Is wild grown tea poisoned and drinkable?

Recently, with the popularity of the wild tea market, many people blindly pursue the concept of “wild” when purchasing Pu-erh tea. All the labeled wild tea in the market is relatively expensive, which is irrational behavior. In order to give reader a clear view on wild tea, author has read many research and gained preliminary understanding about wild tea. Here, it will summarize what was learnt to save you some money on purchasing wild tea.

Wild tea and cultivated tea are different definitions based on the different characteristics of tea tree and their growing environment. Thus, if you try to understand and explain in terms of tea taxonomic, “wild tea” is not tea, which is not people have been drinking for thousand years. It has not go through the domestication process, some of which might be poisoned. According to the record, in 1973, there was one batch of tea produced in Yunnan that was sold to Tibet. Because there was wild tea inside, some residents in Tibet has suffered from adverse symptoms after consuming the tea, such as unstable blood pressure, dizziness, diarrhea and others. This indicates that the wild tea contains some substances, which are not good for the human body. In the ancient tea growing area, such as Xishuanbanna, they have no history of drinking wild tea and they do not drink wild tea even now. Therefore, we can’t assume all the wild tea is drinkable because there is small amount of wild tea can be drink. Wild tea has two important values: firstly, they are one of the feasible evidences of Yunnan as the place of origin for tea; Secondly, wild tea is a valuable resource that should be protected for research in genetic factors in the breeding of tea. Some tea vendors are pushing to promote the “wild tea”, causing the over-harvesting of the wild tea. This is indeed a damage to the wild tea resources.

Former director of Yunnan Tea Research Center, Zhang Shungao says, the so-called wild tea is the tea species that existed in the natural forests and the natural forests were developed. They are undomesticated, not yet largely utilized tea tree. The tea has been drink for thousand years, are called “Camelliaslnensis(L)OKtze”, recognized worldwide. There are 37 species of the tea in the tea group. Currently, the tea cultivated by different countries is one species of tea. Its stained body mostly is diploid (2n=30). Scientifically speaking, “wild tea” is a close related Camellia sinensis plant that is outside the tea group, who hasn’t yet been cultivated. They are not the tea widely used and consumed by human beings. Whether we can continue drink them, need to be further verified.

The popularity of the wild tea, in fact, is the representation of the pursue of nature, health and no pollution of modern people. However, the aimless pursue gives the ruthless businessman the opportunities to disturb the health growth of the Pu-erh tea market. From a scientific perspective, the true “wild tea” is not drinkable, might be poisoned. Only the cultivated tea can be drink safely. So, we have to get out the misunderstanding that wild is better. As long as the tea is ecological tea, the quality is good. The true ancient tea tree is mostly cultivated tea tree left for many years. The quality of the tree is mainly depended on the climate, altitude and soil condition. The wild tea might be poisoned; you have to be cautious when purchasing them.

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