Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is produced from the leaves, buds, and stems of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Camellia Sinensis is the same plant from which other teas such as green tea and black tea are brewed. The only thing that differentiates Oolong tea from the other teas is the process used in the manufacturing where Oolong tea undergoes partial fermentation, and black tea undergoes a full fermenting process, while green tea does not undergo any fermenting process. The tea is very popular among the Chinese people, and recently the Oolong the has spread its consumers’ club all around the world, thanks to its various health benefits.
How Oolong tea is produced
Oolong tea is produced by a process that entails withering of the Camellia Sinensis plant under intense sunlight and the influence of oxidization before they are curled and twisted. Moreover, there are those cases where a unique tea plant is cultivated to produce some special quality of Oolong tea. In such instances, the level of oxidation varies from 8 to 85 percent based on the kind of plant and the production process at hand.
Benefits of Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is famed for many health benefits that range from mental to physical. This section is going to cover some of the most important ones.
It enhances metabolic processes
The first benefit of Oolong tea is its ability to increase the metabolic activities of your body. The tea has properties that are known to help to burn fats faster within a short time of taking the tea. It contains properties called polyphenols, and they are responsible for blocking body enzymes from producing excessive fats. The inhibition of fat production means that you can enjoy the benefit of losing weight faster since excess weight is directly linked to fat accumulation in the body.
The only precaution you need to take so that you can fast track weight loss is: don’t add refined sugar or any artificial sweetener to the tea. On the contrary, you can sweeten the tea with honey or other natural sweeteners that contain low levels of sugar.
Increased mental alertness
The second benefit of this tea is its ability to boost mental alertness and concentration. Oolong tea is known to stimulate, boost, and revitalize one’s mental performance due to the contents of caffeine that it has. However, you are supposed to take it in measures if you have any form of allergy to caffeine.
Reduced cholesterol levels
Oolong tea is also good at reducing the levels of cholesterol in the body. In the process of reducing cholesterol, it facilitates the promotion of cardiovascular health. The above process is linked to the ability of polyphenol, its active molecule that stimulates the lipase enzyme to burn fats and hence keeps your arteries from blocking as a result of fat accumulation.
Promotion of healthy hair growth
Oolong tea is also rich in properties that help in the growth of healthy hair. This ability to promote hair growth is a result of the amount of antioxidants that the tea has. Moreover, it works to ensure that your hair is thicker, softer and shinier.
Facilitation of digestion
The tea also scores high when it comes to its power to facilitate healthy digestion. However, this benefit can be enjoyed well if you don’t have any form of sensitivity to caffeine. The tea works by alkalizing the digestive system hence leading to the reduction of inflammation among users who have ulcer and reflux complications. The tea helps in the soothing of the stomach and also uses its mild and antiseptic properties to remove harmful bacteria from the digestive system.
Oolong tea promotes healthy teeth
If you want to boost your dental health, you need to think about taking this tea on a regular basis. It has the power to protect your teeth from teeth-decaying acids that are produced by harmful bacteria in your mouth. This inhibitive power of the tea comes about when the tea inhibits the growth of these bacteria and consequently the corrosive acids they produce.
Promotes a healthier skin
Another benefit of this tea is its ability to promote the health of your skin. Oolong tea has antioxidant powers which fight off free radicals from your skin. The ability of the tea to combat free radicals is instrumental in ensuring that you don’t fall victim to allergic reactions that produce skin conditions such as eczema, which are generated by skin allergies.
Moreover, the antioxidizing power of the tea is also responsible for maintaining a younger-looking skin and slowing premature skin aging. But for you to notice an improvement in your skin allergy conditions, you need to take the tea for at least one to two weeks.
Stabilization of blood sugar levels
For patients who are suffering from type 2 diabetes, they have a lot to benefit from this tea. The reason here is that Oolong tea can boost sugar levels in the blood. This benefit is derived from the tea’s antioxidizing power which helps in the metabolizing of sugar. However, the tea does not prevent diabetes, but it only helps with the alleviation of its symptoms.
A healthy immune system
The tea can also keep your body healthy and stable in its ability to fight off diseases. This immunity-boosting power of Oolong tea is based on its anti-cancer capabilities that are essential in maintaining vibrant body immunity. These immune-enhancing powers are a result of the tea producing anti-bacterial proteins that fight off infections.
Prevention of osteoporosis and formation of stronger bones
Oolong tea is also good for boosting the health of your bones. The tea helps in the retaining of healthy and safe levels of bone mineral density and hence you are spared the pain of suffering from osteoporosis. Additionally, the leaves of Oolong contain calcium and magnesium which are responsible for facilitating healthy bones. But for you to enjoy this benefit, you need to keep on taking this tea for a period not less than 10 years.
Prevention of ovarian cancer
Oolong tea is also good at helping women to have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. One study has shown that women who drink 2 or more cups of tea daily reduce their risk of getting ovarian cancer by up to 50 percent.
The possible Side Effects of Oolong Tea and Safety Measures to avoid them
After going through the benefits of taking Oolong tea, we take this section and devote it to the exploring of the possible side effects that can arise from the excessive or unregulated consumption of this tea. This chapter does not seek to invalidate the already shared benefits but rather; it endeavors to help you know the best way of safeguarding yourself by adhering to necessary boundaries and guidelines.
If you take Oolong tea more than five cups per day, you are going to suffer from some of the side effects that we shall soon discuss under this section. You also need to understand that the side effects that the tea may have on your body vary in their extent and they may range from mild to severe ones. Some of these adverse side effects are listed below as follows:
- A feeling of nervousness may be reported in some users
- Some users may also suffer from severe headaches
- Other people may experience sleeping disorders such as insomnia
- Still, others may develop bowel movement complications such as irritability
- Vomiting is another effect of taking too much Oolong tea
- Diarrhea is still another condition to which excessive consumption of Oolong tea may subject you. Additionally, it may worsen diarrhea symptoms.
- Feeling dizzy is another sign of taking excess tea
- Other people may also hear ringing sounds in their ears
- Some people will still suffer from heartburn
- Other users may suffer from confusion
- Trembling is another common side effect
- Irregular heartbeat is another side effect
- Lastly, some users may suffer from convulsions
Who should avoid frequent consumption of Oolong tea?
- Expectant and lactating mothers: Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to take a maximum of 2 cups of Oolong tea a day. If they exceed this amount, they risk giving birth to premature babies and not to mention that full-term deliveries will be marked by low birth weight and other possible harm to the newborns. For a mother who is lactating, she should not exceed the above intake limit else the excess consumption will make her infant irritable, and also suffer from increased bowel movements.
- Glaucoma patients: People suffering from this condition need to avoid too much Oolong tea because it increases pressure in the eyes and worsens it.
- Patients suffering from anxiety disorders: They are not supposed to take it for prolonged periods of time since it can aggravate their condition.
- Patients suffering from cardiovascular complications: They should avoid the tea since it can cause irregular heart pulse in some of them.
- Hypertension patients: There are possibilities that the caffeine in Oolong tea can increase blood pressure in patients suffering from high blood pressure. It is, therefore, advisable that they take this tea in safe measures.
- People suffering from bleeding complications: They are supposed to take the tea with caution because it can slow down blood clotting processes in some of them.
- Diabetic patients: Such people are supposed to take caution so that they only take the right amounts of the tea. The reason here is that the tea helps to raise blood sugar levels in type II diabetes. That is why its’ intake needs to be regulated so that it does not exceed the safe limits thus leading to dangerous extremes.
How to make Oolong Tea
This section is devoted to showing you how you can make your own Oolong tea by following these clear and easy-to-follow steps.
- 6 ounces water, and extra if you will need to pre-warm the pot or cup
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of Oolong tea
- Kettle for boiling water
- A teapot or cup
- A measuring spoon
- A filter or strainer
- A timer
- A tea cup for serving
Heat the water: Pour water in a tea kettle and heat it up to between 180°F and 200°F.
Next, you are supposed to pre-warm the teapot or cup even though that is not a must.
Afterwards, you have to measure the tea leaves and use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of Oolong tea. You need to use less tea if it is rolled into balls and more if the tea comprises large, open leaves.
The next step is to pour the leaves into the teapot or cup using either an infuser or directly.
You can now pour the water over the tea leaves.
After pouring the water, cover your teapot or cup, place the lid on the teapot, or if you are using a cup, cover it with a lid or a small saucer.
Based on your personal liking, you may steep the tea between 1 and 5 minutes. Afterward, you can set a timer for 1 minute and then taste the tea at 1 minute and after that every 30 seconds till you attain your preferred taste.
Once the tea is ready, remove the leaves by lifting out the infuser or pouring the tea through a strainer. You are now set to start enjoying your tea.
Does oolong tea have caffeine?
The answer is “Yes,” Oolong tea contains caffeine. The caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and muscles. It also has other caffeine-like components such as theophylline and theobromine. You can reduce the amount of caffeine in Oolong tea by throwing away the first tea infusion. Soak the tea in hot water, just before it starts boiling. Let it soak for 5 minutes, and then throw the water away. Repeat the process one more time with the same leaves, only this time you don’t have to throw the water away since your caffeine reduced Oolong tea is prepared.
Oolong tea is one of the most famous and favorite Chinese teas. It has many health benefits that add value to the way our bodies work and defend themselves against diseases. The benefits of the beverage cut across the physical and mental dimensions of human existence. However, it is also necessary for people to take caution so that they can take it in right measures so as to avoid unnecessary side effects that may arise from its excessive consumption.