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Pu-erh is nothing but an aged, fermented tea tracing its origins from the Yunnan province in China. The aspect that makes Pu-erh tea unique is that it’s made from a natural fermentation process. This process oxidizes the plant’s leaves, thereby enhancing its antioxidant benefits.
This even plays a role in enhancing the tea’s distinct flavor, texture, and aroma. Given the fact that Pu-erh has a robust, earthy base, its taste develops over time. In other words, the longer it’s stored, the better it tastes.
Let’s delve more into how Pu-erh works, what are the benefits of consuming it daily, and how you can prepare it to extract the best out of it.
What are the benefits of Pu-erh?
1. Regulation of blood sugar:
Consuming Pu-erh regularly can help regulate blood sugar, especially when the glucose levels to tend to rise post a meal. This is quite a major advantage if you’re looking to prevent diabetes or to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
2. Catalysing weight loss:
It enhances digestion and promotes the wellbeing of the gut biota which, in turn, induces metabolism. A speedy metabolism is a primary requirement to help catalyse weight loss in the long run.
3. Antioxidative, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties:
The antioxidants in Pu-erh help prevent the formation of free radicals which contribute to premature aging in the long run. Antibacterial properties help address bacterial infections in addition to the harmful ones like E. coli.
Redness, swelling, and bacterial infections need to be treated with anti-inflammatory properties which are present in abundance in Pu-erh.
4. Regulates circadian rhythm:
Pu-erh is closely involved in promoting melatonin production that helps one drift peacefully into sleep. In addition to that, it soothes anxiety levels which helps improve your sleep quality despite containing caffeine in minimal amounts.
5. Decreases cholesterol levels:
Not only does it reduce high cholesterol levels but it also brings down the possibility of cardiovascular disorders in the long run.
6. Promotes bone health:
The positive effect that Pu-erh has on oxidative stress and inflammation on one’s bone health. This, in turn, helps prevent bone conditions like brittleness, osteoporosis, soft bones, and frequent fractures.
7. Addresses stress levels:
GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, present in Pu-erh promotes relaxation by reducing anxiety and stress levels. It does so by regulating and protecting the nervous system in the long run. This even aids in regulating the sleep cycle and, hence, decreases anxiety and stress.
8. Prevents photo-aging:
Photo-ageing is nothing but catalysing aging due to overexposure to the sun’s rays. Consuming about 1-2 cups of Pu-erh daily has been known to act as an exfoliator and a natural sunscreen to prevent and address photo-aging.
9. Detoxifying the system:
Pu-erh helps in eliminating toxins from your body thereby freeing your system from any infections that might occur. Consuming about 2 cups a day of Pu-erh can have a cleansing effect on your system in due course of time.
10. Anti-cancerous effects:
Some studies show that Pu-erh can depict anti-cancerous effects as well. In other words, Pu-erh inhibits the growth of tumor cells that helps in addressing cancer in the long run.
How can you prepare Pu-erh tea?
Ideally speaking, a standard recipe for Pu-erh tea needs about 3-4 grams of tea leaves per every cup of water. You can increase or decrease this amount based on how strong you like your tea to be.
Commercialised tea is also available in a bottled form in the refrigerated section of grocery stores. It is also available in easy-to-use tea bags or in the form of cake of compressed teas. Moreover, tablets of Pu-erh tea, or capsules, can be taken that dissolve directly under the tongue.
If you choose to prepare your Pu-erh tea using tea leaves or tea powder, follow these steps:
- Place the leaves in a teapot strainer
- Over this, pour freshly boiled water so that the leaves are immersed and swirl it around for a while. This extracts the impurities of the tea leaves into the water.
- Discard this impure water so that your leaves are now available for preparing tea with.
- Fill this teapot with more freshly boiled water and allow the tea leaves to soak in it for a bit. During this period, the flavor and aroma of the tea leaves will seep into the water.
- Allow this to simmer for about 3-4 minutes. After this, strain out the leaves, pour yourself a cup of this tea, and enjoy!
This best advantage is that you can reuse these tea leaves at least thrice before you discard them. Pu-erh contains about 60-70 mg Pu-erh tea usually contains 60 to 70 milligrams of caffeine per every cup of Pu-erh. It is important to note that most of this caffeine will seep into the first pot of tea.
When you go ahead with making a second or a third pot with the same set of tea leaves, chances are that the tea will contain lesser and lesser caffeine each time.
What are the probable risks associated with Pu-erh?
Pu-erh tea is generally considered quite safe for consumption for sets of healthy people. In most cases, people can safely consume as much as 5 cups every day without falling prey to any sort of side effects. Having said that, any side effects that may arise with the consumption of Pu-erh is usually due to its caffeine content.
This is why pregnant and lactating women must avoid consuming 5 cups but instead must limit their intake to 2 cups each day. Children must also live on a controlled Pu-erh intake to stay on the safer side. For best results, it is important to talk to your doctor with regards to your recommended caffeine consumption especially in cases of:
- anxiety disorder
- bleeding disorder
- heart condition
- irritable bowel syndrome
- high blood pressure
- weak bones (osteoporosis)
You should also check with your doctor before drinking Pu-erh tea if you’re taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Some of the more common medications that may cause interactions include:
- psychotic drugs
- medications for cardiovascular conditions
- medications for COPD
- medications for diabetes
- medications for high blood pressure
Pu-erh tea also contains fluorine in considerable amounts. If consumed excessively, it may lead to fluorosis. Hence, make sure you keep your Pu-erh intake limited to only 5 cups a day maximum.
Summing it up:
Pu-erh is full of health benefits as is evident from the claims and researches conducted. However, the trick is to consume it daily and be consistent with it so as to extract the best out of it. Pu-erh cannot replace your medical treatment.
It can, however, catalyse your recovery and stand in the way of probable disorders by influencing your lifestyle for the best. All you need to do is be regular with its consumption along with keeping your medications in line with it. Very soon, you’ll be reaping the miraculous benefits of Pu-erh over a due course of time.