Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. On any given day, over 159 million Americans are drinking tea.
In 2017, Americans consumed over 84 billion servings of tea, or more than 3.8 billion gallons. About 86% of all tea consumed was black tea, 13% was green Tea, and the small remaining amount was oolong, white and dark tea.
Black, green, oolong, dark and white teas all come from the same plant, a warm-weather evergreen named Camellia sinensis. Differences among the five types of tea result from the various degrees of processing and the level of oxidization. Black tea is fully oxidized and oolong teas are partially oxidized. After withering and rolling, the tea leaves undergo natural chemical reactions resulting in taste and color changes which develop the teas distinguishing characteristics. Green & white teas are not oxidized after leaf harvesting. Oolong tea is midway between black and green teas in strength and color. Dark teas are fermented after manufacture.
Take Away Distractions
What’s your current routine with tea? If you’re like most tea drinkers, you get the hot water, prepare the tea bag or infuser, and then let your tea steep and probably grab your phone to pass the time. We estimate that making a cup or pot of tea takes approximately 8 minutes, maybe a bit more if you’re using a kettle. What do you currently do during those 8 minutes? Do you mess around with your phone? Or maybe you scroll through your Instagram feed or watch Instagram Stories? Do you watch a few minutes of the news? Whatever you do, our guess is that you’re distracting your self and not paying attention to the moment. With our Digital Detox, we hope to encourage a transition from distraction to mindfulness, even if just for 8 minutes.
It Just Takes 8 Minutes
Before you make your next cup of tea, put away all of your electronics and step away from the tv. Really take a moment to be mindful on what you’re doing as you prepare the water. Notice the steam starting to rise and feel the slight warmth in the air. When you’re placing tea leaves into an infuser or filter bag, pay attention to the leaves and what they look and smell like dry. When you place the leaves in the hot water, watch the color of the water slowly change and smell the aromatic steam. Every moment of the tea brewing ritual has the possibility to be a sensory experience if you’re engaged with the process.
Feel like a winner.
As much as we love immersing ourselves in the brewing of tea, you’re not going to want to watch steam off a kettle. That’s why we encourage you to explore other non-digital experiences while your tea is brewing. It takes 3-5 minutes to steep a tea and it can take 3-5 minutes to write a quick letter to a friend, jot down what you’re grateful for, or take in your surroundings and note what beauty you can see. We have also created a 100 Days of Positivity group on Facebook to offer motivation, inspiration and good vibes, so pop over there for a second, eyeball a few memes, videos and posts to uplift your positivity meter. You can join by clicking inside of the brackets. (Join )You don’t have to be engaged with your tea every day during the detox. You just need to be engaged with yourself, your senses, and your emotional well-being. Challenge yourself to detox from all things digital and spend 8 minutes being mindful, in YOUR present moment.
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Poppy seeds are popular in the culinary world, whether used as a pastry ingredient or brewed as tea. Their nutty and fruity taste can be irresistible to many people, which is one of the reasons why it's such a well-loved ingredient. When prepared as tea, poppy seeds may offer numerous health benefits, including mood improvement, pain alleviation and stress reduction.1
However, poppy tea's safety has often been questioned because of its possible toxicity and opiate content, especially when the they are improperly harvested or prepared incorrectly. Some batches of poppy seeds may contain high amounts of opiate alkaloids, including morphine and codeine.2 To learn more about poppy seed tea, its benefits and the proper preparation, continue reading this article.
What Is Poppy Seed Tea?
Many people may be familiar with poppy plants due to their vibrant and eye-catching flowers, which are usually in full bloom in the late spring or early summer.3 But aside from the pop of color, the poppy plant is the source of numerous properties, although not all of them may be categorized as inherently good.
One of its most infamous products is opium, a narcotic substance taken from the sap inside unripe opium pods. This drug is extremely addictive and may lead to dangerous and, at times, fatal complications.4 This is one of the reasons why poppy seeds have been cited to have specific side effects when taken in excessive amounts.
However, this doesn’t mean that poppy seeds are necessarily bad. It all boils down to moderation and the proper handling and preparation of the seeds. Poppy seeds are loaded with calcium, iron and zinc, which means that they may offer you incredible health benefits once you add them to your diet.
In fact, poppy seed tea is known for its sedative and anti-diarrheal effect. Not only that, but it may also help dull painful conditions due to its analgesic properties, and may positively influence a handful of other body systems.
Unfortunately, the abuse or insufficient knowledge about this tea has led to a few fatal incidences. The most recent case happened in 2016, when a college student passed away after drinking a potent batch of poppy tea.7 If you're planning on trying this tea, it's important that you're aware of your own threshold and sensitivities. It's also imperative that you test each batch of poppy seed tea to make sure that you're not unknowingly ingesting high amounts of the opiate alkaloids.
What Health Benefits Can You Get From Poppy Seed Tea?
Even though there have been numerous controversies on the safety of poppy seeds, they do contain numerous nutrients and active components that may help the body function more efficiently. Here are some of the health benefits poppy seed tea may offer:
What Nutrients Can You Get From Poppy Seed Tea?
Poppy seeds are filled with vitamins and minerals that are crucial in optimizing and maintaining the skeletal, immune and muscular systems. Some of which include calcium, phosphorus, niacin, folate and iron. When brewed as tea, these minerals may transfer to the liquid, giving your health a boost.
Increasing regulations and expensive prescription prices have led many people to search for healthier alternatives to control pain. Fortunately, there is an herbal alternative. Poppy Seed Tea has been consumed for hundreds of years for help with acute and chronic pain.
The same opiate compounds found in natural opium are found in the seeds as well. The primary opiates found are morphine, codeine, and Thebaine, but there are several other compounds present. Morphine usually makes up around 8-14% of the compounds found in the total alkaloids.
The opiate alkaloids mentioned in the section above bind to the receptors in the central nervous system, and they block pain signals. This reduces the severity of pain. The tea consumers began feeling effects around 45 minutes after consuming the tea. The most powerful alkaloid present in poppy seed tea is morphine. The effects of morphine usually last around 3-7 hours. It does such a good job at reducing pain that it is commonly used for labor pains.
Poppy pod tea is an herbal tea that uses the pods of the poppy flower. This form of tea was extremely popular through the early 2000’s when it could still be purchased on large marketplaces like Ebay. Since the sale of these pods is technically illegal in many countries, the DEA began enforcing the laws and put pressure on poppy pod vendors. Poppy pods became increasingly difficult to find, so people began looking for a legal ingredient that is easily obtained. As a result, thousands of people began switching from poppy pod tea to poppy seed tea.
If you are interested in trying Poppy Seed Tea for yourself, click on any of the logos and enjoy! But remember to drink it in moderation. Cheers!
Poppy Seed Tea has become extremely popular, as people are looking for herbal teas to help with pain, anxiety and insomnia. Poppy seed tea is made from the seeds of the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. This plant naturally produces opiates as a defense mechanism against predators.
The Papaver somniferum poppy flower includes several opiates. Here is a list of the primary opiate compounds found in the flower.
The primary opiate compound found in the poppy flower is morphine, and comprises ~ 12% of the compounds by weight. This compound acts directly on the central nervous system receptors to decrease feelings of pain. This compound is used to help decrease acute and chronic severe pain. Morphine is commonly used to create synthetic opiates such as heroin.
Codeine is another opiate that is used to treat mild to moderate pain and to treat severe cough. Some healthcare professionals even use it to help with diarrhea. Side effects can include constipation and drowsiness.
Papaverine is another opiate compound naturally found in the poppy flower, Papaver somniferum. Papaverine is commonly used to treat muscular spasms and rarely erectile dysfunction. It is primarily used to reduce spasms in the gastrointestinal tract.
Noscapine does not exhibit pain reducing properties. It is used for cough suppression. As a result it is usually prescribed as an antitussive. Noscapine has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties, and it has been studied for its effect on stopping the spread of cancer cells.
Oripavine is a major metabolite of Thebaine. It has the same pain reduction potential as morphine.
When individuals consume poppy seed tea, they are consuming all of these opiate alkaloids. This is the reason that the tea can become addictive and is encouraged to drink only occasionally.
Teas and Their Benefits:
1. Chamomile Tea—relaxes mind and soul
Chamomile tea is a great relaxing herbal tea used to calm the soul and mind. Chamomile tea is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal and can improve digestion, irritable bowel disease and colitis.
2. Ginger Tea—improves immune system and reduces digestive disorder and nausea
Ginger tea made from the roots of ginger is an effective herbal tea for treating motion sickness and nausea. This great anti-inflammatory herb also improves digestion and helps to reduce the pain of arthritis, joints and muscles. The powerful antioxidant in ginger tea is great for reducing stress and cleansing chemicals and free radicals accumulated on our bodies. Ginger is also a great herb for fighting cold and reducing menstrual cramps.
3. Green Rooibos Tea (with lemon grass)—high in antioxidants and can fight cancer and improve vascular health
Green Rooibos Tea originally grown in South Africa is known for its two powerful antioxidants called aspalathin and nothofagin. Green Rooibos Tea is naturally grown caffeine free tea and the powerful antioxidants in Rooibos Tea can fight free radicals and cancer cells. The powerful antioxidants in Rooibos Tea known as Chysoeriol can improve vascular health by enhancing circulation and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
4. Valerian Tea—helps to improve sleeplessness and stress
Valerian is a great herb for improving our common side effects of the modern life style called “insomnia and stress”. Valerian Tea can also help neurological disorder, gastrointestinal problems, ADHD and seizures and it’s better to drink valerian tea before bedtime.
5. Echinacea Tea—helps to treat colds, flues and common infections
The active substance in echinacea tea helps to boost the immune system and fight infections. Echinacea Tea is great for improving colds and flues, nasal congestion and infections such as skin, eat and urinary tracts infections. Echinacea Tea is not recommended during pregnancy.
6. Peppermint Tea—helps to improve digestion and relieve irritable bowl syndrome
Peppermint is a nutritious herb that can help indigestion and calm stomach disorders. Peppermint tea can also sooth stomach muscles and intestine and improve the inflammatory bowel disease. The powerful phytonutrient in peppermint can also reduce the growth of cancer cells in liver and pancreas.
7. Dandelion Tea – Great for detox and improves digestion and liver function
The health benefit of dandelion has been known for centuries and Persians were the first to discover the great medicinal properties of dandelion. For centuries, dandelion has been used to improve liver function, digestion and expel kidney stones. The active phytonutrient in dandelion can also help to promote weight loss and detox the body from accumulation of toxins and free radicals.
8. Passion flower Tea—helps insomnia and anxiety
The leaves of the medicinal passionflower plant have active compounds known as flavonoids and alkaloids. Like chamomile, valerian root and lavender, this great medicinal herb can help sleeping problems and combat stress and anxiety. According to a study by University of Maryland Medical Center, passionflower was as effective as the drug oxazepam (Serax) for treating anxiety symptoms. Another 2001 study, published by the “Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics” indicates that passionflower is as effective as the drug “clonidine” for treating the withdrawal symptoms in people such as anxiety and stress.
9. Thyme Tea—helps coughs, bronchitis and brain cells
Thyme is a great herbal remedy rich in minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants. One of the oils in thyme known as “thymol” can help to increase the omega 3 fatty acids essential for growth of brain cells. Also, according to a study by the Biochemical and Biophysical Research, thyme oil can help to protect brain cells against aging and can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Thyme tea can also relax coughs and bronchitis and fight against infections.
10. Hawthorn Tea—promoting vascular health and reducing high blood pressure
Hawthorn tea is well known for its great antioxidant and medicinal properties and can prevent cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants in hawthorn tea can increase the circulation and prevent plaque built up in the arteries. Hawthorn tea can also improve hypertension, anxiety and stress.
While everyone continues to go crazy for coffee, we’d like to point your attention toward tea. Yes, tea, the beverage that can soothe you when you want to relax or wake you up when you need an extra push. Basically, tea is great and you should consume it just as much as your beloved java.
1.) Green tea could have the power to help keep your bones healthy.
For elderly folks (and those of us that just feel elderly), studies have shown that drinking green tea may help lessen the risk of osteoporotic bone fractures.
2.) Drinking unsweetened black tea could help fix bad breath.
If you have a case of halitosis, you may want to start drinking black tea. Researchers at the University Of Chicago College Of Dentistry found that black tea contains chemical components called polyphenols that slow down the formation of plaque-causing bacteria. The polyphenols also reduce “acid production levels,” helping to prevent periodontal disease.
3.) It’s considered a “necessity of life” in China, so maybe it should be for you, too.
Along with firewood, rice, oil, “chiang,” salt and vinegar, tea is considered one of the things “people cannot do without every day,” according to the proverbial “seven necessities of life” created by the Sung Chinese people.
4.) Tea has the power to calm you down.
Some research has suggested that valerian root tea could act as a safe and effective mild natural sleep aid. In a German study, 202 adults either took valerian extract or a prescription anti-anxiety drug. The people who took valerian extract reported “equal improvement in sleep quality, feeling rested and how long they slept as those taking the prescription drug.”
5.) It could relieve your seasonal allergies before you even get them.
If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies you may want to start your day with a cup of nettle leaf tea. While more research still needs to be done, a preliminary study followed 69 people and found that freeze-dried nettle leaf could “slightly improve allergy symptoms.”
6.) Some experts believe that drinking tea can sometimes be better than drinking water.
Researchers at the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that tea rehydrates you just as much as water does by replacing fluids in your body. And because tea has antioxidants, there’s an added bonus. “Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it,” public health nutritionist Dr. Carrie Ruxton said in an interview with BBC.
Benefits You Should Know About Black Tea:
Below are 11 health benefits of having a cup or two of black tea on a regular basis, though it should be noted that it is recommended that black tea should be consumed without any additives like milk or sugar to truly harness its benefits.
1. Oral Health: Studies funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association suggests that black tea reduces plaque formation as well as restricts bacteria growth that promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decays. Polyphenols found in black tea kill and surpass cavity-causing bacteria as well as hinder the growth of bacterial enzymes that form the sticky-like material that binds plaque to our teeth.
2. A Better Heart: As identified by Arab L. et al. in their 2009 in their research paper called “ Green and black tea consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis”, it is seen that regardless of people’s country of origin, individuals who consume 3 or more cups of tea had a 21% lower risk of a stroke than people who consume less than 1 cup of green or black tea per day.
3. Antioxidants: Black tea contains polyphenols, which are also antioxidants that help block DNA damage associated with tobacco or other toxic chemicals. These antioxidants are different from those obtained from fruits and vegetables and therefore as a regular part of our diet they can provide additional benefits towards a healthy lifestyle.
4. Cancer Prevention: Though a lot more research is required to confidently suggest cancer prevention techniques, some research over the years suggests that antioxidants like polyphenol and catechins in tea may help prevent some types of cancer. It has been suggested that women who drink black tea regularly have a lower chance of ovarian cancer than their counterparts.
5. Healthy Bones: It has also been suggested that regular tea drinkers have stronger bones and lower probability of developing arthritis due to the phytochemicals found in tea.
6. Lower Risk of Diabetes: Based on a research study conducted of elderly people living in the Mediterranean islands it was discovered that people that had been consuming black tea on a long-term basis on a moderate level (i.e 1-2 cups a day) had a 70% lower chance of having or developing type 2 diabetes.
7. Stress Relief: We all are aware and well experienced about the calming and relaxing benefits of black tea. Not only does it help slow you down after a long day, studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can help you relax and concentrate better. Black tea has also been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol when consumed in moderate amounts on a regular basis.
8. Better Immune System: Black tea contains alkylamine antigens that help boost our immune response. In addition it also contains tannins that have the ability to fight viruses and hence keep us protected from influenza, stomach flu and other such commonly found viruses in our everyday lives.
9. Healthy Digestive Tract: In addition to improving your immune system, tannins also have a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illnesses and also help decrease digestive activity.
10) Increased Energy: Unlike other drinks that have a relatively higher caffeine content, the low amounts found in tea can help enhance blood flow to the brain without over-stimulating the heart. It also stimulates the metabolism and respiratory system, as well as the heart and the kidneys.
11) Happiness Factor: If a perfect cup of tea makes you smile and lets your heart indulge a little, then what could possibly be the harm?
Why Green Tea?
Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer. The reason that green tea has more health benefits attached to it than black tea is (apparently) due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. As a result, green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols the substances that give green tea its many benefits.
Here’s a list of some of its amazing benefits — benefits that you may not have been aware of. Some of these benefits are still being debated, so please do your own research if you want to use green tea for medicinal purposes.
6. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells
7. Tooth Decay. Studies suggests that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions
8. Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
9. Depression. Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
10. Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial. Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.
11. Skincare. Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.
How Much?These are some of the many benefits but the reality is one cup of tea a day will not give you all the abundant gains. The jury is out on how many cups are necessary; some say as little as two cups a day while others five cups — and more still say you can drink up to ten cups a day. If you are thinking of going down this route, you may want to consider taking a green tea supplement instead (it would keep you out of the bathroom).
Another thing to point out is that there is caffeine in green tea — so if you are sensitive to caffeine then one cup should be your limit. Green tea also contains tannins (which can decrease the absorption of iron and folic acid), so if you are pregnant or trying to conceive then green tea may not be ideal for you. You can try mixing green tea with other healthy ingredients such as ginger.
For the rest of us with all these abundant benefits…it’s a wonder we drink anything else.