The Healing Powers of Tea

The Healing Powers of Tea

by Cal Orey


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Wellness in a Cup—Discover the Benefits of Tea for Your Body and Mind!
It picks you up and calms you down, warms you and refreshes you. With black, white, red, green, and herbal varieties, there’s a tea for every taste, and now this time-honored superfood is trending as the drink of choice for health-conscious people of all ages and cultures.
This fascinating book boils down the rich history of tea—as well as the ever-expanding list of health and weight loss benefits found in its leaves.
*Discover how black and white teas are heating up the beverage world with antioxidants and nutrients that lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and fight off inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.
*Learn how age-defying spa treatments made from tea can soothe your skin, soften your hair, and give you an all-over glow and peace of mind.
*Get the latest knowledge from top medical researchers and tea experts on how the superfood can tackle digestive problems, depression and anxiety, aches and pains, and add years to your life.
*Stir up over 50 home cures to give yourself more energy, less stress, treat the common cold, insomnia, and more!
*Enjoy comforting and tea-licious recipes like Warm Scones with Jam and Devonshire Cream, Assorted Finger Sandwiches, Scrumptious White Tea Scallops, and Russian Tea Cookies paired with the perfect brew – hot or iced.
Better health is just a sip away. With The Healing Powers of Tea (sweetened with lively stories) you’ll learn the hottest tips to improve your health, boost your brain power, and even clean your house!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806538266
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 634,769
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Cal Orey, M.A., is an accomplished author and journalist. She has a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University, and for three decades has written hundreds of articles for national and international magazines. She specializes in topics such as health, beauty, nutrition, relationships, science, and pets. Her books include The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, The Healing Powers of Coffee, The Healing Powers of Honey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, The Healing Powers of Vinegar202 Pets’ Peeves, and Doctors’ Orders. She lives in northern California. Readers are invited to visit her website at, read her blog The Writing Gourmet at, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Read an Excerpt


The Power of Tea

There are few hours in life more agreeablethan the hour dedicated to the ceremonyknown as afternoon tea.

— Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Every Sunday afternoon in our Kenton, England, estate at 4:00 P.M., like clockwork my mother would sigh, "It's time for a nice cup of tea." Then, she followed the routine like her grandmother did. She ordered tea and treats to her bedroom chamber. The parlor maid served us assorted crustless finger sandwiches, warm butter scones with Devonshire cream on a three-tiered tray, and we used a fancy British tea set. As we sipped brew from elegant white teacups, we talked about novels and travel. I was taught proper manners — from putting the white cloth napkin on my lap to keeping my elbows off the round table with white roses and vanilla-scented candles fit for royalty.

While this noble setting is a place I can picture me each afternoon, it is stretching the truth a tad. My real roots were not majestic or regal. There wasn't a castle or English servants, or chitchat like at the mad tea party in Alice in Wonderland or the tea gathering on the ceiling in Mary Poppins.

But there was tea in my early years, sort of. I grew up as the middle child of three in middle-class suburbia, San Jose, California. It was a mediocre place where my parents worked five days a week. A red and yellow Lipton Tea box was a staple in the kitchen cupboard. Iced tea in tall glasses with lemon slices was a commonplace on the wooden picnic table in the backyard in the summertime; hot tea with cinnamon sticks in copper mugs was a winter afternoon delight. A pretty lady in the newspaper ads and on the TV told me tea bags were for energy and relaxation; I believed her. And I recall in kindergarten singing the popular 20th-century song "I'm a Little Teapot, Short and Stout."

Now, in the 21st century, I can look back at my life experiences and see how tea — all types, one by one — played a role in my real world, then and now. True, I wasn't raised in a castle, nor as a kid did I engage in traditional afternoon tea. But I got a taste of tea — and non-teas or tisanes (a French word) — and its healing powers throughout my years of growing up and traveling on the West Coast, up to the Pacific Northwest, through the Midwest, the Gulf states, the Northeast, and Canada.

As I sit here in a rustic mountain cabin surrounded by pine trees (recalling the one that fell on the roof when I landed this tea book project), I feel a connection with tea leaves — and flowers, roots, and bark as I write The Healing Powers of Tea. My cupboards are stuffed with tea and non-tea types: in decorative tea tins, big and small, and a big Lipton box, too, like when I was a kid. The best part, I have discovered the healing magic of tea is a big place — and I've done my homework to dish on teas and non-teas that I love and to help you discover your tea love.

For countless people — and perhaps for you, too — the healing powers of tea are no secret. Like me, people use tea not only as a versatile home cure for ailments but also as a weight loss, heart- healthy, cancer-fighting, and anti-aging superfood, where it gives a health boost teaming up with clean foods, including fruits, herbs and spices, and water. But people also love a cup of tea because of its flavor and feel- good vibe.

If you haven't heard by now, listen up. Your health — mind, body, and spirit — may depend on it. Chances are, you already have one great tea folk remedy in your kitchen cupboard. It's time to start using it more. But there is another tea on the block that you need to know about, too.

Medical doctors and even tea researchers are now discovering just what folk herbalists around the world have been saying for centuries, that both black tea and white tea may have remarkable healing powers.

Today, we know more about the natural goodness behind these two teas. Both black and white tea are good folk medicine. And this healthful yin and yang duo (the Chinese principles of opposite and complementary elements to achieve harmony) promises to be more popular as a home remedy combination in the new millennium, as alternative medicine — which includes tea — continues to be used more and more. Studies have shown antioxidants (in superfoods, including black tea and white tea) act like pharmaceuticals, which are currently being researched for their potential to treat diseases and stall aging.

Tea, which is considered a superfood, is believed by medical authorities to help lower the risk of developing health ailments and diseases because it has the same compounds as antioxidant-rich staples. Researchers have connected diet with the prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Tea studies on nonhumans as well as humans will most likely continue in the future as scientists seek to discover more healing powers of nature's special remedy.

The Black and White Tea Leaf Yield Two Powerful Teas

Black tea has been praised by wellness gurus as one of Mother Nature's most versatile superfoods, especially if produced from quality, organically grown tea plants. And now, white tea, the overlooked and under-studied tea, may be its new counterpart, thanks to the white tea leaves.

People from all walks of life — as well as some tea pioneers from past centuries and recent times and present-day medical researchers — agree energizing black tea (which goes through a longer process of oxidation than other tea varieties) first and foremost lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Surprisingly, medical doctors and tea researchers continue to spread the word that both black tea and white tea may be the new green tea (or coffee) while their reputation of healing powers grows within the tea industry. While black tea (the most popular tea type in the United States) may also ward off inflammation linked to chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and aging, white tea isn't to be ignored. ...

When it comes to preventing heart disease, stroke, and cancer, white tea may be just as powerful as green tea, if not more so. White tea (less processed and more antioxidants than black tea and green tea) may be the better choice of tea to stave off some health ailments and diseases. So, these two teas — black and white (and blends with both or either one) — are the up-and-coming surprising superstars in the land of tea.

A Time for Teas and Tisanes

While it's my mission and passion to tout ancient and present-day findings about black tea and white tea, green tea, and other teas — tisanes are in the mix, too. As a popular remedy in ancient days, it is the time for tea in the 21st century. And not only are medical doctors, researchers, and tea advocates praising the merits of tea and tisanes; so are people in the limelight and everyday folks, too.

Dr. Mehmet Oz more than once on TV has discussed the powers of teas, including its weight loss potential that may work if used at different times of the day. Celebrity tea lines including Lady Gaga's and Padma Lakshmi's have touted the healing powers of tea, not to forget Oprah and her love for chai (a black tea with spices and milk). The consuming thirst for tea is hot and getting hotter for age-defying baby boomers, like me, and millennials who face the novelty of high-quality tea.


Like more than 50 percent of American households, you may have at least one type of tea in your kitchen cupboard, but there are a variety of forms of tea available for both your health and enjoyment, too. Here is a chart of four forms of commercial teas. It's advised by tea researcher Joe Vinson in the Chemistry Department, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, to use tea from bags or loose leaves to get the most disease-fighting polyphenol antioxidants.

From Plant Leaves to Super Tea

Not only are there different forms of tea to drink, but there are also a variety of teas (like antioxidant-rich chocolates and olive oils) touted by people — from foodies to tea enthusiasts — as one of Mother Nature's superfoods. And now, healing teas — not just black tea — are making news around the world, and are popular in restaurants, beauty spas, and in our homes.

Tea is not just a cooling beverage you drink iced in the summertime or hot beverage to warm you up in the wintertime. It's an ancient medicine that has been used to treat heart disease, respiratory ailments, skin ulcers, wounds, stomach problems, insomnia, and even "superbugs." Tea is also known to help curb sweet cravings and boost energy, which can help stave off type 2 diabetes, as well as unwanted pounds and body fat.

Top scientists, nutritionists, and medical doctors know stacks and stacks of research show some teas contain the same disease-fighting antioxidant compounds that are found in fruits and vegetables, which fight heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and obesity — four problems in the United States and around the world. Some of the medical doctors I interviewed in the early 21st century for my book What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy (Kensington, 2002) touted the healing powers of tea (especially green tea) and shared personal experiences of how it helped to curb their appetite and to boost the immune system.

101 Miracle Foods That Heal Your Heart author Liz Applegate, Ph.D., like other doctors (and me) who praise superfoods, points out that both black and green tea help protect against heart disease. Drinking your tea hot or cold, regular or decaf, brewed or instant, can put you on the right track for your heart, notes Applegate. She's hardly alone about touting the variety of teas for tea time.

Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of the timeless book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why — one of my go-to health books — also praises tea (black, white, green, and oolong). He concludes a section on tea with a subhead title "Everyone Benefits from Tea." He agrees with tea gurus, giving a lot of health credit to tea's antioxidant protection, which helps guard against heart disease and cancer.

Most medical doctors I spoke with during my trek through Tea World agreed that tea is something to include on your superfood list — and that because of other health virtues you can reap, it should be your standout beverage of choice. Antioxidant guru Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., of Tufts University tells it like it is: "In sum, tea is a natural, zero-calorie, flavonoid-rich, aromatic and delicious beverage with a 5,000-year history associated with health and wellness and a 20-year history of scientific substantiation of these benefits." He adds, "If Americans consumed more tea (of any color) and drank less sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, it would certainly reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease." So, why are the antioxidants in tea so good for you, anyhow?

All Tea Comes From One Plant

Okay. I confess at one time I believed that tea came from multiple colored trees: black, white, and green, like when Dorothy entered the land of Oz with its talking trees and vibrant colors. But in the real world of tea, black, white, green, oolong, and dark teas all come from the same plant, a warm-weather evergreen named Camellia sinensis. It's the harvesting and art of production and oxidation that differentiates one tea from another.

The following types of tea — some of the top antioxidant-rich and medicinal ones — are listed below from A to Z. These teas (bags and loose leaves) are sitting side by side in boxes and tin cans in my pantry. One by one, I encounter each flavor, and it's advised to use different teas to benefit from different healing powers. I use each one of them for a variety of reasons, including drinking, cooking, baking, beauty, and more. I dish out more details for you about the tea types in the following chapters and throughout The Healing Powers of Tea — but my focus is on black tea (common varieties and new findings), white tea (common varieties and new findings), red tea (and demystifying it), and popular tisanes.

Herbal teas or tisanes, unlike tea, come from a wide variety of flowers, trees, and plants. There are hundreds of varieties found around the world. There are so many herbal teas it's difficult to choose which ones are the best to write home about because the superstars with medicinal value deserve kudos for a variety of reasons. It's not unusual to blend tea types and teas with tisanes — it opens up a wide world of tea love. But first, let's delve a bit more into the number of tea types or varieties.

You may discover, like I did, that the categories of tea differ from four (major types) to five and six true teas. It doesn't seem like there is one answer that fits all. It depends on whom you ask, though. The Cozy Tea Cart tea master Danielle Beaudette, who lists six teas — black, dark, green, oolong, white, and yellow — explains, "The teas that fall under dark tea category used to be classified under black teas." Then, these teas were given their own category due to the aging process. Since yellow tea is rare — it's not often included in tea types lists — I focus on the four.

It's important to be aware of these tea types and the steeping temperature of your tea — black, white, and green — since it may affect the amount of antioxidants you get in your cup, reports the Journal of Food Science. Researchers found that antioxidants were affected by the time factor: Black tea provides the most antioxidants in a short hot water steeping; white tea, the longer time, the more antioxidants; and green tea showed longer steeping (two hours) produced the most antioxidants.

Specialty Teas Are Special

So, there is tea and there is more tea. Welcome to the sphere of good-for- you specialty teas. Specialty tea is defined as teas of special or high quality. But it's a bit more complicated when you dig deeper into the world of special(ty) teas. The term "specialty tea" can daze and confuse you when other words like "artisan," "fine," "gourmet," and "premium full-leaf teas" (handcrafted in limited amounts for a special person or time of year) come into play, making a simple definition of specialty tea not so simple or definitive.

Let me give you a breakdown of this intriguing category of teas that deserve special attention. Specialty teas are high-quality products from a variety of regions, harvests, varied blends, flavors, scents and/or single-origin estate teas — comparable to exceptional chocolate and coffee. But that's not all....

Fine Teas: The Specialty Tea Institute (a division of the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc., and established in 2002) explains specialty teas are "like fine wines" and "have an almost infinity variety of flavors, origins and appearances, as well as a rich history and variety of traditions." That is a good and simplified start when explaining specialty tea, much like specialty chocolate, coffees, and olive oils. The different types remind me of the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, when Ramona offers him a dozen different kinds of tea, which can be mind-boggling to a novice tea drinker. But there's more ...

A buzzworthy creation of fresh, expertly processed, high-end teas from exotic origins, either in loose leaf form or packed in sachets. Specialty tea is blossoming in popularity and is a "star" in the tea industry, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. The higher-end teas, like specialty teas, are forecasted to continue to be in the limelight and expand in the future.

Tea Passion: Also, it's no surprise that progressive millennials are infatuated with progressive specialty teas and enjoy discovering new and distinguished flavors, ethnic or new cultural tea offerings, and craft selections. Specialty teas attract health-conscious people, from baby boomers indulging in the amazing natural health perks of different tea varieties to millennials who love to try exotic foods that can give them a sense of traveling to faraway lands.

Specialty Tea Institute member Danielle Beaudette, who sells high-quality teas (85 percent of her tea collection) and provides guided tours to tea estates in Sri Lanka and India, dishes a definition for the special teas. "Specialty tea is whole-leaf tea from the Camellia sinensis bush that is hand plucked by tea pluckers. The bushes are grown in elevations of 3000–8000 feet in clean, mountainous air." These words ring true but there is more to it when defining the specialty tea, especially for the housewife in Lexington, Kentucky, to the retired senior in Miami, Florida, or a tea-loving health-conscious author like me, and perhaps you, too. I still want more.


Excerpted from "The Healing Powers Of Tea"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Cal Orey.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Author's Note xix

Part 1 Tea Time 1

1 The Power of Tea 3

2 An Ancient Cuppa Comfort 19

Part 2 Black Tea 31

3 A Historical Testimony 33

4 Noteworthy Nutrients 42

5 Black Tea, You're Amazing! 50

Part 3 White Tea 61

6 White Tea Revolution 63

7 The Old and New Incredible Ingredients 70

8 Is White Tea Good for You? 77

Part 4 Other Tea Types 83

9 Healthy Green Tea 85

10 The Red Tea Boom 95

11 Healing Herbal Teas 104

Part 5 The Liquid of Youth 123

12 Tea(s) Mediterranean-Style 125

13 The Skinny on Tea and Fat 136

14 Age-Defying Dream Potion 147

Part 6 Tea Cures 153

15 Home Remedies from Your Kitchen 155

Part 7 Future Tea 189

16 Beau-tea-ful Possibilities 191

17 Teamania: Trends to Household Hints 201

18 Not Everyone's Cup of Tea 215

Part 8 Tea Recipes 223

19 The Joy of Cooking with Tea 225

20 Tea Menu 237

Final Tea Notes 275

Part 9 Tea Resources 279

Where Can You Buy Tea? 281

Notes 287

Selected Bibliography 293

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