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Herbal Tea: Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

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There is a record of herbal tea being used as a beverage in China since 2,000 B.C.E. Besides water, it is consumed more than any other drink worldwide. The four main types of herbal tea are black, green, white, and oolong.

Oolong tea accounts for only 2 percent of tea consumption all over the world. Though less popular, oolong tea still has a range of benefits.

What is oolong herbal tea?

Oolong tea is usually consumed in China and Taiwan. Although all true tea comes from the same plant, the variances befall in the harvesting and processing. Oolong tea is moderately fermented, while black tea is fully fermented.

Tea can also vary in quantities and types of antioxidants. Green tea is rich in a class of antioxidants known as catechins. Antioxidants in black tea are theaflavins and thearubigins, oolong tea falls in the middle, concerning the antioxidant amounts.

Potential health benefits of oolong herbal tea

  1. Heart disease

Researchers in China studied the connection between drinking oolong tea and cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels can be linked with an increased risk for heart disease.

They discovered that people who drank at least 10 ounces of oolong tea per week had lesser risks of having high total cholesterol. They have also lower risks of having high triglyceride, and LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. The same was also true of people who drank comparable quantities of green and black teas.

  1. Weight loss

A study in overweight and obese Chinese adults observed at the outcome of oolong herbal tea consumption on body weight. Study subjects drank 300 milliliters (mL) of oolong tea four times per day. After 6 weeks, more than half of the subjects had lost more than 1 kilogram.

  1. Cancer

Researchers in Taiwan studied the relation between drinking tea and the risk of head and neck or throat cancer.

Each cup of oolong herbal tea drank per day associated to 4 percent lower risk, but the result was not noteworthy. Each cup of green tea drank per day equated to a 6 percent lower risk for head and neck cancer.

  1. Diabetes

Some studies have shown that drinking 3 or more cups of tea per day is linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Though, studies explicitly looking at oolong tea have had varied results.

In one study, healthy men consumed almost 6 cups per day of oolong herbal tea. At altered intervals, they consumed oolong tea that comprised supplemental antioxidants, which were in the form of catechins or polyphenols. Each of the teas drank for 5 days. Researchers found that consuming oolong tea did not enhance blood sugar or insulin levels.

  1. Dental health

Fluoride is a component that is often added to drinking water, toothpaste, and mouthwash to help stop dental cavities.

Tea leaves naturally comprise fluoride, so drinking oolong herbal tea could aid prevent cavities. Additional fluoride can be damaging, but drinking less than 1 liter of oolong tea per day is safe for adults.

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