Nothing is better than a warm cup of green tea in the morning to soothe your senses. While you’re taking a sip of your most favorable herbal tea, do you ever wonder about the tea plant that its taste is attributed to?
Fun fact of the day: Green tea and black tea are actually made from the same plant called Camellia. Aside from making your favorite warm or cold beverages, the camellia plant has a wide range of medicinal properties that can help improve your body from the inside out just like green and black tea can.
Botanical Source of the Tea Plant
The tea plant’s botanical name is Camellia sinensis. It belongs to the Theaceae or Tea family and it has often been referred to as black tea or green tea.
What Is Camellia?
Tea is the product prepared from the leaf buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant that is native to China and the Asian continent. In recent times, tea has gained a lot of attention in preventive medicine because of its high concentration of antioxidants.
Depending on the method used for manufacturing, tea can be of three types — black tea, green tea and oolong tea. Green tea is not fermented, oolong tea is semi-fermented and black tea is fully fermented.
The story of tea leaves begins in China. The tea leaves have been used in teas in China and other parts of Asia for over 5,000 years and it is also classified as one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Legend has it that back in 2737 B.C., the ancient Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a tree while his servant was boiling water when some of the leaves fell into the water and he decided to try the infusion. The tree he was sitting underneath was a Camellia sinensis, and since then resulted in a drink that we all know and love called tea.
Active Ingredients Found in the Tree Plant
The major ingredients in tea are the alkaloids caffeine, theobromine and theophylline; the flavonol compounds such as epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin gallate; and polyphenolic compounds called theaflavins and thearubigins.
Health Benefits of Camellia
Tea has been known as a central nervous stimulant and used to improve mental alertness. People also use it to treat headaches and to increase urine output. Aside from these benefits, the camellia is also used for the following:
- Vascular function
- Immune system
- Kidney stones
- Boost memory
- Parkinson’s disease
Research shows that tea may have a preventive action against heart disease, cancers of the lung, colon, stomach and breast. Studies have also found evidence of its usefulness against bacteria, tooth decay and high cholesterol levels. Green tea has been found to have significant weight loss inducing effects.
How to Use Camellia
Tea leaves can be steeped in boiling water to produce an invigorating beverage; it may be consumed with or without sugar and used in natural beauty products and remedies as well.
Side Effects of Camellia
A high quantity of tea of more than five cups in a single day can lead to side effects because of the high caffeine content. These include nervousness, irritability, vomiting, heartburn, dizziness, confusion and irregular heartbeat.
Persons with iron deficiency anemia, bleeding disorders and anxiety disorders must avoid drinking tea. Make sure you speak to your doctor before considering to drink this tea to ensure it’s beneficial for you.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
Chan EWC, Soh EY, Tie PP, Law YP. Antioxidant and antibacterial properties of green, black, and herbal teas of Camellia sinensis. Pharmacognosy Res. 2011 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 266–272. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.89748. PMCID: PMC3249787
Izzreen NQMN, Fadzelly MAB. Phytochemicals and antioxidant properties of different parts of Camellia sinensis leave from Sabah Tea Plantation in Sabah, Malaysia. International Food Research Journal. 2013: 20(1); 307-312