If you wish to know all of the white tea benefits as part of your beverage choices, keep reading and wisely choose your cup of tea.
What Is White Tea?
Whether it is white, green, oolong, or black tea, they all come from a common plant indigenous to China and India – the Camellia sinensis plant. As these are true teas, the differentiation occurs due to the plant region and production process.
Among the minimally processed and delicate tea varieties, White Tea extract is harvested when the young buds of a tea plant are still covered by white hairs (thus the name white tea.)
It originated in Chinese imperial dynasties when tribute with rare and fine teas made from the youngest and most delicate buds was common, often imperial quality.
Its rarity also depends on the time of the harvest (usually early spring with unopened buds) and the way of processing (less oxidation to keep the delicate flavor).
While Green and Black Tea are oxidized, white tea is non-oxidized. The leaves are allowed to wither and dry within controlled environmental factors, which brings out the fresh garden taste.
Apart from China, other areas produce their white teas like –
Silver Needle White Tea
Cultivated from the original white tea plant found in China, this is made of large and full buds with hairs, giving it a silver color.
It is made from young tea leaves and has a floral aroma and sweet flavor.
White Peony Tea
Made of the original or other varieties, the tea buds are blended with rarely opened young tea leaves.
This is cheaper than the Silver Needle Tea, having a fresh and robust flavor.
Monkey Picked White Tea
Believed to have been harvested by Buddhist trained monkeys, this is considered high quality from China.
Darjeeling White Tea
This comes from the Darjeeling Region, India. The processing method is similar to those of Fujian White Teas, but the flavor differs.
The overall flavor profile that one can experience while drinking white tea varies from grassy, floral, melon, peach, chocolaty, citrusy, herby, and vanilla which can be felt in mild to sweet flavor.
Several white tea benefits will be described further.
1) Healthy Properties of White Tea
White tea benefits mainly stem from the cultivation process of the plant till we get a brewed cup, which holds several positives like –
1.1) White Tea Has Antioxidant Properties
This prevents aging, boosts cardiovascular health, lowers cholesterol, helps weight loss, protects the immune system, and prevents other harmful diseases.
This can also be considered one of the most effective white tea benefits as it has a more powerful radical scavenging influence than green or black tea, as shown through research.
1.1.1) Does White Tea Have Antibacterial Properties?
White Tea benefits include killing bacteria and viruses due to the antioxidants present, which protect the immune system, guard against the common cold and flu, and ease HIV symptoms.
Many products of White Tea are made with this, like hand soaps.
1.2) White Tea Has Anti Inflammatory Properties
With the Catechins and polyphenols present in white tea, minor aches and pains can be relieved, and it can also improve circulation and deliver oxygen to the brain and rest of the organs.
Animal studies have shown that white tea benefits include muscle recovery and prevention of muscle damage.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can be prevented with these properties of White Tea that can help curb inflammation, joint damage, and some general aches and pains caused by this condition.
2) Health Benefits of White Tea
2.1) White Tea Benefits Include Good Heart Health
Heart Disease can depend on several factors like diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits linked to chronic inflammation.
White Tea Polyphenols can ensure a healthy heart, as shown in studies –
- They can improve blood vessel function and boost the immune system.
- It can prevent bad cholesterol, which in turn protects the heart.
Studies have also shown that those who drink two or more cups of tea as a beverage have a 21% lower risk of heart problems.
2.1.1) Does White Tea Help with Cardio-Vascular Disorder?
White Tea Flavonoids are also associated with preventing cardiovascular disorders.
It protects the entire circulatory system by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood thinning, and improving blood vessel function.
Other than that, it helps lower blood pressure, improves dyslipidemia and endothelial function, and prevents low-density lipoprotein oxidation.
2.2) White Tea Helps Aid Weight Loss
Drinking White Tea can be beneficial for losing weight, as much as green tea.
Both teas have the same level of epigallocatechin gallate and Caffeine content which have a synergistic effect, as shown in studies.
Research shows White tea benefits include weight loss in two areas –
- White tea boosts metabolism by 4-5%, which helps burn 70 to 100 calories a day.
- White Tea Extracts stimulate fat breakdown and obstruct new fat cells from forming, as proven in a test tube study.
2.2.1) Does White Tea Help with Metabolism and Lipolysis?
A process that helps burn fat cells in the body is called Lipolysis, which leads to the loss of extra weight.
Antioxidants also help increase the metabolic activities in the body if one is to consume white tea.
2.3) White Tea Benefits Include Preventing Tooth Decay
The fluoride, catechins, and tannins found in White Tea fight bacteria and sugar that cause tooth problems in the following ways –
- Fluoride prevents dental cavities by protecting the teeth’ surface against acid attacks and any other bacteria.
- White Tea Catechins help with preventing the growth of plant bacteria.
The combination of Tannins and fluoride can also prevent plaque-causing bacteria.
2.4) Drinking White Tea Can Help Fight Cancer
Cancer prevention research has helped with finding out the anticancer effects of White tea –
- White Tea benefits include triggering the deaths of many kinds of lung cancer cells, as shown in research.
- Studies have also shown white tea benefits stop the growth and spread of colon cancer cells; they can even help with the death of mutated cells.
The antioxidant properties of white tea also help protect normal cells from harmful molecules. However, these studies were conducted with large amounts of white tea, and the benefits of a smaller sample are yet to be seen.
2.5) White Tea Benefits Include Preventing Insulin Resistance
An important hormone that helps move nutrients within the body is Insulin. However, due to high sugar consumption and other factors, some people develop insulin resistance which can cause chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart problems.
Animal studies have shown that White Tea enhances insulin effects and prevents high blood sugar levels.
2.5.1) How Does It Help with Type 2 Diabetes?
White tea benefits also include anti-diabetic properties found in catechins that help with type 2 diabetes.
By blocking the activity of enzyme amylase, glucose absorption in the small intestine stops, keeping the sugar level moderate.
This protects from symptoms of polydipsia or excessive thirst, decreasing plasma glucose levels, and increased insulin secretion.
Although animal studies exist in this regard, more research focused on humans needs to be conducted to test whether it is one of the white tea benefits.
2.6) White Tea Protects Against Osteoporosis
Our bones become hollow and porous, known as Osteoporosis, which leads to fractures and bad general health.
Mainly, free radicals and chronic inflammation increase this condition as they lead to the growth of cells that can break bones.
2.7) White Tea Protects Skin Health
Skin aging is a common process that occurs as people get older; it can either be internal or natural, where damage by free radicals and enzymes can occur or external, where environmental factors like the sun’s UV rays can cause inflammation.
White tea benefits include combating these factors, providing healthy and youthful skin, and preventing premature aging. The extract, when applied to the skin, can help with external aging factors, and the polyphenols help the skin remain tight and firm.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of white tea also help reduce redness and inflammation caused by skin diseases like dandruff and eczema, as found in a study conducted by Kensington University, London.
Research also shows other teas combined with white tea can help with skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea.
2.7.1) White Tea Products for Skin
While drinking a cup of Brewed White Tea can help with skin issues, other uses are –
- White Tea cleansing wash can be used directly on the skin.
- White Tea Bags can also be used directly on any troubled skin spots to speed up the healing process.
Here is a list of options that you can try out.
2.8) White Tea Helps with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease
White tea benefits include lowering the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s that affects the brain and nervous system.
Studies have shown that the Polyphenol ECGG can prevent the clumping and folding of proteins that cause these disorders by increasing inflammation and damaging brain nerves.
Research of around eight studies on approximately 5600 people has shown drinking white tea can lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 15%, and 26 studies on a sample of 52,500 people showed a 35% less risk of Alzheimer’s.
2.9) White Tea Helps to Remain Calm, Focussed, And Alert
White tea has more concentration of L-theanine than green tea or black tea, which prevents exiting stimuli in the brain leading to overactivity, which can help relax, focus, and stay alert.
It also helps produce the neurotransmitter GABA which has natural calming effects, helping with anxiety.
Click here to know more.
2.9.1) What Is the Caffeine Content of White Tea?
White Tea contains around 28 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup, less caffeine content than the 35 mg in green tea.
This means you can have a heavy tea intake without facing the negative side effects of strong caffeine, like insomnia and feeling jittery.
2.10) White Tea Helps Improve Oral Health
The flavonoids, tannins, and fluorides found in white tea keep the teeth healthy and strong.
Studies have shown that these compounds prevent tooth decay, plaque buildup, and cavities.
White tea’s antiviral and antibacterial properties also help keep the gums healthy. Drinking 2-4 cups of white tea daily can help extract all the necessary nutrients.
3) Other Healthy Uses of White Tea
White tea has many health benefits apart from the ones mentioned above –
3.1) White Tea Provides Good Hair Health
An antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate found in white tea helps enhance hair growth and prevent early hair loss.
Research also shows ECGG treats bacteria caused by scalp skin diseases that are not curable commonly.
3.2) White Tea Helps with Digestion
If someone is suffering from stomach cramps, nausea, and constipation, a cup of white tea can come to the rescue.
It can provide a source of natural detoxification needed for the body from time to time.
3.3) White Tea Helps During Pregnancy
The Antioxidant properties of white tea offer cell protection from the oxidative damage that occurs during pregnancy, as found in studies.
However, the caffeine in white tea might raise a cause of concern, even if in less amount, as it is associated with many congenital disabilities, stillbirths, and miscarriages.
Research has also found that white tea leaves or extracts can improve male reproductive health upon consumption.
3.4) White Tea Benefits Kidneys and Liver Health
A healthy lifestyle is ensured with white tea as studies show it reduces the harmful environmental pollution impacts on the body, specifically the kidneys.
Animal studies also indicate the catechins present in white tea might treat kidney stones in humans.
The same catechins have also been proved to treat and prevent hepatitis B through antiviral effects as found through research. However, they can also be toxic to the liver, so caution is advised.
4) What Are the Side Effects of White Tea?
Even though white tea benefits make it a good choice of beverage, there are also risks that one needs to be aware of –
- Even though it has less caffeine, the brewed tea comes from young leaves in higher quantities, which can cause defects like nervousness, insomnia, agitation, and dizziness. However, one can prevent this by boiling the waterless and brewing briefly so scalding the leaves can be avoided producing less caffeine. Steeping the leaves for two or three drinks like the Chines can also help with the same.
- If one wishes to increase their white tea intake, it can also cause gastrointestinal troubles that need to be checked.
- Although the flavonoids in the tea are beneficial, they can inhibit iron absorption in the body, so doctors can suggest taking it before meals or with iron supplements.
- If the topical application of white tea causes any skin irritation, it is best to get it checked.
Let’s see how white tea compares to other teas with side effects like these.
4.1) Green Tea Vs. White
Green Tea has several origins in places from Japan to Kenya, harvesting seasons from Spring to autumn, and different leaf types compared to white.
The Oxidation process of green tea involves baking, pan firing, and steaming, after which the leaves are shaped and rolled, unlike the white, which has two processes – Withering and drying.
Although green tea is similar to white in many benefits, white has the highest concentration of catechins, making it the healthiest tea.
While both have varied flavors, green tea can also taste bittersweet, unlike white.
4.2) Black Tea Vs. White
Black Tea also has varied origins and taste profiles, from Assam to Darjeeling.
The main difference between both the teas is how the leaves are treated once picked – In black, they are dried and bruised or ground to allow full oxidization, which gives them a dark color and strong flavor.
Black tea is considered less healthy when compared with the other two teas; it has a more earthy, woody, and stronger taste profile.
5) How To Prepare White Tea?
Although brewing a cup of tea might depend on the brand and temperatures, there are some general tips one can follow –
- Some white varieties can be brewed longer and in hotter temperatures than the green ones. A standard measure would be 190 degrees for 3-5 minutes.
- Make sure not to over steep as a bitter taste can occur. You can always taste and check.
- If specific instructions are not given, it is safe to use two grams of loose-leaf tea per 8 oz. of water.
- Make sure to use fresh and cold filtered water while brewing.
- Cover the tea while it brews; you can steep it multiple times as it has a high quality.
It is best to enjoy a cup of plain white tea as it brings out the most subtle and delicate flavor.
If you wish to store the tea, place it in a cool and dark place within an airtight and opaque container. Keeping it aloof is advised so that the flavor remains untouched. For more tips, click here.
To read more interesting articles on teas, click here.