tea into compressed bricks and sent it on long journeys. They are exchanged with the things brought by foreign merchants for other materials. In some cases, black tea has even been used as a kind of currency, and in over some parts of Asia, experts say, that persisted even into the 19th century. Black tea eventually made its way to the West, where today tea drinkers enjoy black tea in a variety of hot and iced specialty drinks.

Other Uses of Black Tea 

Black tea is known to be one of the best teas in the world with various health benefits and medicinal purposes. It improves digestion and greatly helps to manage weight, and boosts the metabolism of the body. It also contributes to the improvement of the health of the heart by controlling cholesterol levels. This is mainly because of its antioxidant properties. It also helps in controlling blood pressure by calming the blood vessels and improving the flow of blood throughout the body. It also helps in managing stomach related problems like diarrhea by decreasing gut mobility. This is due to the tannins that exist in the black tea leaves. 

A cup of black tea greatly helps in reducing stress and calms the individual down. It does this by improving brain function due to its strong antioxidant property. Although black tea has many health benefits, too much of it should not be consumed as there are high chances of it creating acidity in the body.

Besides its health benefits and medicinal uses, black tea was also used as dyes for clothing. The compressed pigmentation observed from the tea leaves was an effective form of dye that can be used to color or design clothes. It soon became a popular, cooler shade that Eastern citizens would wear when they went out.

It is without a doubt that black tea has come a long way, and it has also become quite popular across the world in many famous brands and flavors. People, especially those focused on health, experiment with black tea brewing and add various other ingredients like bergamot and citrus flavors. This creates a special taste in which tea drinkers enjoy either hot or cold.

Benefits of Black Tea

  • Obesity

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

With the help of a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, black tea may also contribute to good health and weight loss in the body. This mechanism is different from the one adopted by green tea particles. Black tea is a zero calories drink and has zero percent saturated fat and cholesterol. The best way to drink black tea is to put nothing in it except water to benefit from its best weight loss. The flavonoids, which consist of black tea, can also prevent inflammation induced by obesity, and it can lower triglyceride levels and visceral fats.

Obesity is a complicated disease that caused the body to gain an excessive amount of fats, leading to major medical problems that increase the risk of other diseases and health problems such as heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Obesity is more than a cosmetic problem.

According to Ayurveda, obesity is caused due to unhealthy food habits and lifestyle, leading to a weak digestive fire. This increases Ama's accumulation, which is the toxins that remain in the body due to improper digestion. This causes an imbalance in meda dhatu, which results in obesity. Black tea helps manage obesity because it boosts the body's metabolism and reduces Ama. This is mainly because of its deepan (appetizer) and pachan (digestive) properties.

 

Tip

  • Take some black tea
  • Boil ½ cup of water in a pan
  • Add the black tea as per your requirement.
  • Please bring it to a boil.
  • Let it simmer for a while on medium flame.
  • Drink it once or twice a day.

Stress

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

 

Stress is a common part of life and affects almost everyone. There can be various reasons for this. It can either be related to work, family, or friends. If an individual cannot handle the stress they face in their life, it can lead to something more serious like depression.

In research conducted, it was observed that people who drink black tea are more likely to de-stress faster than those who don't drink black tea. This is because black tea can lower your cortisol levels, which is a hormone responsible for stressing you out.

Experts also observed that six weeks of consuming black tea lead to lower post-stress cortisol and greater subjective relaxation, and reduced platelet activation. Black tea may have health benefits in part by aiding stress recovery.

 

 

The levels of stress which the individual faces purely depend on their innate personality and how well they can respond to the situation. Some people let their situation get the best of them, and others try their best to keep their cool. During a stressful situation, the nervous system releases hormones in the body, which prepare you to either fight or take off. This is called the "fight or flight" response. When an individual is stressed, they will notice rapid heartbeat, fast breathing, tense muscles, and sweating.

According to Ayurveda, stress occurs due to the imbalance of vatadosha. This is associated with insomnia, irritation, and fear. Black tea has the property to balance the vatadosha and which greatly helps in managing stress. Black tea should be taken regularly for the desired results.

 

  • Take some black tea
  • Add ½ cup of water to the pan.
  • Add the black tea into the pan with water.
  • Please bring it to a boil
  • Let it simmer for some time
  • Drink it once or twice a day for desired results

Diarrhea

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

According to experts, black tea consists of Tannic. This helps in detoxifying the gastrointestinal tract by flushing out toxic elements in the body through urine. This tea also helps to calm the inflammation in the GI tract and soothes it. Drinking black tea with lemon is also said to help with heart-related problems. Since black tea has a high content of tannins, which have astringent and antiseptic effect, it can fasten the stool and stop the infectious and inflammatory processes. It increases gut mobility and prevents the damage of the intestinal mucosa. The tea also increases the production of prostaglandins. Therefore, black tea helps in curing diarrhea.

 

According to Ayurveda, diarrhea is known as Atisar. This happens because of improper food habits, unpurified water, toxins, mental stress, and agnimandya, also known as weak digestive fire. All these factors which were mentioned are responsible for the disruption of vata. The disrupted vata allows fluid to enter the intestine from various tissues of the body and mixes it with the stool. This eventually leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhea. Drinking black tea will help the body absorb more nutrients and can control diarrhea better. This is mainly because of its Kashaya property, which is also known as the astringent property.

  • Take some black tea
  • Pour ½ cup of water into a pan
  • Add the black tea as per your requirement into the pan with water
  • Let it come to a boil
  • Let the tea simmer on medium heat for some time. Preferably for fifteen minutes
  • drink it once or twice a day for desired results.

High Cholesterol

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

High cholesterol develops fatty deposits in the blood vessels. When these deposits grow, it makes it difficult for enough blood to flow through the arteries. Sometimes, these deposits have a chance of breaking, and when they do, they form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol is a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. This means that they are preventable and curable.

Black tea can reduce high cholesterol because it is loaded with antioxidants. It can also control blood sugar levels and control blood pressure and improve the health of the gut. A study found that consuming polyphenols, thearubigins, theaflavins, or theasinensin A, which exists in black tea, helps lower cholesterol levels in rats. These results seem to translate to people as well. Drinking about 2.5 cups per day of black tea for 12 weeks helps lower the triglycerides and LDL-TO-HDL ratio, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease.

 

Cholesterol is carried through the blood attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. There are different types of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries. These are

Low-density lipoprotein or LDL. It is also known as "bad" cholesterol. This component transports cholesterol particles throughout the body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of the arteries, which makes them hard and narrow. High-density lipoprotein or HDL, also known as the "good" cholesterol, picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver.

According to Ayurveda, high cholesterol occurs due to the imbalance of pachakagni, also known as the digestive fire. Improper digestion in the tissue level produces excess waste products or ama, which are the toxins that remain in the body due to improper digestion. This causes an accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Black tea can improve cholesterol levels by improving agni, known as the digestive fire, and reducing ama. This is due to the deepan (appetizer) and pachan (digestive) properties. It also helps in removing the blockage from the blood vessels by destroying all the toxins.

  • Take some black tea
  • Pour ½ cup of water into a pan
  • Add the black tea as per your requirement into the pan with water
  • Let it come to a boil
  • Let the tea simmer on medium heat for some time. Preferably for fifteen minutes
  • drink it once or twice a day for desired results.

Bone Health

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

 

Bone diseases and injuries are the major causes of abnormalities in the human skeletal system. Fractures being one of the most common causes of problems related to the bones, dominates over disease.

According to research, black tea does help in improving bone or skeletal health. This is mainly due to the presence of specific constituents like flavonoids and polyphenols. These components greatly improve the bones' health by reducing the cells responsible for the degradation of the bones in the body. Black tea also makes sure that it protects the bones from other complications such as osteoporosis.

 

According to Ayurveda, black tea is quite helpful in managing any problems related to the body's bone or skeletal health. The tea can do so because of its balya property, which is the strength provider property. Black tea also helps in improving appetite and fulfill the nutritional requirements of the body. This is mainly because of its deepan, the appetizer property, and its pachan, the digestive property. This helps in further keeping the bones healthy and strong.

Precautions while consuming Black Tea

It is important to know that too much of anything can be bad, even if it is something that greatly contributes to health. Overindulgence can always lead to health complications. The same goes for black tea as well. Even with its health benefits and medicinal purposes, too much of it can cause problems to the body. Therefore, it is important always strictly to monitor your intake of black tea.

Avoid black tea in case of 

- Anemia 

- Anxiety Disorders

- Glaucoma

- Irritable bowel syndrome

- Hormone-sensitive conditions like breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, etc.

Black tea may interfere with anticoagulants. Therefore, it is important to consult with your healthcare professional before consuming black tea or making it a part of your daily diet. 

Some other precautions to keep in mind are:

  • Black tea may cause medical interactions with the following:

- Black tea may interact with anti-arrhythmic drugs. So, it is generally advisable to strictly monitor your heart rhythm while taking Black tea while also taking anti-arrhythmic drugs.

- Black tea might have a high chance of interacting with antibiotics. So, it is generally advisable to consult your healthcare professional while taking Black tea with antibiotics 

- Black tea may interact with antacids. So, it is generally advisable to consult your doctor while taking Black tea with antacids

- Black tea may display a decrease in the effect of antipsychotic drugs. So, it is generally advisable to consult your doctor while taking Black tea with antipsychotic drugs-          

- Black tea may interact with antidepressant drugs. So, it is generally advisable to consult your healthcare professional before taking Black tea with antidepressant drugs

- Black tea may interact with sedatives. So, it is generally advisable to consult with your doctor before taking Black tea with sedatives

- Black tea may interact with anti-allergic drugs. So, it is generally advisable to consult with your doctor while taking Black tea with anti-allergic drugs

- Black tea may interact with calcium channel blockers. So, it is generally advisable to consult your doctor while taking Black tea with calcium channel blockers. 

FAQs

  1. How many cups of black tea is advisable to drink in a day?

The amount of black tea consumed in a day depends on one individual to another. However, it is suggested that you do not consume more than three to four cups of black tea in a day. Too much of it might cause stomach related problems. 

  1. Does black tea cause acidity?

Yes, drinking black tea on an empty stomach or even consuming too much of it in a day might cause acidity and discomfort. This usually happens because black tea consists of Ushna, which is the hot property. It also increases the pitta dosha, which can lead to acidity.

  1. How does black tea help with kidney stones?

If black tea is taken in a moderate amount, it may be helpful for kidney stones. Black tea helps produce urine, which is beneficial for reducing the risk of kidney stone formation. Studies state that consuming black tea with milk or any calcium-containing meals might increase oxalates level, leading to an increased risk of kidney stone formation.

Ayurveda considers kidney stones a kind of toxin that gets accumulated in the kidneys due to an imbalance of the three doshas, especially the kaphadosha. Black tea is said to be quite beneficial for kidney stones because of its kapha balancing and mutual, which is its diuretic property. These components help increase urination in the body, which enhances the excretory system, which results in flushing out all the toxins from the body.

  1. What are the benefits of consuming black tea with lemon?

Adding lemon to your cup of black tea contributes to your good health. This is because it removes toxins from the body. Black tea is also a good source of antioxidant, and adding lemon to it increases its level of antioxidant potential, thus successfully protecting the body from various disorders.

Ayurveda believes that when black tea is taken along with lemon, it enhances digestion and metabolism. This is because both black tea and lemon have deepan property. This is the appetizer property and also constitutes the pachan property, which is the digestion property. These components help in digestion and improve the appetite. It also boosts up the metabolism of the body, which greatly helps in managing weight.

  1. Can black tea be used on the skin?

Yes, black tea can be used on the skin because it greatly reduces scars, and acne gives you clear and healthy skin. It can also remove the dead skin cells and control the excess oil, which is produced from the skin because of its Kashaya property, also known as the astringent nature of the tea.

NS Desk

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