The first sip of a perfect cup of tea: is there anything better?
'A cup of tea' means something different wherever you are in the world. In most of England, it's not the high tea with cucumber sandwiches you might picture. English tea is a strong black tea (occasionally referred to as builder’s tea) brewed from a tea bag and served with milk.
Across the pond in India, they're most likely to refer to tea as Chai (which means tea in Hindi). Here, every household makes their own variety of the spiced black tea with milk you might be picturing.
In Morocco and other North African countries, tea will most likely be made with fresh mint leaves, steeped and then served with sugar in beautiful glass cups.
Although tea is a popular drink worldwide, it originated in ancient China as a medicinal drink over 5000 years ago. Brewing plants and herbs in hot water for the treatment of ailments is something that every culture has done and can still serve us today in the world of modern medicine.
Here at Peter Rubi, we believe that living a healthier life starts with what you put in your body. Food as medicine isn't just an old's wives tale to us - and we've done the research to prove it.
Most of the teas we’ve discussed here are traditional leafed teas. Herbal teas have their variety of health benefits as well; however, always discuss using herbal teas with your doctor, especially if you have any underlying conditions or are taking medications. Many herbal teas such as hibiscus have been linked to lower blood pressure but also interact with chloroquine which is used to treat conditions such as malaria and rheumatoid arthritis. There are risks to taking any kind of supplement, same as the risks of side effects that can be seen from prescription drugs. Always consult with your doctor so you can make the best choice for your health.
From a cup of tea with lemon for a sore throat to valerian tisane to combat insomnia, tea can be used to treat a variety of everyday ailments. As we discussed above, drinking tea regularly can have even bigger impacts on your health from lowering your blood pressure to possibly preventing the development of Alzheimer’s disease. There are so many ways to prepare and enjoy it with a rich cultural history from all over the world. So find your favorite tea cup, turn the kettle on, and enjoy!
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Brit Fennewald is a Joliet resident whose love of tea reaches back to her grandma’s kitchen and grew during four years of college in London. She is a firm believer in food as medicine and a research based outlook.