Tea & Arthritis

Arthritis is a common terms that describes joint pain. While it’s often understood as a disease it can be rather seen as a symptom resulting from different causes.

For some people, arthritis could be caused by inflammation. In such a case, tea can be a easy and effective natural remedy.

What is Inflammation?

When visiting the Wikipedia page you’ll read that inflammation is described as:

A part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators.

Scientific research on mice until now concludes with pretty strong evidence that feeding mice with polyphenol rich tea reduces inflammation and thus joint pain. Does this work on humans? Well let’s believe it for now, until more conclusive research follows.

Before we head on to what tea is the most suitable, let’s have a look at the definition of tea as well.

What is Tea?

When we talk about tea, we’re referring to leaf tea made from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Given this, herbal teas made from other plants, such as Rooibos, doesn’t fall in this category. They’re officially referred to as tisanes. This of course doesn’t mean they don’t help against inflammation. In fact, some tisanes are very effective!

What’s the Best Leaf Tea against Inflammation and Arthritis?

Now you understand that inflammation is a cause of arthritis, we can now discuss some teas that can be effective against that.

When it comes to leaf tea, there’s green, white, black, oolong, and pu erh tea. They’re all from the same tea plant as I said before. What makes them different is the processing method applied. White and green tea are the least processed of all, while oolong, black and pu erh are more processed teas.

Types & potential side effects

Generally research shows that white and green tea contain the most polyphenols, so it would make sense to suggest those teas to prevent arthritis. However, white and green teas can have their side effects, and some people are very sensitive to that. Because they’re less processed teas, they tend to be ‘raw’. And this rawness can sometimes hurt the stomach. When you suffer from Arthritis, go for a cup of white and green tea first, but check if your stomach can handle the regular consumption of 4-5 cups a day. The best is to drink it after meals and snacks when you’re stomach isn’t empty.

If you do suffer from side effects on the stomach, then switch to oolong, black or pu erh tea. For the latter, there are two types: Sheng (raw) and Shou (ripe) pu erh. We won’t go into the details of explaining the difference here, but go for ripe pu erh.

Some oolong teas can still be harsh on the stomach, such as a lightly oxidized Tie Guan Yin, while a darker Dahongpao oolong is fine. Black teas are usually ok as well, and with ripe pu erh it can hardly go wrong. Ripe pu erhs are post-fermented and actually very soft on the stomach. It even supports digestion.

At the end of the day, there’s not that much difference between the polyphenol levels among the types. Don’t worry to much about the type of tea that you should consume as long as it’s tasty, so you’ll be able to make it part of your daily diet.

Herbal Teas against inflammation

Besides leaf teas there are also great herbal teas against inflammation. You’ve to be careful with those as they can be very powerful. So try them in small amounts first. In China, Kuding tea and Honeysuckle tea are the most famous examples and often prescribed by Chinese Medicine doctors.

Read this article in which we’ve published a honeysuckle tea with rose buds recipe: https://helloteacup.com/2016/05/13/rose-tea-recipes/

Other Notes on Arthritis

  • Avoid drinking tea in the evening as it contains caffeine.
  • Try to listen to your body, tea often helps, but not for everyone. Consult a doctor when in doubt.
  • Try to adjust your tea choice across seasons. Often times, people tend to go for a more refreshing green tea during summers and a more soothing black tea during Winters. There’s nothing wrong with that intuition.
  • Don’t just drink tea for health, try to enjoy it. Isn’t that also a health benefit in itself?!

 

Medical Evidence for the Health Benefits of Kuding Tea (Kuding Cha)

What is Kuding (also known as Kuding Cha)? It’s officially not a tea but a herb that is different from the tea plant (camellia sinensis). ‘Ku’ means ‘bitter’ in Mandarin Chinese and ‘Ding’ means ‘needle’. This herbal drink has been part of the Chinese diet in Southern China for 2000 years. It’s popular in China, because it’s a safe botanical to drink with no toxic side effects. No wonder it’s also called the ‘ginseng of teas’, ‘beauty tea’, or ‘longevity tea’. Only in the recent years Western Research are also slowly showing support for the benefits of Kuding tea. See below for a summary of the most important research finding of recent years (based on the authority of the research journals in which they are published and the amount of citations in other journals):

Deodorization & Reduce Bad Breath with Kuding Cha

One of the earlier Japanese researchers three universities reported that Kuding Cha helps to reduce natural body odors in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. The most important finding is kuding cha captures ‘allyl methyl sulfide gas’ in the body, well-known to persist as malodorous breath long after the consumption of garlic!

Kuding Tea Reducing Discomport of Drinking Milk Powder

A group of researchers reported in the Journal of Food Science and Technology that Kuding tea reduces the discomfort of milk powder consumption. This finding is more relevant for some Asians who experience some allergic reactions when consuming dairy products. The conclusion was that the consumption of Ku Ding tea appeared to lower ‘lipid peroxidation’ that was induced by milk powder in the rats. As the findings are promising, future research should be performed on humans to confirm the benefits.

Weight Loss: Kuding Tea Extract Prevents Metabolic Disorders

Chinese researchers reported recently that the consumption of Kuding can prevent metabolic disorders that cause obesity/overweight. In this research mice were fed with high-fat diets. The findings suggest that kuding tea is indeed a useful dietary therapy and a potential source for the development of novel anti-obesity and lipid lowering drugs. However, this research is published in an open source journal, that is has less authority than the two findings above. Still, the design of the research does look robust to us.

If there is any major research article that we have missed out, please do leave a comment so we can review and add it here. Teasenz will regularly public articles related to health benefits of Kuding and other herbal teas. Follow our blog to stay updated.

Kuding Tea

As weather changes, it is easy to get under the weather.It’s August, but it doesn’t always feel that way.  Inflammation, aching joints, and just not feeling well in general. Instead of going to your local drug store and abusing over the counter drugs, maybe Kuding tea, a chinese tea known for its medicinal properties, could help.

Kuding tea  has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.  It is known for being bitter, but some drinkers note that it has a sweet aftertaste. In traditional Chinese medicine Kuding tea is known  for its many uses. It is popular  for ailments such as improving memory and focusing the mind,helping with the common cold, with headaches and  sinusitis, and treating bronchitis.  Kuding Tea is also said to improve digestion, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.  It is quite a tea.

When brewing this tea, it’s a good idea to use just two or three of the spikes if it’s your first experience of the tea because of its strong bitter taste. As you become accustomed to the tea then 3-5 spikes are usual. Use hot water, not boiling water – between 80-90 degrees centigrade for one minute. The spikes can be used over several times – after the second brewing you will need to increase the steeping time.

Although there is no medical evidence to support it, Kuding tea has become popular for promoting weight loss. The reason being it isn’t known whether if there is any weight loss if it is due to fluid rather than fat loss.  Kuding tea is being researched and developed in China alongside other traditionally used and revered herbs so that its traditionally known benefits can be established.

In terms of use, do not drink Kuding tea if you are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breast feeding, during menses, have low blood pressure. If you experience any adverse symptoms then stop use of the tea. You should always consult your doctor before making diet choices and if you have any other medication – definitely ask your doctor.

Warnings aside, Kuding Tea might be a great thing to have in your medicine cabinet- especially with the changing seasons.