“First, it is important to point out the difference between tea and herbs,” Edwards explained during a recent visit to his shop near the corner of Mountain and 12th. “There are only four different kinds of tea, all stemming from the same plant known as Camellia sinensis. These are green, black, white and oolong varieties, which are oxidized at different levels. Popular herbal blends like peppermint, chamomile and ginseng among others, are herbs and do not come from the tea plant, but still offer many benefits of their own.”
All teas contain antioxidants. High antioxidant content is most common in green and white teas but is also found in varying degrees in blacks and oolongs.
“While myth may have many under the impression that certain teas have specific benefits, most teas have the same benefits, but to different degrees depending on the type you prefer to drink,” said Edwards.
Edwards suggested that a good regimen for a tea drinker is to have a cup of black tea in the morning, a cup of oolong before meals, a cup of green tea after meals, white tea in the evening and a cup of rooibos before bed.
“Tea acts as a neutralizer for the body, so anything that may be out of whack — sleeping patterns, weight problems, headaches — tea works to balance the body and get you back to normal,” Edwards informed.
It is important to note that these benefits are the result of drinking tea regularly — about four or five cups a day — over an extended period of time. Once you find your favorite blend, however, chances are it won’t be a huge challenge.