Health and longevity is the foot stone of happiness in life. Life is precious because everyone has just one life. Hence, the pursuit of longevity is a common goal in humanity. The science of health is an old but active study. There are loads of theories about health in the Chinese traditional culture. One of the most effective methods is the Chinese Tea Ceremony.
Human health includes two main aspects; physical and mental health. The Chinese Tea Ceremony "health philosophy" is based upon these two aspects, to practice "preservation of the body with tea, thus preserving the heart with Taoism", to reach the goal of good health and pleasure.
The Main Chemical Compounds of Keeping Good Health with Tea
China is the motherland of Tea. The Ancient pharmacists had very good studies on the nutritional health preservation of tea. In the times of the Three Kingdoms" he mysterious doctor Hua Tuo said in his book Food Discussion "drinking bitter tea constantly would help benefit a healthy mentality". The medical scientist within the Tang Dynasty, Chen Cangqi said that even more amazingly in his book Supplementation of the Herbs, "Stop the thirst and remove the disease; how precious tea is". "The medicines are for all kinds of diseases, but tea is the best medicine for sickness".
If we say that the ancient scientists and pharmacist’s studies are just experience, then the modern pharmacists and nutritionists have done more accurate analysis on the nutritional compounds of tea. Famous nutritionists like Yu Ruomu pointed out that according to the studies of modem pharmaceuticals, biology, nutrition, the study on most of the tea beneficial ingredients for a healthy human body is clear, its anti-aging process, anti-cancer and enhancing body moving ability are clear as well." Currently there are more than 600 kinds of chemical substances found in tea, which could be divided into ten groups.
Proteins and Amino Acids
Proteins are the most basic substances in life. It is the essential ingredient of life and the basic phenomenon of life like reproduction, genetic and movement. The concentration of proteins in tea is 15-30%, but its dissolvability is less than 2%. If you could drink 10g tea per day, you could only get 0.2g protiens from it, whilst the daily needs of proteins for the human body is 10-90g. As you can see, drinking is not easy to acquire. There are a lot of tea which exaggerate that there are lot of proteins contained in tea which is not correct. The proteins needed by human body should mainly be obtained from fish, meat, chicken, eggs, milk and bean products, etc..
There is a special kind of amino acid in tea which has very special effects on human body, called "Theanine". The content rate of amino acids in total tea amino acid is about 50%. Theanine can promote the growth of human body, and adjust the metabolism rate of fats and help promote weight loss.
Sugars are the most broadly distributed organic compound in the biological world, which consists of carbon atoms, hydrogen atoms,oxygen atoms, three elements. The rate of hydrogen and oxygen in molecules is at a ratio 2:1, which is the same as the water molecules, hence sugars are called carbohydrates as well. It includes dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, amylum and fibre. Sugar is the main source of energy for human body.
The total amount of sugar substances in tea is about 20-25%, but you can only get about 5% when you are boiling tea with electric teapot, so tea is a low energy beverage. Therefore, it is trustable to drink no matter people are in good health or are diabetic.
Fats are a total term for fat and lipids. Fats, protiens and sugars are the key three nutrients. Fats content in Chinese tea is at a ratio of 2-3%. So fats content in tea is not sufficient to meet the human body's daily requirements, but it would help the human body to absorb vitamins in tea (carotene, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K).
Modern pharmacists call the mineral substances required by the human body "Life Substances". Because it is closely related to the tenacity of the bones, muscles, blood generation, the balance of hormones, the development of the brain and intelligence. "Life Substances" can be divided into macro-elements and microelements. Macro-elements refer to the elements needed in quantities over 100g every day by the human body, which includes calcium, phosphorous, valium, natrium, chlorine, sulphur and magnesium, seven elements, Those seven elements are vastly demanded by the human body. Macro-elements are mainly taken from green vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, milk, all kinds of vegetables and fruit, of which tea can only supply small amount of these.
There are 14 types of micro-elements needed by the human body which are promoted by the United Nations Health Organisation: Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Selenium (Se), molybdenum (Mo), Cobalt (Co), Fluorine (F), Iodine (I), Nickel (Ni), Silicon (Si), Vanadium (V), copper (Cu), Tin (Sn), Chromium (Cr) and Manganese (Mn). Pharmacists studies reveal that these elements though not essential for the human body is essential in maintain good health. For example, "the three deadly diseases" - coronary, heart diseases and cancer are related to the defficiency of these elements in the human body. The four Main National Diseases (Keshan disease, Big condyle, Florins bone, Loco goitre) also are all caused via deficiencies in macro-elements.
We are suggested to get the micro-elements through a balanced diet. Some the micro-elements are not sufficiently contained in ordinary food, which tea can help supplement. For example, Selenium and Zinc are two kinds of micro-elements that are not sufficiently contained in the normal daily diet. The ratio of Selenium contained in tea is 0.02-3.85ppm. Selenium is sometimes called the "Moonlight element", "Anti-cancer element"，"Star of long life"，people would easily age and loose energy when their bodies were deficient of Selenium. It would cause heart disease in serious situations, drinking selenium-rich tea would help the human body to maintain the normal function of the red blood cells and white blood cells, prevent cancer, remove unnecessary substances and delay the aging process. It could also release the human body from poison by absorbing large amounts of mercury, arsenic and lead. For women, selenium is good for menopausal diseases. For men, selenium is a necessary substance to create sperm. It also assists the generation process of the prostate, and it also good in improving sexual prowess.
The ratio of Zinc in tea is 3.5~4.24mg. Zinc is also called the "Fire of life" and "The harmonious element of couples", it is the essential substance to compose proteins into DNA. The enzymes compounds and its enzymic compounds, lack of zinc would cause symptoms like abnormal gestation, dislike of food, late growth, slow regeneration of injured tissue and low intelligence. Zinc is a very important substance for the growth of genitalia, especially for men, a lack of zinc would mean poor sperm production. It is suggested for women to ingest Zinc when they have period pain.
There are some essential micro-elements in tea which are rarely contained in vegetables and fruit, for instance Vanadium, Nickel, Cobalt and Flourine. Chinese pharmacists believe that food is better than medicine for maintaining good health. Drinking tea with glass cup constantly is the best method to ensure supplementation of the microelements needed for the human body.
Vitamins are essential organic compounds which promote the growth and maintenance of the human body. Currently there are 13 types of vitamins. The Chinese Nutrition Association had a national investigation, which shows the imbalance of the food structure, the insufficiency of obtaining these vitamins are widely present and affect the mental and intellectual health of the human body. The investigation report found that vitamins are generally needed for people - Vitamins B6 and C generally needed; Vitamins A and B2 seriously needed. The ratio of Vitamin A is 417-628 micrograms, Vitamin Bx 0.1~0.36mg, Vitamin B2 0.17-0.35, Vitamin B6 0.28-0.46mg, Vitamin C 819mg. Drinking tea can help provide the essential vitamins, enhance the immune system and prevent many diseases from occurring.
Lipopolysaccharide big combined molecules consisting of sugar and fat which takes 3% of the dried weight of tea. These are a vital ingredient to make up the tea cells. Lipopolysaccharide can improve the Human Immune System, prevent the human body from radiation damage and it has the ability to improve the production of blood cells, in particular the increase of white blood cells, help maintain steady blood pressure, hence drinking fresh Bud Tea can supplement essential nutrients to the human body, it would also help digestion and remove toxins from the human body.
Alkaloids are called plant alkalis as well. They are created by alkaline of organic based nitrogen compounds. The alkaloids in tea include caffeine, thein, coke alkali and gland alkali, of which caffeine are the most aboundant, which comprises 2-5 % of the dry weight of tea. The alkaloids in tea has the following functions, it is a provocative substance to the central nervous system, which can cheer the spirit, drive away sleepiness, reduce exhaustion, enhance thought processes and work efficiency and accuracy. It can strengthen blood vessels, relax muscles and is good for the heart. Tea alkaloids and caffeine work together to become an effective diuretic.
Besides this, alkaloids in tea can lower the cholesterol levels in blood to prevent blocking of the arteries, promote gastric juice and thus improve digestion.
Aromatic substances are not essential nutritious elements for human body but provides the attractive aroma of tea. The tea aroma can cheer up the spirit, make you feel happy, enhance your living quality and enhance your physical and mental health. There are more than 400 types of aromatic substances found in tea (Over 50 types in fresh tea leaves, over 100 types in green tea, over 300 types in Black tea over 400 types in Black Dragon tea), different combinations of aromatic substances, generated different types of tea aromas, have a distinct smell, flower aromas, fruit aromas, milky aromas, sweet aromas, fresh aromas, artificial aromas and cool aromas. The volatilizations of the different aromas are difference at different temperatures.
In modern pharmacies, aromatherapy is a new form of therapy. Smelling tea scents is not just a special spiritual joy, but also benefits physical and mental health.
Tea polyphenols is a general term for the hydroxy-benzine compounds in tea. It is an essential substance in tea, takes 20-30% of the dried weight of tea. Within which there are catechins, flavones, anthocyanin and phenolic acid.
Catechins are approximately 70% of tea polyphenols. It is the main ingredient of tea which has a medical performance. These are called the Vitamin P groups by the medical realm. The tea polyphenol has the following functions; adjusts the physical functions, prevents the blockage of the arteries, lowers blood pressure, lowers level of cholesterol, reduces blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system, reduces damage from smoking, helps skin, is an anti-cancer and is a good anti-aging chemical. It could prevent and restrain unnecessary substances being produced, remove "Body Garbage", protects the organs and prevents ageing. Both Chinese and foreign pharmacists believe that "the catechins are more effecient in preventing the fatty acids being over oxidated than Vitamin E by 14-18 times". The catechins are very effecting in curing the first killer of the world, blood pipe diseases which affect both the brain and the heart.
Tea pigments are produced from colorless catechins through oxidation processes, which are mainly made up from theaflavin, thearubigins and theabrownine. Tea pigments have a higher medical value and healthcare value than tea polyphenols. Modem pharmacists believe this; they distill and utilize tea pigments for medical treatments which is a clear sign of tea medicine being formally established, it is also a sign of the National beverage becoming a National medicine.
The clinical experiments if the tea pigments show that it is effective to cure high blood pressure, blood clots in the brain, dementia in old age, reduce fat levels in the liver and coronary heart disease. Tea pigments have the anti-cancer and health improvements functions. So Tea Pigments" are one of the key programmes for the national "9 ~ 5" medical technological development.
Because tea contains above 10 nutritious ingredients, it ranks the 1st in the International Medical Conference where it confirmed 6 kinds of healthy beverages (Green tea, Red wine, Soya bean milk, yogurt, Bone soup and mushroom soup). It also ranks on 1st on the list of the top 10 healthy foods which was recommended by America's Times Health magazine (Tea, Salmon, Spinach, Broccoli, Garlic, Wine, Tomatoes, Nuts, Oats and Blueberries). Although, we still would like to emphasize that like any other kind of food and beverage the ingredients contain in tea are limited as well, because tea is not a complete food, therefore it cannot meet the daily requirements for all the bodies needs. To set up a scientific opinion on food, we should follow the opinion by Nei Jing "5 grains are the basics, 5 fruits to assist,5 meats are essential, 5 vegetables are needed, combined in a balance way to take these foods would be beneficial".