white tea white tea

Nature’s Medicine: 10 Therapeutic Benefits of 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.

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 can 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 with 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 Silver Needle Tea and has 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 Fujian White Teas’s, 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 flavors.

1) Healthy Properties of White Tea

a cup of tea
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White tea benefits mainly stem from the cultivation process of the plant till we get a brewed cup, which holds several positives –

1.1) White Tea Has Antioxidant Properties

The polyphenols called catechins present in white tea are plant-based molecules that are antioxidants that protect the cells from damage by free radicals.

This prevents aging1, boosts cardiovascular health2, lowers cholesterol3, helps weight loss, protects the immune system, and contains other harmful diseases.

Studies have shown that the benefits of white tea include protection against hydrogen peroxide and reducing inflammation resulting from free radicals in human skin cells4.

This can also be considered one of the most effective 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 that 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 the rest of the organs.

Animal studies have shown that white tea’s benefits include muscle recovery and prevention of muscle damage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis can be prevented with these properties of White Tea, which can help curb inflammation, joint damage, and some general aches and pains caused by this condition.

2) Health Benefits of White Tea

White Tea Health Benefits

2.1) Good Heart Health

Heart Disease can depend on several factors like diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits linked to chronic inflammation5.

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.

It also 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.

  • White tea boosts metabolism by 4-5%, which helps burn 70 to 100 calories daily.
  • 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?

Lipolysis is a process that helps burn fat cells in the body, 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) Preventing Tooth Decay

tooth decay
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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 prevent 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’s 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) Preventing Insulin Resistance

Insulin is an important hormone that helps move nutrients within the body. 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 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 polydipsia or excessive thirst symptoms, decreasing plasma glucose levels and increasing insulin secretion.

Although animal studies exist in this regard, more research on humans must be conducted to test whether it is one of the benefits. 

2.6) White Tea Protects Against Osteoporosis

osteoporosis
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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.

Research has shown that white tea catechins can fight these cells, and studies also show that this tea had loads of these compared to the rest.

2.7) White Tea Protects Skin Health

White Tea Properties For The Skin | White Tea Health Benefits

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.

White tea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties 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 troubled skin spots to speed up healing.

Here is a list of options that you can try out.

2.8) White Tea Helps with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease

What are Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's?

White tea benefits include lowering the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s that affect 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, Focused, And Alert

White tea has more concentration of L-theanine than green tea or black tea, which prevents existing stimuli in the brain from 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.

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 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
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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 that ECGG treats bacteria caused by scalp skin diseases that are not commonly curable.

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

Pregnancy
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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 smaller amounts, as it is associated with many congenital disabilities, stillbirths, and miscarriages.

Research has also found that consuming white tea leaves or extracts can improve male reproductive health.

3.4) Kidneys and Liver Health

A healthy lifestyle is ensured with white tea as 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 proven 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 makes 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 water and brewing briefly to avoid scalding the leaves, producing less caffeine. Steeping the leaves for two or three drinks like the Chinese can also help.
  • If one wishes to increase their white tea intake, it can also cause gastrointestinal troubles that must be checked.
  • Although the flavonoids in the tea are beneficial, they can inhibit iron absorption in the body, so doctors can suggest taking them before meals or with iron supplements.
  • If the topical application of white tea causes 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
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Green Tea has several origins in places from Japan to Kenya, with 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
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Black Tea also has varied origins and taste profiles, from Assam to Darjeeling.

The main difference between both 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 –

  1. 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.
  2. Make sure not to over-steep as a bitter taste can occur. You can always taste and check.
  3. If specific instructions are not given, using two grams of loose-leaf tea per 8 oz. of water is safe.
  4. Make sure to use fresh and cold filtered water while brewing.
  5. Cover the tea while it brews; you can steep it multiple times as it is high quality.

Enjoying a cup of plain white tea is best as it brings out the most subtle and delicate flavor.

If you wish to store the tea, place it in a cool, dark place in an airtight, opaque container. Keeping it aloof is advised so that the flavor remains untouched.

  1. Harman, Denham. “Aging: overview.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 928.1 (2001): 1-21. ↩︎
  2. Myers, Jonathan. “Exercise and cardiovascular health.” Circulation 107.1 (2003): e2-e5. ↩︎
  3. Simons, Kai, and Elina Ikonen. “How cells handle cholesterol.” Science 290.5497 (2000): 1721-1726. ↩︎
  4. Hamel, Rodolphe, et al. “Biology of Zika virus infection in human skin cells.” Journal of virology 89.17 (2015): 8880-8896. ↩︎
  5. Ospelt, Caroline, and Steffen Gay. “TLRs and chronic inflammation.” The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 42.4 (2010): 495-505. ↩︎

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Namita Soren

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