What's Healthy About Tea? - A 5000 Year-Old Medicine

Rewriting the book, "The Everything Healthy Tea Book"

Tea Has Been Used as a Medicine for 5000 Years

Our focus on true tea, Camellia sinensis, reminds us that this is an historic plant with a long history as a medicinal. This is a history based on legend and oral history as well as the origins of all organized medicine – Traditional Chinese Medicine. And Traditional Chinese Medicine, notably, is still practiced today with few changes from it’s start.

One of the most recognized legends of tea as a medicinal plant is that of of China’s “Divine Healer,” Emperor Shen Nong, who lived 5,000 years ago in 2735 BCE. He is credited with traveling throughout his realm in China, educating his people and also with discovering and categorizing hundreds of healing herbs. (Shen Nong’s story is told in Chapter 2 of The Everything Healthy Tea Book.)

“Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage” are the first words of The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, published in 1906 and considered one of the classic books on the subject of the little green leaf. For centuries, tea has been valued for its healthful qualities and enjoyed as a versatile beverage.  Read our online version of Okakura’s, “The Book of Tea”i

In the last few decades has scientific medical research begun to examine the effects of tea on the human body. Results are beginning to confirm these health benefits, and the popular media is regularly filled with affirmations that this ancient history is, for the most part, true.

Tea Is Often Called “The 2nd Most Popular Beverage In The World”

I’ve never known anyone who was convinced to switch from coffee or sodas to tea simply because of its worldwide popularity. But I do know devoted tea lovers who take pride in knowing that they share this lifestyle with people on every part of the globe. And this is no small realization – suddenly becoming aware of the size and scope of our international tea community. This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about calling our network a Tea Community and dedicate the work of ITSS to promoting our connections in the most meaningful possible way.

We Tea Sippers share a combination of the history and cultural traditions that spa the globe. The growing statistics about the huge volume of tea that is produced and consumed remind us that we have chosen a popular and fascinating lifestyle. And we are now joined by scientific medical research to explore the benefits of tea on the human body and in the environment. Results are beginning to confirm these health benefits, and the popular media is regularly filled with affirmations that this ancient history is, for the most part, true. Additionally, as our community finds new ways to communicate – such as our ITSS community – we discover a shared concern for the welfare of all who work to share tea from the field to the cup.

What’s Healthy About Tea – INDEX

INTRODUCTORY MATERIAL

  • Babette’s Personal Welcome
  • Book Introduction
  • Busting Ten Top Tea Myths

CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS TEA?

  • A 5000 Year Old Medicine
  • The Second Most Popular Beverage
  • Camellia sinensis – True Tea
  • Six Kinds of Tea – Only One Plant
  • From The Leaf To The Cup
  • Harvesting Tea