Oolong tea, cultivated in China and Taiwan, has become one of the world’s most popular forms of tea. Even though it was first described in a poem written during the Ming dynasty91368-1644), oolong tea was first called Beiyun tea and dated back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the Tang dynasty, Oolong teas, celebrated for their exquisite flavor, were esteemed gifts and often served as tribute tea to honor remarkable individuals. Explore the rich history and benefits of Oolong tea.
Oolong tea has been farmed, fermented, and consumed in China for millennia, but its allure is yet to be completely recognized in the United States.
Although it is half green and half black, oolong tea is commonly referred to as green tea. Unlike black tea leaves, which are entirely oxidized, Oolong tea leaves are frequently slightly oxidized. Oolong tea, like white, green, black, and pu-erh tea, is a true tea extracted from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Flavonoids, theaflavins, polyphenols, tannins, catechins, and EGCG are just a few of the beneficial nutrients found in Oolong tea.
Flavour Profile of Oolong Tea
Oolong teas are typically oxidized between 8% to 80%, giving tea masters a level of flexibility when creating unique blends and flavors. Due to their unique production procedure, they also have a wide range of favors. For example, slightly oxidized Oolongs have a light-bodied flowery flavor, but fully oxidized tea leaves have a robust and full-bodied earthy flavor.
After brewing, the flavor is usually determined by whether Chinese or Japanese tea masters produced the tea.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
In as much as Chinese teas are well-known for their medicinal and curative characteristics, doctors have only recently taken notice and begun researching the benefits of oolong tea.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, oolong teas have numerous health benefits, some of which are:
• It improves one’s ability to think critically.
• Targets the neurological system directly to improve mental alertness, brain function, and anxiety.
• Protects teeth from deterioration
• Protects against osteoporosis (Reduced mineral density in the bone)
• There’s a lower chance of getting some forms of cancer.
• Improves heart health by reducing or preventing cardiovascular disease.
• Assists in the relief of arthritic pain
• By regulating body weight, it aids weight loss and lowers the risk of obesity.
• Helps to prevent diabetes
• Reduces the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
• Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
• Helps with skin disorders like atopic dermatitis.
• Immune system booster
While the scientific study has not yet proved all the benefits listed, researchers and doctors have noted that oolong tea has some of the benefits, which are listed below.
Oolong tea leaves are derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains chemical components that have been shown to lessen the incidence of certain forms of skin cancer. It also helped with urinary tract symptoms, according to the researchers.
A brief study conducted on a group of participants who drank green tea, oolong tea, and water revealed that participants who took oolong tea showed greater levels of REE ( Resting Energy Expenditure) and EE (Energy Expenditure).
The study further revealed that drinking oolong tea on a daily basis leads to increased metabolism and may help you lose weight.
Despite the fact that oolong tea includes caffeine, the researchers discovered that oolong tea characteristics, rather than caffeine, stimulate fat oxidation and weight reduction. As a result, oolong tea is a wonderful choice for individuals with heart problems, nursing moms, and anyone who can’t consume excess caffeine.
A study conducted on 76,979 people who drank oolong tea every day for several years(4) revealed a link between oolong tea consumption and reduced cholesterol levels. According to the study, People who consumed a daily minimum of 8 ounces of oolong tea had a lower risk of triglyceride, LDL cholesterol levels, and high total cholesterol.
In a second study, researchers discovered that individuals who drink oolong tea on a daily basis have a lower long-term risk of heart disease.
Researchers also discovered that consuming oolong tea can help people suffering from type 2 diabetes avoid cardiovascular complications. According to experts, these health benefits are attributed to catechins and polyphenols, which are present in the tea
Several minor studies have suggested that oolong tea may help prevent skin, lung, and ovarian cancer . However, according to National Cancer Institute, there isn’t enough evidence to prove that oolong tea lowers cancer risk.
According to animal and laboratory studies, Polyphenol chemicals found in oolong tea leaves may inhibit tumor growth and also protect cells from DNA damage. Polyphenols in tea may also help the body’s immune system.
Although early research on the impact of polyphenols in tea is encouraging, researchers are uncertain about why or how they are useful. Hence tea drinking is currently not recommended during the treatment of cancer.
A short 30-day trial done in Japan discovered that regular use of oolong tea reduced levels of glucose in its subjects by up to 30%. This study revealed that drinking oolong tea may lessen the possibility of Type 2 diabetes while also preventing symptoms of diabetes.
In a different study, however, caffeine, which is included in oolong tea, was found to lower the levels of glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Another set of researchers further discovered that consuming oolong tea does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels.
The researchers concluded that more comprehensive research with a larger sample size of individuals should be done.
Cavities and Tooth Health
Oolong tea contains Natural fluoride, which is a substance integrated into tap water in modern countries. Natural Fluoride helps prevent cavities and inhibits tooth enamel demineralization and decay by restoring lost phosphorus and calcium to keep your teeth strong.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in oolong tea that aids in the inhibition of caffeine release, giving you a longer-lasting energy boost. The energy boost related to drinking a typical mug of coffee is smoother, eliminating the need to worry about various energy levels.
Drinking oolong tea helps in the removal of pollutants from the body that might harm healthy cells. Antioxidants and catechins in oolong tea aid in inhibiting free radicals from gaining root. Uncharged cells that bind to healthy cells and generate oxidative stress are called free radicals. This phenomenon is the body’s version of rust.
Other Possible Benefits
While studies are still in their early stages (and hence unproven), oolong tea has been linked to:
• Better intestinal bacteria
• Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
• Lower chance of Parkinson’s disease
• improved bone strength
• lesser headaches
• lesser bouts of insomnia
• reduced blood pressure
Side Effects of Oolong Tea
A regular cup of coffee has anything from 95 to 200mg of caffeine. In comparison, an analysis of the same quantity of oolong tea showed that every eight-ounce cup of oolong tea has 50-75 mg of caffeine. This can cause caffeine-sensitive individuals issues and lead to caffeine-related negative effects if drank too much.
Caffeine can induce various side effects such as stomach dizziness, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and discomfort. Caffeine use should be limited to 400 mg per day, according to experts. That implies you can consume multiple cups of oolong tea a day without experiencing any bad side effects. However, If you have sensitivity to caffeine, taking tea may bring negative effects that a normal person may not experience. Keep track of your caffeine use and reduce it if you experience any bad side effects.
Most studies have shown that pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg. Caffeine can cause irritability in breastfed newborns, premature birth, and lower birth weights if consumed in large quantities during pregnancy (16).
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, experts recommend taking no more than two cups of oolong tea each day.
Drinking a lot of oolong tea with stimulants is not a good idea. When combined with stimulants, the caffeine present in oolong tea can cause an increase in heart rate and produce difficulties.
When using drugs for irregular heartbeat, Oolong tea should be consumed with caution. Since the components of oolong tea may interfere with the adenosine administered during a stress test, tea drinking is not recommended a day before taking a stress test.
Furthermore, consuming oolong tea while taking antibiotics may create jitters. Certain antibiotics, such as Trovan and Cipro, impair the body’s capacity to disintegrate caffeine.
Compounds present in oolong tea may inhibit iron absorption. People with iron deficits should regularly check their iron levels with the guidance of a healthcare practitioner when taking oolong tea. To lessen the likelihood of this adverse effect, try to eat foods high in vitamin C and avoid drinking oolong tea during meals.
Indulging in oolong tea not only treats your taste buds but also bestows several benefits of oolong tea upon your well-being, whether you’re a seasoned tea enthusiast or a newcomer. Its balanced flavor profile makes it a delightful choice. Embracing the benefits of oolong tea can contribute to warding off various health issues, such as skin disorders, high blood pressure, and heart ailments. Beyond its exquisite taste, tea aficionados will find solace in the health-enhancing qualities of oolong tea.
Whether you opt for loose leaves or convenient tea bags, preparing a cup of oolong tea offers you a moment of respite. While you brew your perfect cup, consider practicing meditation. Crafting your tea ritual can infuse a sense of tranquility into even the busiest days. Reducing stress might lead to fewer headaches and overall improved well-being. Thanks to its lower caffeine content, oolong tea is less likely to disrupt sleep, allowing you to savor multiple cups without excessive caffeine intake.
Oolong teas offer a wonderful depth that develops as your tea-making skills improve. Examine the smells and scents of oolong tea when next you brew a cup. Is it sweet and fruity in flavor? Nutty? Is it a little woody and a little smoky? Or perhaps creamy with a floral undertone?
Every fresh cup of oolong tea will be distinct from the previous one. It’s unique, much like a fingerprint. Enjoy it. You may never have another cup like it.