Tea is the most loved and consumed non-alcoholic beverage. Initially it was consumed in East Asian countries like India and China. Its popularity kept on increasing over centuries and it is now being consumed by most of the countries in varying quantities. For millions of people globally, it has become an everyday ritual to have before starting a day. Every time one seeks for relaxation or to relieve from stress, one always chooses either hot tea or coffee. Today we gonna checkout why the black tea is best tea for a cold.
Putting it into perspective, it’s consumption worldwide is just next to packaged water. Surpassing coffee, this has been a leading consumer all over the world, particularly in Europe and many parts of Asia. Recent stats show that, within a decade the tea consumption might triple to what is being consumed currently. It has been human’s most favorite drink since centuries.
The moment we think about tea, we remember the aroma and soothing taste it gives. But, such a drink has ingredients which are healthy to our body. Particularly for the common cold, which doesn’t have a medicine to cure, tea offers a wide variety of solutions.
Each variety of tea including green, white and oolong tea, has its own benefits to relieve us from cold. However, Black tea offers much better benefits starting from temporary relief to complete cure from the virus itself. What is it that makes Black tea that special?
What is Black tea?
Every tea variety has its own making procedure making the aroma and health benefits differ whatsoever. Just like other tea varieties, black tea is also prepared from the same plant “Camellia sinensis”. But the leaves of the plant are made to get completely oxidized until they turn dark in colour.
Which is, of course, the reason for the origin of the name “Black tea”. However, in China, where the tea was first discovered, it’s popularly known as “red tea” named after the color of the drink itself. Black tea is traditionally made with hot water. However, it can also be made with milk which is predominantly known as “masala tea” in Indian Subcontinent.
As black tea is completely oxidized, it has a stronger aroma and better health benefits over other types. Moreover, oxidation gives it a longer expiration period, making it the most traded tea among other tea types.
Benefits of Black tea on cold :
Common cold is a viral infection, by and large caused by rhinovirus, mainly attacking the upper respiratory tract. Millions of people get affected by cold every year. As it is spread with bodily fluids and air molecules, it gets transmitted easily.
In spite of a large number of people being infected, there is no medicine to cure that. However the symptoms of cold, which, in fact, are a result of the antibodies fighting with that virus, can be treated. It usually gets cured in a few days to weeks.
Although we can use syrups or capsules to treat those symptoms, strengthening the immunity to win over the virus is of first and foremost importance. There are many food supplements that provide that. Among all of those, Black tea is a simple, tastier, healthier beverage that can relieve and strengthen the immune system. And we guarantee black tea is the best tea for a cold.
Well known for its warm aroma, black tea soothes one’s throat and thus relieving from nasal blockage. Depending upon the plant species, it’s aroma varies. This is usually consumed with hot water. However, people make this with hot milk as well, as hot milk adds to the warmth the body gets from the beverage.
If consumed frequently, over a period of time, it helps in generating more antibodies and strengthens immunity. This rise in antibodies number helps the body to fight better against the pathogen and hence to get cured faster.
Science behind why this is best tea for a cold
Black tea (or any tea in general) contains caffeine and Theanine. Although Coffee also has these, It’s the proportion of these two ingredients that makes the difference. Former one is dominant in Coffee while the latter one in tea.
“Enantiomer L-theanine” or theanine, in general, present in Black tea has greater health benefits. Having the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, it has greater effects on relieving the physical and mental stress. It’s combination with caffeine in Black tea makes it a more effective ingredient to increase cognitive skills.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) has extensively researched and published about the benefits of Black tea for overcoming the cold. For the direct and significant effect of it, it’s not a surprise that it is the most consumed beverage in winter season.
Their research shows that black tea gives relief from cold as it soothes the throat and creates warmth in the body. Albeit a tea consumer prefers to have a hot cup of tea as he experiences it, this scientific backing of that adds up to the confidence.
Flavon-2-ols or Flavonoids in general, one of the ingredients in Black tea, has antioxidant properties. According to European Food Safety Authority, it’s not absorbed by the human body through food as it usually results in excretion of more than 95% of it.
However, while the body excretes it, uric acid is generated during a process of depolymerization. It is this process that triggers the generation of more antioxidants, indirectly strengthening the immune system.
The warmth to the throat given by the Black tea is a result of Phenolic content in it. Similar kind of phenolic content is present in wine as well, in large proportions, providing warmth in the stomach. For phenols are weakly acidic it doesn’t hurt the throat. Instead it provides the warmth needed to sooth it.
Catechins, one of the most common ingredients in all tea varieties including Black tea is the reason for the bitterness and typical astringency of the black tea. The taste and malty flavour of it is given by this ingredient.
The combination of all these ingredients makes Black tea an instant reliever of the throat and cold. If not overdosed, it can generate the warmth exactly needed by the body. Relieving from stress is a byproduct of these positive effects of these ingredients on the body.
Along with that, a frequent consumption of it strengthens our immune system. This makes our body fight against the cold and get cured faster.
Black tea with Ginger:
Ginger is well known for its strong spice and health benefits. It helps in digestion and strengthens the immunity. Even a small quantity of it shows its benefits.
Black tea having its health benefits, combined with ginger will be a great source for immune booster. The spicy aroma ginger brings to the existing strong aroma of Black tea serves as the perfect beverage for the cold. People in colder regions, in particular, enjoy the aroma and warmth this beverage provides.
Health benefits of Black tea with Ginger:
Ginger is well known for its spicy taste. Along with aiding our digestion, it creates warmth in the body. It’s this feature similar to Black tea that made humans combine those two to get stronger flavor and more warmth. This is one of the homemade recipes to relieve from the cold.
There is no direct scientific research done directly on its benefit for cold. However, indirect studies like analyzing the ingredients contained in ginger show it’s benefits for cold. After all, centuries long successful home remedies don’t demand the need of dedicated scientific research.
Putting in technical terms, Ginger is very rich in Magnesium and Vitamin-C which strengthen the immune system of the body. Former one is a very good mineral to activate the anti-bodies which play a crucial role in the activity of the immune system. Latter one is very good at mitigating the severity of the cold.
Although Black tea with Ginger provides great aroma and taste, human exploration with Black tea doesn’t end here. Treating cold with black tea has been an older practise as suffering from the cold has been. Lemon and Honey are two more additional ingredients which can be added for their contribution to relieve and cure cold.
Black tea with Lemon:
Almost every person enjoys the flavor of lemon. While it provides many health benefits, it has specific benefits to get cured from cold.
To start off, it enhances the malty flavor of black tea. The combination of sourness to the sweetness makes the beverage more throat soothing. Lemon is a very good antioxidant. Along with preventing cells from oxidation, it strengthens the immunity as well.
Black tea which is well known for its effect on the immune system, getting an additional immune booster like lemon enhances the positive effect on health by a great extent. This is the primary factor that makes it one of the preferred beverages for cold.
In the process of exploring tastes, we can combine both ginger and lemon to black tea. This results in a spicy, sour, warm taste soothing the throat very fast and relieving from stress almost instantaneously. As all the ingredients strengthen the immunity, combination of these makes the curing from the cold much quicker.
While its also an best tea for a cold this is a beverage many health experts suggest to people during winter seasons in order to prevent the advent of the pathogens. Lemon makes your tea a Best Tea For a Cold in winters.
Black tea with Honey:
Honey is well known historically for its benefits during cough. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a perfect medicine to relieve coughing. Even having honey with hot water gives a significant relief from cough.
It adds more to the taste and flavor of black tea, preventing the use of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Using this cough reliever along with a throat soother like Black tea gives an instant relief and arrests the cough rapidly.
This beverage can also be added with lemon and ginger which along with adding taste, generates antibodies. Each of these natural products provides its own significant benefit on our body. Using all these in different combinations, we can explore taste, enjoy the warmth in the throat and get cured from cold without depending on capsules.
Its not only the Best Tea For a Cold. There Are Few Other health benefits of black tea
It’s good for oral health:
Tea trade health association states that Black tea prevents the formation of plaque and reduces bacteria growth in the mouth. Killing and arresting the growth of the cavity causing bacteria is done by Polyphemus in black tea, thereof. Thus the oral health of an individual is maintained, irrespective of its consumption with hot water or milk.
Maintains good heart health:
Consuming frequently as a habit, though in limited quantities per day, strengthens the heart reducing the chances of getting stroke. Research done by scientists backs this health benefit statistically. Among the population who consume 1-2 cups of black tea everyday over a period of time, there is 21% less chance of getting stroke.
Helps in cancer prevention:
This is an area of active research. However, considering the research done so far, it’s been stated that women who consume Black tea habitually are less likely to get ovarian cancer.
It is predicted that the Polyphemus and catechisms, stated thereof, helps in killing and arresting growth of cancer cells.
Helps in avoiding diabetes:
Research done on a group of community consuming black tea as a habit, proves that this mitigates the chances of getting diabetes by 70%. Although the reason could be the use of honey as a replacement to processed sugar, tea itself contains ingredients that aids this.
Healthy digestive tract can be maintained:
Both flavonoids and catechins present in black tea not only helps for immunity, it also stimulates more digestion. As the body also feels the relaxation with black tea, digestion occurs more efficiently cleaning the digestive tract.
Aids weight loss:
As mentioned, the increased digestive rate helps the body to process more fat. If consumed regularly without milk and sugar, it has been proved that it acts as a good agent aiding weight loss.
Neurological diseases can be avoided:
Every neurological disease has severe effects on our way of life. Such serious diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, dementia can be avoided by regular consumption of black tea.
The ingredients in Black tea gives mental and physical stress relief. The latest research shows that such relaxation causes alpha brain activity, which is very good for healthy neurological function.
Helps to cure diarrhea and intestinal inflammation:
Black tea prevents intestinal inflammation thus showing significant effect on controlling diarrhea. Also better digestion aided by black tea adds more soothing action on intestine thus relieving and curing from diarrhea in quick time.
The black tea produces high levels of antioxidants. This prevents the aging in cells by removing the free radicals attached to them slowing down the aging of cells. Hence, black tea when consumed habitually has a significant effect on aging as well.
Types of other best tea for a cold
As mentioned earlier, honey helps to alleviate cough. Although the strong aroma of the tea adds more to relieve cough and cold, in principle any type of tea should give some extent of relief.
Licorice root tea:
This tea is made from the roots of licorice plants, native of western Asia and Southern Europe. This is not a traditional tea variety plant, hence it comes with a lot of risk along with benefits.
Consumed in smaller quantities can relieve from cough upto 30-78%, as per statistical research. However, if consumed too much, it can result in sudden drop in body potassium levels and cause high blood pressure. It’s shown to be very fatal to pregnant women.
Marshmallow root tea:
This is also not a traditional tea variety plant. By and large found on river banks and salty soil, these are native to Western asian, Europe and North africa.
Although this is shown to disrupt the effect of oral medicines if taken together, this has positive effects on controlling cough if taken a few hours before or after oral medicines.
This is one of the traditional tea varieties, native to China and North East India. Unlike Black tea, this is not oxidized. This is widely consumed with ginger and honey, as they both have good health benefits.
However, there is little evidence to show the health benefits of green tea. It is an active research. But, as it has some proportion of ingredients present in black tea, if consumed with ginger and honey can provide good results against cold.
Peppermint plant is a native of Europe and the Middle east. This has been traditionally known for antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This gives good relief for the cold with it’s warm pepper taste. It soothes the blocked nasal passages making breathing easy.
All these tea varieties and ingredients like honey, ginger and lemon are the natural home made remedies. Although modern medical research invented medicines to relieve and treat symptoms of common cold, it fundamentally blocks the immune system of the body and fights on its own, adding more to the long term side effects. On the other hand, these natural ingredients strengthen the immune system making the recovery faster.