Guru to explain tea’s benefits at workshop

At the second annual Healthy Eating, Active Living for Total Health community conference April 3, Tea Time, a workshop by Simply From The Hearth owner Jane Niehaus will unravel the mystery of tea types and benefits for the inexperienced or intrigued.

And the benefits are no fable.

The Camellia sinensis plant is the source of green, black, and oolong teas, but each is processed differently.

Green tea, the unfermented version of Camellia sinesis, seems to have a higher amount of anti-oxidant catechins, which seem to counteract some oxidative stress – like aging – on cells by destroying free radicals, or cell-damaging molecules, said James D. Schumaker, a family practitioner at Marshfield Clinic-Colby/Abbotsford Center.

Both green and black teas show promising results for cancer prevention, he said.

Health benefits lured Pauline Anderson, 64, and her mother Ann Bengert, 88, of Wisconsin Rapids to order green tea at Simply From The Hearth Wednesday after an appointment at Marshfield Clinic.

I heard it’s healthy, and I like the taste of it,” Anderson said. “It’s also smooth and relaxing, so I get tea.

A recent Agriculture Research Service study found tea lowered low-density cholesterol in a group of volunteers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Seven men and eight women sipped five servings of black tea per day for three weeks and tea-flavored water for an additional three weeks. In a third round, researchers added caffeine to the tea-flavored water.

Researchers concluded a prudent diet moderately low in fat, cholesterol and saturated fatty acids combined with black tea reduces blood lipids by 6 percent to 10 percent, and may reduce the risk of coronary disease.

Green tea is heart and vascular friendly, too,” Schumaker said. “Remember, it’s the same leaf.

Though different from the anti-oxidant rich Camellia sinensis plant, more herbal teas have hit the market, Niehaus said. Throw some herbs together and tea is the result.

Herbs that people take medicinally are mostly things found in the past. Peppermint is supposed to aid digestion, but you can add some ginseng,” she said. “It’s mixing enough things that are good for you and putting it together in a drink rather than in a tablet.

Although Green tea has become immensely popular, chai teas have become the new trend.

Chai is like a latte with a tea base rather than coffee,” Niehaus said. “So people that like the latte and the cappuccino but don’t like the coffee taste can drink chai.

(Marshfield News-Herald, March 2004)