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Video: Camellia Sinensis - A Magical Caffeine Plant
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
Known for millennia, the Camellia sinensis plant is one of the best known and most used in everyday life. Also called "tea tree", it is used to make green tea, black tea and white tea. Did you know that even matcha tea, known as the “elixir of long life”, is made from this unique plant? The tea plant is really versatile thanks to its many therapeutic properties. Today, we present you some, as well as advice for use.
Some interesting facts about the Camellia sinensis plant
Camellia sinensis is native to the Far East. The plant is in the form of a tree or shrub with elongated leaves. They are shiny and dark green in color. As for the flowers, their color varies from white to light yellow. There are two natural varieties of Camellia sinensis used in cultivation: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis var. assamica. The main producer of culture is China, but others also export it: India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The benefits of Camellia sinensis
Either as a drink or as a remedy, the infusion of tea tree leaves is at the origin of the most consumed potion in the world after water. Nowadays, one of the main virtues of the plant is its role as a super slimming aid. Camellia tea is an excellent detox drink, thanks to the catechins it contains. This substance lowers LDL cholesterol and reduces body fat.
The various Camellia teas also contain caffeine. The effect of this chemical compound which improves cognitive performance is well known. So, if you have trouble concentrating in the office, cool off with a cup of green, white or black tea. You will find more details in our article which describes the effect of caffeine on the body.
Camellia sinensis also contains polyphenols which are a source of antioxidants. The significant presence of vitamins C, K, E, B and minerals: fluorine, manganese and nickel, makes this mother plant of several teas a super energizing and healthy drink. Never hesitate to taste a tea, hot or cold, from the Camellia family which is the perfect substitute for coffee.
How to use the tea plant?
Camellia Sinensis can be consumed as an infusion or as capsules. If you prefer tea, go for a loose amount and not in a bag. It is advisable to use hot water (around 70 °), not boiling, in order to preserve its nutritional qualities. To experience the beneficial effects of tea on cancer prevention or weight loss, consume at least 3 cups of tea per day. Non-oxidized tea leaves are used in herbal medicine to treat overweight, fatigue or water retention.
Does the consumption of Camellia sinensis have any contraindications?
Due to its caffeine content, the consumption of Camellia sinensis is not recommended for children and pregnant women. Avoid drinking green, black or white tea if you have trouble sleeping, cardiac arrhythmia, or high blood pressure. According to the concept called Food Synergy, you should not consume the plant in question during meals. The reason is that the flavonoids in Camellia sinensis reduce the absorption of iron. So, this is important information for people with anemia who should take it while alternating snacks.
What is the difference between green tea, black tea and white tea?
Black tea is a variety, produced from the Camellia sinensis plant which undergoes complete oxidation. It is done according to two methods: the "orthodox method" and the "CTC" which take years. It is a fermentation process which increases the theine content and allows it to be stored well. Black tea, the most famous in the world, is the English breakfast.
Green tea is not oxidized at all. That is to say, it does not go through the fermentation phase. The natural oxidation is quickly stopped after picking, by putting the leaves in a large basin on the fire or by passing them under jets of steam. This way the antioxidants are well preserved.
White tea is very rare and for this reason it is more expensive. About 12% oxidized, it is composed exclusively of buds or very young leaves, which gives it the whitish color. Thanks to its fruity taste, white tea is refreshing and is mainly drunk in summer to quench your thirst.
There are still a few types of tea, made from this Chinese plant, such as yellow tea, oolong tea (also called wulong) and aged tea (pu-erh). The first is in fact a very high quality green tea which undergoes a post-enzymatic fermentation. It is done immediately after harvest. Wulong tea is semi-oxidized with a stronger aroma. Aged tea occurs from the variety Camellia sinensis var. assamica and represents a black tea that ferments with the help of bacteria and fungi for several years.