A study by University College London (Oct. 2006) revealed that people who drank tea after stressful events were able to de-stress more quickly than those who did not drink tea. The researchers discovered that black tea lowers the levels of cortisol, a harmful stress hormone, by a significant average of 47 percent. No distinction was referenced between decafinated or catinated tea.

Tea is chemically complex—containing catechins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and amino acids, and so far it is not known whether it is a single substance or the synergistic interplay of all its components that are responsible for black tea’s health promoting effects. More studies are planned.

Professor Andrew Steptoe at UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health states that although drinking tea has traditionally been associated with relaxation, scientific evidence for the stress-relieving effects of black tea has been limited. This is one of the first studies to assess tea in a double blind placebo study whereby the participants did not know whether they were drinking tea, or just a tea-like beverage.

As a black or green tea drinker exclusively instead of coffee my entire life, I can attest to a natural ‘craving’ for tea when I am feeling stressed or need a pick-up in the late afternoon. This ‘natural’ gravitation to drinking tea in the late afternoon coincides with the British and many Europeans having tea time at 4:00 p.m or the Chinese and Japanese drinking tea with lunch and dinner. This practice may have started with their ‘natural’ craving for tea when feeling stressed or when needing a pick-up and it then became a national ritual. According to this research—not ironically done in London—it has proven what has been known for centuries—black tea has a calming effect.

Article written by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD. To view the original post, click here.
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