10 Surprising Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea is one of the most delectable and popular varieties of this hot beverage in the world, and is highly praised for its many health benefits, including its ability to improve your energy, fight oxidative stress, help you lose weight, protect your heart, decrease anxiety, aid digestion and strengthen the immune system, among others.

Earl Grey Tea

For those of you who don’t know, Earl grey tea has quite the controversial history, and yet it has survived to become extremely popular, particularly in Europe, the British Isles and the Americas. Early grey tea is actually nothing too special; it is a rather common black tea blend that is mixed with an unusual addition – dried bergamot orange. This provides the unique flavor to earl grey tea that has made it so popular in so many places. This type of tea was meant to supplement the market, since the Chinese tea that tasted very similar was also much more expensive. For nearly 200 years, people have been making this artificial Chinese tea and marketing it as Earl grey, and many different varieties have sprung up over the years. Numerous lords, ladies and companies from British history have claimed the initial responsibility for creating earl grey tea, but the truth of the discovery is likely lost to history.

Fortunately, the tea has not been lost, and is enjoyed by millions each year. This is not only for its unique flavor and warming nature, but also as a result of the many health benefits that it can provide. Many of these benefits are the same that you would get from black tea, but the various blends and additions to the tea can also have some unexpected effects. Now, steep a cup for yourself and read more about the impressive health benefits of Earl Grey Tea.

Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

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Energy Booster: Many people drink coffee and tea for the caffeine content, in order to give them some extra energy, and boost their metabolism a bit along the way. Early grey tea is no exception, and can provide a great “pick me up” in the middle of the day, but it is still mild enough to work as a relaxing beverage at the end of the night as well.

Cold & Flu: Although all tea can be warming and help stimulate the immune system, it is believed that the bergamot contained in early grey is particularly effective at preventing colds and the onset of flu. For that reason, early grey is very popular in the autumn and winter months, particularly in Europe, as it is seen as a wintry beverage.

Immune System: The natural antioxidants found in black tea defend against oxidative stress in the body and reduce the load on the immune system and prevents many infections and diseases.

Heart Health: Black tea has long been linked to reduced triglycerides in the body, which are directly connected to heart attacks, stroke and atherosclerosis. Earl grey tea, in particular, has been involved in a number of studies and showed that bad cholesterol decreased and “good” cholesterol increased after a few weeks of regular consumption of early grey tea. This is partly explained by the antioxidant presence in the tea, which eliminates oxidative stress and plaque buildup in the heart as well!

Digestion: The soothing and anti-inflammatory effects of earl grey tea have long been praised by natural health practitioners, and used traditionally for colic and nausea. It can help to settle the stomach and lower inflammation of the gut, which can help ease constipation, hemorrhoids, bloating, cramps and other afflictions of the stomach. The antioxidant and antibacterial effects of the tea can also prevent infections and parasitic worms from surviving in the gut.

Stress and Anxiety: A warm cup of tea is one of the best remedies for a long, stressful day at work, and early grey tea is particularly good for this. The small amount of caffeine helps to increase focus and clarity, without resulting in the caffeine high of coffee, so many people prefer it, as early grey tea allows them to concentrate and tackle the problems at hand, or simply lie back and enjoy a good book before bed, with a clear, relaxed mind.

Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants found in tea varieties are truly astounding, and they can help prevent oxidative stress in all parts of the body. Antioxidants specifically seek out free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular respiration, which can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells, and also increase the chances of chronic illness. Regular consumption of antioxidants in your diet is highly recommended, and black tea (as well as green tea and others) provide a concentrated dose of these important compounds.

Weight Loss: There is a small amount of citrus extract in early grey tea due to the bergamot that is included as the key flavoring agent. What people don’t know is that citrus extract is excellent for weight loss, and can stimulate the metabolism. For this reason, some people choose to use lemon or citrus extract instead of sugar, but in earl grey, you are already getting that body-boosting compound in the drink itself.

Inflammatory Issues: The organic compounds and nutrients found in black tea and early grey tea have natural anti-inflammatory abilities, helping to ease inflammation of the throat and stomach, as well as any other aches, pains or irritation in the body.

Skin Health: Earl grey tea is also widely used in topical applications, once the tea has cooled, including for skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis. The antioxidants are also excellent for promoting rapid healing and preventing blemishes caused by some of these conditions.

Final Word of Warning: The one strange side effect of earl grey tea is that it may make you more susceptible to sunburn. Essentially, the chemicals found in bergamot can make some individuals more photosensitive. Excessive consumption of earl grey tea can also result in muscle cramps and discomfort. Finally, the active ingredient of bergamot, bergamottin, can interact with certain pharmaceuticals, so speak to your doctor before adding earl grey tea in large quantities to your diet.

References
  1. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-011-2326-6_15
  2. http://jat.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/8/702.short
  3. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00032a015
  4. http://www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=1065_186
  5. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637489709028587
  6. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327914NC4502_13
  7. http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/AJPS/article-abstract/9BEC5249817
  8. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408399709527802?journalCode=bfsn20
  9. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(02)08436-2/abstract

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