9 Jasmine Tea Benefits for Your Health
Jasmine tea can help prevent against a variety of severe illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Thanks to high concentrations of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, jasmine tea can also help promote beautiful, healthy skin and boost your immune system.
With a delicious flavor profile that is anything but boring, jasmine tea has a lot to offer. Adding jasmine tea into your regimen with just a cup or two a day can help you live a healthy, happy lifestyle. Discover the fascinating origins, taste profile and health benefits of jasmine tea.
Origins of Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea skyrocketed to popularity in China during the Ming Dynasty when florals were all the rage. Floral patterns covered paintings, porcelain tableware, embroidery and literature in Chinese society. Jasmine tea was first produced in the Fujian province of China. It's no surprise that a tea made from jasmine flowers was one of China's first beverage exports to the Western world.
Jasmine tea made its Western debut in the late 1800s, delighting senses with a sweet, perfumed aroma and blossoms that boasted numerous health benefits. While jasmine has largely been associated with China, its origin stems from the Middle East region, specifically Persia. Believed to be native to Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and regions in the Himalayas, jasmine tea is grown worldwide. Today, jasmine tea is largely produced in Asia with India and Chine being the main cultivators.
What Is Jasmine Tea?
Jasmine tea is made from a combination of true tea leaves and jasmine blossoms. The jasmine flowers are typically harvested from one vairety of jasmine plant known as Jasminum officinale. Today's aromatic jasmine teas come from one of the two varieties of the jasmine plant: common jasmine and sampaguita. Related to the olive family, jasmine flowers effuse a deeply fragrant smell with a sweet finish. This herbal tea is frequently sold as jasmine pearls. The delicate pearls unfurl as the tea steeps, creating a beautiful presentation.
Most jasmine teas are classified as flavored or scented teas since flowers are used to enhance a true tea. Jasmine is typically infused into a green tea, although there are some jasmine teas available that are infused into white tea or black tea. The scenting process involves drying tea leaves with fresh jasmine flowers. The flowers are replaced every 24 hours and the process can take several days depending on the desired blend. The blossoms can be used to make green jasmine tea or to scent other true teas such as oolong tea and black tea.
The taste of jasmine tea can vary depending on which true tea it uses as its base, where the jasmine is grown and how it is processed. Typically, jasmine green tea has a delicate and subtle flavor profile with notes of sweet floral, a fresh finish and a perfumed aroma. High quality jasmine tea varieties including Yin Hao are among the favorite teas of Chinese leaders. Not only is the delicate flavor of jasmine tea a wildly popular choice, it also boasts significant health benefits.
Health Benefits of Jasmine Tea
1. Boosts Energy
As mentioned, jasmine tea uses a true tea such as green, black or white as a base. True teas are teas that are made using the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which naturally contains caffeine.
The caffeine content of jasmine tea can thus vary depending on which true tea is used as a base, although in general green tea is most common. A cup of green tea contains around 35 mg of caffeine while a cup of coffee contains about 95 mg.
Switching from coffee to jasmine tea can lower your caffeine intake while still giving you that extra boost to make it through the day. The caffeine in jasmine tea can help you focus better and stay alert.
2. Weight Loss Aid
Losing weight can be hard, so having a little extra support on your side can make all the difference. Jasmine tea has been shown to aid in weight loss by speeding up metabolism thanks to its use of green tea leaves. A faster metabolism means your body can process nutrients and macronutrients (like fat and protein) quicker, leading to weight loss.
A Japanese study published in 2010 showed that people who regularly consume green tea can have a higher resting metabolic rate than those who didn't. That means you can burn more calories and fat, even when you aren't working out.
Jasmine tea is a naturally low-calorie beverage so you can drink up without worrying about packing on the pounds. Adding sugar or honey to your tea can increase the amount of calories, so use sparingly.
3. May Prevent Cancer
Since cancer is a common ailment in modern society, the focus on prevention has increased as well. Fortunately, there is scientific evidence that drinking jasmine tea may help to prevent cancer by targeting free radicals.
Jasmine tea contains high levels of antioxidants that help to eliminate free radicals in the body. Free radicals are caused by pollutants in food and the environment and can cause irregularities in cells that have been linked to neurological diseases and cancer.
Depending on which tea is used as the base for jasmine tea, you'll reap the benefits of different antioxidants. Jasmine tea made with green tea is high in catechins while jasmine tea brewed with black tea leaves contains high levels of theaflavins.
Jasmine green tea contains polyphenols and antioxidants including epigallocatechin gallate that has been shown to prevent cancer. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, epigallocatechin gallate may protect cells from DNA damage caused by free radicals. Tea polyphenols can also inhibit cell proliferation and in turn slow down rapid progression of mutated cells.
If you prefer jasmine tea brewed with a black tea base, you can still reap the cancer-fighting effects. Jasmine black tea has high levels of theaflavins, which studies have shown can inhibit growth of cancer cells and can even kill mutated cells.
4. Protects Heart Health
Maintaining a healthy heart means you not only live longer, but you have a better quality of life. Drinking a few cups of jasmine tea a day can help keep your heart pumping optimally and limit the risk of dangerous diseases and expensive surgeries.
The same antioxidants in jasmine tea that help to prevent cancer also work to ensure a healthy heart. High levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to enlarged veins and arteries that lead to strokes, blood clots and heart attacks.
Catechins found in jasmine tea can lower LDL cholesterol oxidation that leads to inflammation of arteries and veins. LDL cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol and has been linked to a variety of cardiovascular health problems including high blood pressure.
5. Relieves Stress
One of jasmine tea's most powerful and simple health benefits is derived from its delightful aroma. Mood depends largely on the state of the five senses and jasmine tea works directly on two of those senses to elevate mood and increase relaxation.
Studies have shown the olfactory senses have a powerful connection to relaxation. The perfumed aroma of jasmine tea can trigger a parasympathetic response, which releases chemicals that help the body relax and unwind. Some studies go a step further in examining the sedative effects of jasmine tea aromas although results have been inconclusive and are ongoing.
Naturally, taste is the second sense targeted by jasmine tea. Jasmine's sweet flavors induce a relaxed state while the fresh finish adds an invigorating essence that can perk you up after a long day. By drinking jasmine tea for stress relief, you're also forced to take a few minutes out of the day to refocus and relax.
6. May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the inability of the human body to regulate or produce insulin. Genetic factors and lifestyle choices or a combination of the two are the leading causes of diabetes.
Drinking jasmine green tea can help to control or prevent diabetes by regulating insulin levels. A study conducted by BMC showed the antioxidants in green tea leaves lowered blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. This shows potential for people who suffer from blood sugar spikes or low blood sugar throughout the day.
The same study demonstrated more stable glucose metabolism in healthy humans. By regulating glucose levels in healthy individuals, jasmine green tea can help to prevent diabetes when consumed regularly.
7. Improves Immune System
Like most teas, jasmine tea has high levels of inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to boost the immune system and protect against the common cold and influenza. A healthy immune system can also fight more severe illnesses and infections, making it extremely important to keep immune health at optimal levels. Jasmine tea also has large amounts of vitamins and minerals that boost immune health.
Drinking a cup of jasmine tea can help soothe an upset stomach and delivers vital fluids that are needed to beat a cold or flu quickly. The fragrant aromas can also help you relax and make you feel better when you're under the weather.
8. Alleviates Aches and Pains
Jasmine green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce aches and pains associated with arthritis or joint pain. A study conducted by the American College of Rheumatology showed that the epigallocatechin gallate in green tea leaves could block painful inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis without negative side effects.
9. Benefits Skin
Jasmine blossoms and the teas and essential oils derived from it have antibacterial properties and antioxidants that can help keep skin looking its best. While jasmine oils can be used topically on skin for wounds and scars, drinking jasmine tea can also offer excellent skin benefits.
The powerful antioxidants and polyphenols in jasmine tea help to slow down the aging process by eliminating free radicals that can cause wrinkles and skin damage. These polyphenols also work to even out skin pigmentation and minimize fine lines. To reap the benefits of jasmine tea for your skin, you can consume 2-3 beverages per day or wash your face using a cooled cup of jasmine tea.
How to Brew Jasmine Tea
Most jasmine tea bags and loose leaf varieties will come with instructions on how to brew since the process can vary depending on the tea. Temperatures and steeping times are the most likely components to change when using different jasmine teas. In general though, you should use the following procedure:
Step 1: Prepare Tea Leaves
If you are using a tea bag, you can jump to the next step. For loose leaf tea varieties, generally use about 2 grams for every 8 ounces of water.
Step 2: Boil the Water
Jasmine tea is best brewed with pure or filtered water to allow flavors to develop properly. Aim for a water temperature between 160 F and 180 F. Since jasmine tea is made using true teas, boiling the water too hot can result in a bitter taste.
Step 3: Steep
Jasmine tea should be steeped for anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on how the tea was produced. It's useful to keep the lid on a teapot or tea vessel during steeping to keep heat inside.
A Note on Flavoring
Jasmine tea has a delicate, subtle flavor profile that can be overwhelmed by adding sugar or honey. Most producers of jasmine tea recommend avoiding adding sweeteners to jasmine tea to avoid altering the flavor profile.
Jasmine Tea Side Effects
Early Contractions During Pregnancy
While aromatherapy is often popular during pregnancy, jasmine tea is not recommended for pregnant women. Due to its strong scent and chemical composition, jasmine tea and jasmine essential oils have been linked to early contractions and other negative effects. It's best to avoid jasmine tea when pregnant or consult with a doctor before using.
Jasmine tea features powerful flavors and a high acidic content, which can irritate the stomach lining. To avoid this side effect, avoid drinking jasmine tea on an empty stomach and limit consumption if you feel pain. Always make sure to purchase organic tea or high quality tea to avoid stomach irritationt hat can be caused by harmful chemicals and pesticides.
While some people seek out teas specifically for their caffeine properties, other individuals may have a sensitivity to caffeine. If you cannot tolerate caffeine, avoid jasmine tea blends with true tea leaves or opt for a tea bag variety that is caffeine free.
Drink In the Health Benefits of Jasmine Tea
Tea is one of the most popular natural remedies when it comes to promoting healthy organs and a healthy lifestyle. Drinking jasmine tea can help you toast to good health by preventing illnesses, increasing relaxation and regulating overall health.
Jasmine tea can help reduce your risk of severe diseases such as diabetes and heart disease while delivering exceptional taste. As with most natural remedies, it's important to keep in mind that some teas can have side effects or interact with medications and to check with your doctor before using.
Sit back and relax with a piping hot cup of jasmine tea and relish the sweet, fresh taste and perfumed aroma as you unwind. Sip traditional jasmine tea by itself or opt for a blend that contains true tea leaves. Whatever you choose, the sweet and delicate jasmine flavor is sure to delight tea lovers everywhere.
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