Oolong tea is made from the leaves and buds of the same trees that are also used to make black and green tea. The difference exists in the processing. Oolong is partially fermented, while black tea is fully fermented, and green tea is unfermented. According to Chinese medicine, because of different processing methods, Oolong tea has a higher level of polyphenols, which leads to a fresher flavor, a greener color as well as some unique benefits.
First, Oolong helps prevent tooth decay. People in southern China have a cup of Oolong after meals to fight bad breath and protect their teeth. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria creates acid which is fermented from food and eventually leads to tooth decay. The polyphenols in Oolong tea help clean your teeth and get rid of the harmful substances. According to some studies, mice that were fed food rich in polyphenols, were less likely to suffer from tooth decay.
Second, Oolong tea helps protect your skin. The polyphenols can decompose the active oxygen within your skin, preventing wrinkles as well as other skin problems. The active oxygen is created by our bodies due to exposure to ultraviolet, smoking, stress and fatty food. When the oxygen reacts to fat and creates oxidized fat, a series of skin problems appear. Oolong helps prevent and eliminate this, as it is rich in Vitamin C, which can brighten the skin and improve skin elasticity.
Third, Oolong tea helps improve allergic dermatitis. According to some studies, among those who have skin dermatitis, the majority of them have an allergic one. However, the causes of it still remain unknown. Oolong tea helps relieve the symptoms. Several years ago, 121 patients with the allergic dermatitis participated in a study; first they were given various anti-allergy medications, which gave no relief. Once they started to drink 400ml of concentrated Oolong tea everyday most patients began to see a difference. One year later, 78 (64%) of them had seen significant improvement.
Fourth, Oolong tea helps with weight loss. In fact, most tea helps reduce weight. One thing has to be cleared, tea itself can’t decompose fat, but it can help accelerate fat burning. A study was conducted among 102 obese people. They drank 300ml Oolong twice a day and cut off all other weight control methods. Six weeks later, their total fat percentage, including blood fat and subcutaneous fat, dropped substantially.
Fifth, Oolong tea helps relieve diseases cause by aging. As mentioned, Oolong helps decrease the blood fat, which sees benefits in hyperlinpemia and hypertension. A study conducted in 1994 showed that among 68 participators, 75% of them had lower blood pressure after drinking Oolong for a period of time. It is widely believed in China amongst medical researchers that polyphenols helps the immune system and may even help prevent cancer.
Sixth, Oolong can enhance brain functions and help reduce stress. It contains caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system, and theophylline, which helps your brain just like caffeine does.
Though Oolong tea has many benefits, an improper drinking habit may ruin them. Here are some taboos. First, don’t drink tea with an empty stomach. The polyphenols in Oolong will stimulate your stomach and lead to headaches, vomiting or hunger. Second, just like coffee, the caffeine in tea keeps us awake. If you’re having trouble sleeping, please don’t drink any after 9 pm.
Please make sure that you drink enough – 1,000 mL per day is the recommended amount according to some experts. The nutrients Oolong provides won’t be beneficial if chugged down. One cup before and after a meal is ideal.