Bottoms up: These exotic teas deliver a wealth of health benefits PermalinkWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Sunday, October 13th, 2013

You know tea is good for you, but do you know just how good? Fall is here and a warm mug with a leafy brew is one of our favorite ways to keep warm. Rather than reaching for our traditional favorites, we’re looking forward to adding one of these exotic options to our mourning routine. Check out the outstanding health benefits and maybe you’ll be inspired to do the same.


The scoop: Though pu’erh tastes like back tea, it’s actually in a category all its own. The tea leaves are pickled, processed and fermented in underground caves which contributes to its astounding health benefits.  The tea is often suggested for coffee drinkers looking to break the habit due its rich flavor which like a fine wine gets better with time. In fact, pu’erh  teas can be prized with some dating back more than 50 years.

Health benefits: Pu’erh has been consumed in China for hundreds a years for its health benefits among them, increasing circulation and aiding digestion after a heavy meal. Studies have shown, that drinking 3-4 cups of Pu’erh daily can also have significant effects on lowing cholesterol. In one study conducted at the Wun-Shan Branch Tea Research and Extension Station in Taipei, Taiwan.  Rats fed cooked pu’erh tea leaves had an increase of HDL-C (good cholesterol) and a decrease in LDL-C (bad cholesterol).

The scoop: The neem tree, which is native to India, is known for its pesticide, germicide and medicinal properties. Though the tree is toxic to insects, it’s healing for humans. Traditionally, bark or ground leaves from the tree is blended with other balancing herbs to make Ayruvedic tea. In the States, you may also see neem blended with black tea. Though the tea can been consumed on its own, its bitter flavor makes it unpalatable for many.

Health benefits: In Ayurveda, Neem is used to treat respiratory issues including cough, colds and allergies. According to the Neem Foundation, clinical trials show the tea is a safe complimentary treatment for cancer since the tea can be used to ease stomach discomfort and nausea.

The scoop: Known as the “miracle tree,” all parts of this Southeast Asian plant including its fruit and even roots are used to make medicine. Moringa has been relied on for centuries to treat arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, fluid retention and more. Dr. Oz even promoted Morniga for helping to boost energy. Because Moringa can grow in many climates and is rich in nutrients, it’s an important food source around the world.

Health benefits: Moringa leaves are rich in the antioxidant EGCG, which is known to lower cholesterol, as well as vitamins A&C, calcium, potassium, iron and protein. Regularly drinking Moringa tea is associated with boosting energy and mental clarity. Consider it as a better-for-you swap for your morning cup of coffee.

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