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Archives for the ‘Tea Health News’ Category

Urban Tea Legends!

Legend is that tea began in ancient China 5,000 years ago. Shen Nung, a Chinese emperor issued an edict requiring that drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One summer day some dried leaves from a bush fell into a pot of boiling water at the palace, and tea was created. Certainly sounds plausible…but 5,000 years later can you believe the urban legends about tea going around?

We’ve all heard some urban legends (no, not Keith Urban!), those sometimes plausible-sounding but false stories on your e-mail and all across the web. Well, there are several tea urban legends too, like on hot summer days you can cool off with hot tea — it makes sweat, cooling your skin. But it’s not so. For one reason the heat lost by sweating and evaporation on the skin is exceeded by the heat gained by the hot drink.

Another urban tea legend is that tea is a diuretic, which does not have to be true. Tea does not have a diuretic effect due to caffeine unless the amount of tea consumed at one sitting is more than 250–300 mg caffeine, or between five and six cups. In fact, the British Dietetic Association advises that “Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink.” And the popular belief is that water is the best for hydration, but tea has additional positive benefits over water.

And the myth that tea contains as much or more caffeine than coffee? It’s the contrary; according to the American Dietetic Association, a cup of tea averages 40 mg of caffeine, compared to 85 plus mg found in a cup of brewed coffee. So enjoy that cup of tea, it’s refreshing and healthful, and that’s no legend.

Rachael Ray Drinks Oolong and Thinks You Should, Too!

It should come as no surprise that Rachael Ray may lose her voice from time to time. After all, the recently turned 40-year-old celebrity has her own talk show. After a doctor’s visit she learned that she had damaged her vocal cords. What’s her cure? In addition to some other treatments, “she has been…downing herbal tea”.

Rachael Ray
Photo Courtesy of

However that’s not the only reason she drinks tea. She has used her talk show as a platform to rave about new research linking oolong tea to weight loss. She admitted to drinking oolong everyday in a successful effort to shed some pounds. According to the Journal of Nutrition, a study performed showed that “oolong tea stimulated energy expenditure and fat oxidation”. They do however note that these results were based on the chronic consumption of tea and a normal diet. Oolong tea has even been associated with possibly increasing longevity. Want to try for yourself? Get your own oolong today!

Last Call…for Tea

Not only does tea improve concentration, counteract chronic dry mouth, and counteract symptoms associated with a myriad of far more serious health problems facing individuals, a few London pubs have turned to tea to help calm the masses at closing time.

Bars in London will give away free tea to help subdue patrons at last call, and “stagger the closing time surge for cabs home.” Herbal tea is known for its calming effects, and the addition of tea to one’s diet can help with head and stomach aches. Perhaps the late night pub-goers would benefit from a cup or two in the morning as well, especially after all the holiday parties.

Hibiscus: More than just a pretty flower

Hibiscus has been used for a long time by many different cultures for various reasons. According to Wikipedia, “Hibiscus, especially white hibiscus, is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots make various concoctions believed to cure various ailments” and has been used by the Mexicans for people “with kidney problems [; they] often take it without adding sugar for its beneficial properties and as a natural diuretic.” Natives from Okinawa are known to associate hibiscus tea with longevity and the hibiscus flower is used in nearly all traditional dances in Hawaii.

Beyond simply having a pleasant flavor, teas with added hibiscus can offer a vast array of health benefits. When hibiscus is grouped together with other ingredients blended into the tea itself, it creates a concoction that is beneficial on various different levels, all of them delicious and good for you. For example, green tea has been known to have an incredible array of health benefits as well as black tea. The blending of two or more of these ingredients only serves to make that cup in your hand that much more important.

Bigelow offers many different teas with hibiscus added. Can you guess which ones they are?

Cinnamon Apple Herbal Tea — which is a great choice for the holidays — All Natural Organic Moroccan Mint, and Organic Green Tea with Pomegranate are just a few.

For more answers to this frequently asked question: Which Bigelow herbal teas include hibiscus? go here.

How My Mother Dealt With Cancer Treatment Through a Healthy Diet

A little over a year ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the help of quick-working surgeons and a wonderful oncologist, she was able to have a lumpectomy 30 days after her original diagnosis and began her chemotherapy a few days before Christmas.

My mother is a very intelligent and strong woman. She knew that she was heading into some tougher times, but she knew those times would be dealt with much easier if she had the proper tools. Her massive support system was a huge aid, but she also found some helpful hints in A Dietitian’s Cancer Story. She had done a ton of reading, and had listened carefully to her oncologist regarding her diet and some things that she could do to keep her immune system strong and energy levels high. As it is constantly mentioned on this site, green tea is incredible (it’s even better when accompanied by a great antioxidant). The book seconded this and gave her a great recipe for a green tea shake, which she tried and loved. Throughout her chemotherapy, she drank a lot of tea to help boost her immune system. I can personally attest to the fact that it worked wonders.

After her chemotherapy, she had to go through radiation treatments. These treatments are notorious for draining your energy and producing a lot of fatigue if you don’t preemptively strike against that. Her doctor told her that ginseng works wonders for people going through radiation treatment. My mother took ginseng pills and drank ginseng tea a few times a week in an effort to counteract the fatigue she would get from her daily treatments. Very rarely did she ever experience any drop in energy due to her treatments and she was able to easily maintain her happy demeanor.

Overall, a combination of great doctors, great attitude, and a great diet helped her go through the invasive stage of her treatment fairly easy. She went into it scared, but very prepared and ready to take whatever came at her head on. Now that she has moved on past the extreme treatments and into the less invasive, she still continues her healthy diet and drinks a lot of tea to continue to boost her immune system as the cold season bears down on us. It also helps to have a son who writes for a tea blog and provides her with the wealth of knowledge this place has to offer.

Ross Hammond, Bigelow Tea supporter and blog writer

Green Tea Helps Battle Leukemia

Science Daily reported Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that a component in green tea helps kill cells of the most common leukemia in the United States. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL is a type of Leukemia in which lymphocytes in the bone marrow generate too many white blood cells invading the blood stream. It is a progressive cancer affecting older adults. The research using laboratory cell cultures showed that a component of green tea known as EGCG helped eliminate leukemia cells by blocking the communication signals they need to survive.

Leukemia cells beware…green tea is here!

Last month, we talked about tea’s positive effects on two other types of cancer: breast cancer and prostate cancer. And don’t forget about the many more reasons to drink tea.

Having Trouble Concentrating? More Tea Please.

Just like Oliver Twist in the Charles Dickens’ novel asking “Please, sir, I want some more,” you may want to pour yourself “some more”…tea. It seems practicing yoga isn’t the only way to heighten concentration…tea appears to improve concentration too. In yet another study, this time as reported by American Society for Nutrition in August 2008, new research has suggested that certain constituents of tea, namely L-theanine or caffeine, may have modulatory effects on brain state. We’ve spoken before about other research supporting tea’s positive impact on concentration in our entry “Tea Benefits Touted by USA Today”. Among these benefits were findings by neuroscientist John Foxe suggesting that people who drank tea were able to focus better than those who drank a placebo solution.

More promising news for those of us feeling a bit foggy…time for another cup of tea!

Win a Trip to our Charleston Tea Plantation, Tell Your Constant Comment® Story!

Do you ever catch yourself reminiscing about special moments over a cup of tea? At Bigelow Tea, we love hearing your stories. That’s why we want you to share your favorite “Constant Comment” tea story for a chance to win a trip to our very own Charleston Tea Plantation.

“Tell us your favorite ‘Constant Comment®’ tea” Contest

Orange rind and spice and everything nice!

By December 31, 2008, enter your story in the “Tell us your favorite ‘Constant Comment®’ tea” Contest. The stories that make us laugh or cry the hardest will win!

To All “Constant Comment” Tea Fans,

It is funny, everywhere I go, people like to tell me their favorite memory wrapped around drinking “Constant Comment” tea. The stories usually involve a person sitting around a table with a loved one and having a moment together while sharing a cup. Even the person’s body language changes when they start telling me about their past experience with this special tea. That is how we got the idea that it would be great to invite all of you to share with us your own “Constant Comment” story. Lets rekindle some of those warm moments in your past and bring back some of the beautiful heritage of this unique tea created by my grandmother in her kitchen.

Please enter our “Tell us your favorite ‘Constant Comment®’ tea” during November and December 2008. The stories that either makes everyone laugh or cry the hardest wins a wonderful trip to visit our Tea Plantation in Charleston South Carolina. So take a moment for yourself, sit back, reflect and tell us your favorite story around drinking a warm cup of “Constant Comment” Tea. Cheers to “Constant Comment”

With warmest regards,
Cindi Bigelow
President and Granddaughter of founder, Ruth Campbell Bigelow.

Contest Rules

  1. No purchase necessary.
  2. Stories must be original and unpublished. Must be the work of the contest entrant.
  3. 100-word minimum, 500-word maximum.
  4. Stories are to be emailed to and the story must be included in the body of the email. Stories sent as email attachments will not be accepted.
  5. You may enter multiple stories, but only one of your stories can be included among the winners.
  6. Story emails must be received by December 31st 2008.
  7. Contest open to legal residents of the United States. Employees and consultants of Bigelow Tea are not eligible.
  8. You agree to adhere to these rules and the judges decisions.
  9. Winners will be announced no later than 60 days after contest ends.
  10. Winners will be notified by email.
  11. Winning stories will be used without limitation on and/or
  12. Prizes are nontransferable.
  13. Void where prohibited. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

Green Tea May Relieve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s and Colitis

According to the article “Can Green Tea Help With Gastrointestinal Illnesses?” by Jon M. Stout, tea company chairman, the UK Tea Council has reported on a study concluding that green tea seems to calm the inflammation that accompanies inflammatory bowel disease and other gastrointestinal problems. The reason for this is believed to be because green tea’s antioxidants spend a lot of time in the intestinal tract, where they have proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect on this part of the body. The two major types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

IBD affects an estimated 600,000 Americans a year. Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and fever. Other symptoms of IBD include weight loss.

As stated previously, the goal of IBD treatment is to suppress inflammation…it’s promising to think green tea may do just that!

Green Tea Comes to the Rescue Again: Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The University of Maryland Medical Center offers green tea as a possible remedy to alleviate the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the nervous system, in which communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Its effects can range from relatively mild, in most cases, to somewhat disabling to devastating. Amazingly, the symptoms can mysteriously occur and then disappear. Worst case, a person with MS may be unable to write, speak or walk. About 350,000 Americans have MS, with onset in most cases occurring between 20–45 years of age.

MS is accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Weakness in motor skills and loss of muscle coordination
  • Tingling, numbness, dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Memory loss, problem-solving difficulties
  • Mood disturbances

Among a few suggested natural remedies, Green Tea makes the list.