What is white tea?
White tea like other true teas, black and green, comes from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. White tea is made with young tea leaves and unopened buds which are picked when they are still covered in silvery white hair. Hence the name, white tea. White tea retains the highest amount of antioxidants as it is the least processed tea among the three.
How is white tea processed
It requires minimal processing as compared to the other teas. The young leaves and buds are plucked fresh from the plant. These are then withered by solar-drying, mechanical-drying or air-drying. White tea isn’t white but has a pale yellow colour and its flavour is quite mild compared to green or black tea and its labelled as sweet and silky.
Health Benefits of drinking White Tea
1. Improves Skin Health
White tea has antiseptic and antioxidant properties which help prevent acne, discolouration and blemishes. It also helps to eliminate free radicals which cause skin ageing.
2. Hair Health
The antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate present in white tea enhances hair growth and prevents premature hair loss. It protects the hair against sun damage. So it is good for both skin and hair.
3. Dental Health
White Tea has antibacterial properties that help to keep the gums and teeth healthy. The flavonoids, fluorides and tannins prevent against plaque which causes tooth decay and cavities.
4. Lung Cancer Prevention
White tea is rich in antioxidants and these help build RNA and prevent mutation of genetic cells which lead to cancer. Researchers have used white tea extracts to target lung cancer cells.
5. Controls Diabetes
White tea consumption can provide relief to diabetics from symptoms like decreased plasma glucose levels, increased insulin secretion and polydipsia (excessive thirst).
6. Improves Heart Health
The flavonoids found in white tea are associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disorders as they help maintain the blood pressure level. Its consumption also reduces the risk of various heart conditions.
Side effects of White Tea
It has a high caffeine content which can cause dizziness, gastrointestinal discomfort and insomnia if consumed in large quantities. Also, it is best avoided before bedtime as the caffeine content can hinder sleep.
White tea is rich in antioxidants making it an incredibly healthy drink. Research studies show that white tea helps in lowering the risk of cancer, heart diseases and also helps in weight loss.
It is can be prepared easily, has a refreshing taste and can be enjoyed either as a cold or hot brew.