Benefits of Organic White Tea

Posted on July 16, 2007 by Sarmaad

White tea, like all other teas, comes from the Camellia sinensis plant as explained in the previous article Organic Tea . White tea requires great care and effort to produce and the picking can be a tedious process. The tea can not be picked on rainy days or when there is frost on the ground and can only be picked for a short time each year usually in early Spring, making the tea itself rare, precious and a bit more expensive than the other varieties.

The leaves used in white tea are picked and harvested before the leaves are fully opened, when the buds are still covered by silver fuzz, which turns white when the tea is dried (Hence where white tea gets it name). It undergoes very minimal processing and is not fermented and therefore has a noticeably different taste. The flavor of white tea is described as light, and sweet compared to green tea, which is processed similarly to white teas and has a distinctive grassy taste. This is due to white tea undergoing even less processing than green tea leaves, where the unwithered leaves are merely steamed not rolled, and only slightly oxidised. It is suggested that white tea is better for you than green tea, as the white tea leaves are closest to their natural state, which means white tea contains more polyphenols, the antioxidant that fights and kills cancer causing cells.

Types of White Tea

There are four main varieties of Chinese white tea

  • Silver Needle
  • White Peony
  • Long Life Eyebrow
  • Tribute Eyebrow

Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yinzhen)

It is the most famous white tea, with a delicate, light and sweet flavour. Silver Needle is the finest white tea, it is only made from the silvery white buds which are ready to open. These buds are plucked one by one using only the undamaged and unopened ones for making the actual tea.

The highest quality silver needle teas should look fleshy, bright coloured with tiny white hairs. The shape of the tea should be very uniformed - there should be no stems or leaves. When infused every bud should stand upright in the cup.

White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)

Is a sweet, mild, and still very full bodied tea that tends to have a stronger taste, bolder aroma and darker colour than Silver Needle. White Peony is a grade down from Silver Needle tea and incorporates the bud and two leaves which are covered with a fine, silvery-white down.
 
Tribute Eyebrow (Gong Mei)

Tribute Eyebrow is considered to be the third grade of white tea. It is made from a special tea bush and is processed slightly differently to other white teas. The leaves that are used are from the Xiao Bai or “small White” tea trees.  

Long Life Eyebrow (Shou Mei)

Long Life Eyebrow is similar to Oolong tea and has a fruity, strong flavour. It is considered to be a fourth grade white tea. The tea is plucked later and therefore has a slightly darker colour.

Both the Tribute Eyebrow (Gong Mei) and the Long Life Eyebrow (Shou Mei) are considered lesser forms of white tea compared to Silver Needle (Bai Hao yinzhen) and the White Peony (Bai Mu Dan).

There are other varieties of white tea including Ceylon, Darjeeling, Assam and White Puerh tea, to name just a few. Every variety has something to offer and may include the addition of fruits to add extra sweetness to the flavour.

Why Drink White Tea

It is a well known fact that green tea is one of the healthiest teas around, it contains loads of antioxidant and is the first choice when it comes to your health and wellbeing, but what about white tea? New research is finding out that white tea contains more active cancer fighting antioxidants than green tea.

Other reasons to drink White Tea -

  • White tea has considerably less caffeinea than other varieties (about 15mg per serve, compared to Black tea with 40mg and Green tea with 20mg per serve).
  • White tea can help the body's immune system fight off viruses and dangerous infections which cause bacteria.
  • White tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque, as it contains small amounts of fluoride and other nutrients, the primary reason for tooth decay.
  • White tea may assist in some types of cancer prevention, including colon, prostate, and stomach cancer. This is due to a class of antioxidants called flavonoids which inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent the development of new ones.
  • White tea has the ability to thin the blood and improve artery function and therefore can help in lowering blood pressure. As white tea promotes strong and healthy blood vessels, it can also guard against strokes.
  • White tea can help in lowering cholesterol as it contains catechins, another type of antioxidants. White tea encourages good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol, which prevents hardening of the arteries and blockage of blood flow.
  • Research has been carried out and it has been found that people who drink 2 or more cups of white tea a day have a 50% less chance of dying after suffering a heart attack, as white tea protects the heart and the circulatory system.
  • Tea can increase your bone density and may have beneficial effects for sufferers of arthritis and osteoporosis.

How to Brew White Tea

White tea leaves are less dense and compact than other varieties, so be generous when distributing the white tea leaves. This means you will probably want to increase the amount of tea leaves that you would normally use. The exact amount of leaves used is up to you, depending on your taste, as a good indication you can start with two teaspoons of white tea leaves for every cup and add more leaves or water depending on your taste.

Don't use boiling water, as this can ruin the flavor of white tea. Remember these are the most delicate leaves used to make any variety of tea. The ideal temperature is about 76 to 85 degrees Celsius. So boil the water and let it sit for about one minute and then pour the water over the leaves. Let the steeping time be between 5 to 8 minutes or as instructed with the particular brand of tea you are using.

White tea is rare, striking in appearance and pleasant tasting so if you are looking for something special then try a cup of white tea. It is the least processed, handpicked and it is in it's most natural state. It contains more nutrients and has an abundance of health properties; it is truly the ultimate health tea!

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Pineapples are native to Southern Brazil and Paraguay. They were spread by the Indians up through South and Central America to Mexico and to the West Indies. Pineapples were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and from there taken to Spain and then to other parts of the world.
 
Pineapples are a member of the Bromeliaceae family, which embraces about 2000 species and are composed of many flowers whose fruitlets are fussed around a core. Each fruitlet has an eye which is the spiny part on the surface of the pineapple. They are not only delicious but also extremely good for your health. Below are some of the health benefits of pineapples:

  • Pineapples are an excellent source of nutrients including calcium, potassium, manganese and vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, thiamin, copper and dietary fibre.
  • It is low in fat and cholesterol.
  • Pineapple helps you build healthy bones. As they are rich in manganese (a trace mineral needed by your body to build bone and connective tissue). Therefore pineapples can aid both in the growth and strengthening of bones.
  • One cup of fresh pineapple chunks provides 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese.
  • Pineapple can also be used to dissolve warts. The enzymes contained in the pineapple speed up the process of elimination of warts. The most effective treatment is to soak a cotton ball with fresh pineapple juice and apply it to the wart.
  • Pineapple is good for fighting off coughs and colds. It has the same benefits as orange juice - even more! Pineapple contains bromelain, which has been found to help suppress coughs and loosen mucus.
  • As mentioned above pineapple contains an important enzyme call bromelain. This enzyme is the key to the many health benefits of pineapple. Bromelain, a group of sulfur containing proteolytic (protein digesting) enzymes, that aids in digestion and can effectively reduce inflammation and swelling. It can assist in the treatment of conditions such as acute sinusitis, sore throat, arthritis and gout, and also can help to speed up the recovery period from injuries and surgery. To maximize the benefit of bromelains' anti inflammatory effects, pineapple should be eaten by itself between meals; otherwise the enzyme will be used up digesting food and not working on the inflammation.
  • Due to the high vitamin C content in pineapples, this fruit is also good for your general oral health. Vitamin C can reduce the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease and increase the bodies ability to fight invading bacteria that contributes to gum disease.
  • Pineapple is NOT good for people with haemophilia or those with disease of the kidneys and liver. This is because pineapple seems to reduce the time taken to coagulate the blood which therefore makes it good for people with heart conditions.
  • Pineapples can be helpful in maintaining good eye health and gives protection against age related eye problems due to the high antioxidant content
  • Pineapple stems are also have hidden health benefits. Australian research has shown that there are certain molecules in the stem that act as a defense against certain types of cancer. These cancers include ovarian, breast, lung, colon and skin.
  • Pineapple can also help constipation, women suffering from painful periods, dyspepsia, bronchitis, high blood pressure, nausea, and may even help people with angina by removing plaque from arterial walls.

How to select and store your pineapple

  • Look for pineapples that are heavy for their size.
  • Choose a pineapple with fresh looking green leaves.
  • They should be free from soft spots, bruises and darkened “eyes” all of which indicate that the pineapple is past its prime.
  • Pineapples will stop ripening after they are picked and only get older, so choose fruit that has a fragrant sweet smell at the stem end.
  • Avoid pineapples that smell musty, sour or fermented.
  • You can leave the pineapple to sit for a few days at room temperature to make it softer and juicer to eat, although it won’t make it any sweeter. But be careful as they can spoil easily and should be watched carefully.
  • To keep a pineapple for longer than a day or two, wrap it in a plastic bag and store it in the fridge for up to five days.
  • If you cut the pineapple, store it in an airtight container, but use it as soon as possible.

Pineapples are like heaven to eat, and if you are craving chocolate a good juicy ripe pineapple can be just as satisfying to fend off that sweet craving plus it's a healthier choice. As you can see from the information above, there are many health benefits to eating a pineapple, including the obvious benefits of all the vitamins and minerals contained in this wonderful fruit. Why don’t you try a delicious organic pineapple?

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