Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is All the “To Do” About Tea?

The history around tea is vast and spans centuries. Tea was often used as a “currency” for trade and has been bartered for centuries.
Where does it all begin? Who thought up the idea of brewing tea leaves? It was a happy accident! According to legend, in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. The tree was a Camellia sinensis, and the resulting drink was what we now call tea.
What is your favorite tea? Do you know how it is harvested, how it is grown or what beneficial properties it has?
Many different types of tea, such as white tea, green tea, yellow tea, black tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea, all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. (Do you recognize this from the history?)  The type of tea produced from this plant depends entirely on the way the leaves are processed after harvesting.
Tea “rituals” abound throughout the world. The British Empire long thought that the sun would never set on all the lands it controlled. The English were big tea fans and the love of drinking tea is well established and practiced because they traversed the world and left their tea legacy in many different countries.
It is common in countries that have British influence to routinely brew tea. A visitor to one’s home is immediately made welcome by the homeowner starting the tea and setting out biscuits to enjoy together.
The medicinal qualities of tea are also well known. Can’t sleep? Brew Chamomile tea. Upset stomach? Brew Peppermint or Ginger tea. The list for this goes on far too long for this article.  You can go to WebMD for further research to find a tea that helps you heal and feel good.
Well, I am off to brew some Sleepytime tea so I can sleep well and wake up refreshed. How about you? Care to join me in some delicious tea and good sleep?  
Written by Dr. Stephanie Stanfield who has a private practice in Glenwood Springs and enjoys drinking tea with her friends. You can find Dr. Steph at and on her weekly podcast at Blogtalk Radio.