The debate of whether coffee is healthy or not is one that won’t be decided anytime soon. While we won’t get into the specifics of why coffee may or may not be good for you, we will say that its purported health benefits are largely dependent on the type of coffee, how it’s prepared, and your individual biochemistry. Like with anything else, some people do fine with it in moderation, others cannot tolerate it at all. Because of its high caffeine content and the fact that it is often consumed with sugar, its addictive nature is what has caused its overuse to be problematic in the United States–and many holistic health practitioners recommend cutting back or eliminating coffee completely to overcome digestive issues and other inflammation-related health issues. For many, switching from coffee to tea is an excellent solution.

Benefits of switching from coffee to tea

Eastern healing traditions such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have always recognized the medicinal benefits of drinking tea. Western Medicine is starting to recognize this as well. More and more studies are finding that drinking several cups of the right kinds of tea on a daily basis can have cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, mental health, weight management, and skin-health advantages.
Most teas (except herbal) contain caffeine just like coffee, but in a much lower concentration. Some teas such as guayusa and yerba mate are naturally stimulating and energy boosting, in a way that’s easier on the stomach than coffee. While both coffee and tea contain tannins and oxalates–both of which can have negative health effects when consumed in excess–green and white tea contain lower amounts than black tea and coffee.
Teas (except herbal infusions, guayusa, rooibos, and mate), such as black, green, white, and oolong are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant.  The type (“color) of the tea depends on how mature the leaves were at the time of harvest, and how long they were fermented. What they have in common is that they all contain very high concentrations of polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins (strongest in green tea, but is also found in other types such as oolong, black, and white), which are antioxidants. They also contain theanine, an amino acid specific to tea, and vitamins and minerals.
Herbal teas which are not derived from this plant also have health benefits, but these benefits come directly from the fruits, herbs, and other ingredients from which they are made.

Tea for Your Skin

In aesthetics, we talk about how the skin reveals any disorder or imbalance that is happening inside the body. Thus, we treat the skin not only by applying antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients on the outside, but also by nourishing and detoxifying the body on the inside. The antioxidants and other components of tea do just that. We highly encourage people to take tea internally, AND use it topically.

Learn our favorite topical tea trends HERE and watch the replay of our Rooibos Tea for Radiant Skin webinar in our NAA Membership Webinar Library.

While all tea made from the camellia sinensis plant have noted antioxidant benefits, green tea is especially valuable, since it contains the highest amount of catechins. According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch,“catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties.” In addition, research shows that green tea when taken internally AND applied topically has both protective AND reparative effects against sun damage. While green tea is not a substitute for a broad spectrum sunscreen, it is an excellent addition to your overall sun protective regimen.

Choose loose tea over teabags.

Loose teas, whether they are from the tea plant or other plants, are less processed and retain their unique flavors and health benefits better than commercially produced bagged teas. Matcha–a powdered form of green tea–comes powdered, and the powder is meant to be consumed while drinking the tea, rather than infused into the water, then removed before drinking.

While it used to be necessary to use a tea ball, strainer, or special infuser to make loose leaf tea, now many companies sell loose leaf tea already portioned off into silk or unbleached tea bags, or you can purchase empty unbleached tea bags online, and make your own signature cuppa.

Leave a comment about aromatherapy in the spa!Have you switched from coffee to tea?

Or reduced coffee and added more tea to your diet? What was your experience? Please share in the comments below.

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