When your mother says you are the smartest kid at college, you should feel good about your mother loving you. But the fact remains you probably are not the smartest kid on campus. Some endorsements simply are more meaningful than others.
The resounding vote of confidence in September that a university professor gave Chinese tea as a health enhancer could hardly be more meaningful.
Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg is a professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of its antioxidants research laboratory. Emerging from a U.S. Department of Agriculture conference on tea, Blumberg was quoted as follows:
“There is now an overwhelming body of research from around the world indicating that drinking tea can enhance human health. The many bioactive compounds in tea appear to impact virtually every cell in the body to help improve health outcomes, which is why the consensus emerging from this symposium is that drinking at least a cup of green, black, white or oolong tea a day can contribute significantly to the promotion of public health.”
Blumberg’s broad declaration summarized several independent reports from nutritional study projects done around the globe and introduced at the conference. From Italy came scientific confirmation that black tea can reduce blood pressure. From the Netherlands came news that fat oxidation increased when studied subjects consumed green tea. From Texas came a report that postmenopausal women with low bone mass achieved improved bone health and muscle strength from consuming green tea extract.
These are not legends from Yunnan Province or self-promotional ads by Chinese tea companies. These are reports from respected researchers who were out to prove or disprove the validity of the oft-repeated claims of Chinese tea health benefits. The consensus of the scientists at the conference was that the claims are valid: Tea drinkers are correct to buy Chinese tea in the expectation of improving their health.
Organic Chinese tea is the queen of the tea industry. It did not become such because of a massive marketing campaign by successive Chinese dynasties over the last few thousand years. Chinese tea became a staple drink in ancient China—and now around the world—because keen observers noted through the years that Chinese tea in a diet added to the vigor, longevity, and all-around wellness of those who consumed it.
“Hey, it’s not only good… it’s good for us!” a tea drinker must have exclaimed at some obscure moment in China’s ancient history, thus setting on a roll the oral tradition about healthful tea that continues to gain momentum in the 21st century. Today, modern observers who wear white coats and tinker with glass tubes and computer printouts are exclaiming it in press conferences.
What this means to people desiring healthful drinks is that organic Chinese tea is worth a serious look, and perhaps a sip. It certainly is worth telling mother about.