The health benefits of tea range far and wide, and a cup of oolong tea goes a long way when it comes to your well-being. Made from the leaves, buds and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is slightly fermented and semi-oxidized, giving it a taste in between black and green tea. There are a wide variety of oolong teas, but the most famous oolong comes from the Fuijan province of China.

Why oolong?

As one of the most popular and traditional types of tea in China and Taiwan, oolong is known to provide robust health benefits when consumed on the regular. Packed with antioxidants, the oolong leaf combines catechin and caffeine which fight free radicals. Oolong is used for its numerous healing properties and can be found in most grocery stores. Here are some of oolong tea’s healing properties.

10 Benefits of Oolong Tea

1. Boosts your metabolism, causing weight loss.

Oolong tea helps you burn fat faster by raising your metabolism for up to two hours after drinking it. Oolong also contains polyphenols that are able to block enzymes that build fat. This means you can lose weight with oolong tea, so long as you don’t load it with refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. If your tastes lean towards sweet tea, consider using a small amount of raw honey, maple syrup, stevia or agave syrup—all of which are sugars low on the glycemic index.

2. Lowers cholesterol

Oolong is known to reduce cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Because oolong tea is semi-oxidized, it produces a perfectly sized polyphenol molecule that is able to activate the enzyme lipase, which is known to dissolve body fat.

3. Increases mental alertness

This healing hot cuppa is known to revitalize your mental alertness and performance, naturally, because it contains caffeine. Be careful if you are sensitive to caffeine and limit your consumption to one lightly steeped cup a day, or indulge a few times a week.

4. Aids digestion

Oolong can help aid digestion for those not sensitive to caffeine. The tea alkalizes the digestive tract, reducing inflammation in those with acid reflux and ulcer problems. Because it is mildly antiseptic, oolong tea can clear bad bacteria from your belly. Its calm, smooth flavor can soothe the stomach when consumed hot.

5. Promotes healthy hair

Due to its high level of antioxidants, oolong tea can prevent hair loss if you make a tea rinse out of the leaves. Not only that, but your hair will be thicker and shinier. Oolong softens and adds lustre to your hair.

6. Betters your skin condition

Eczema often occurs in conjunction with allergies or sensitivities. Oolong tea is able to suppress those allergic reactions because it combats free radicals, which is a healing property of an antioxidant. Also, the antioxidants found in oolong are essential for vibrant, youthful skin. Drinking oolong can greatly slow down the aging process, so it’s a great anti-aging tool.

7. Stabilizes blood sugar

When you have type 2 diabetes, your blood glucose levels are elevated. Studies have shown that those suffering from diabetes could benefit from drinking oolong which, in studies, has decreased blood glucose to a healthy level. The antioxidants in oolong, which comes from polyphenols, does wonders for metabolizing sugar.

8. Prevents tooth decay

Both oolong and green tea protect teeth from acid produced by certain bacteria. The production of acid and the growth of bacteria are both inhibited by oolong tea, which means it is effective in preventing tooth decay and build-up plaque.

9. Prevents osteoporosis and forms strong bones

Oolong can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Those who consistently drink oolong tea are less likely to lose their bone mineral density, helping retain minerals from healthy foods consumed. It has been discovered that oolong contains magnesium and calcium in its leaves.

10. Strengthens the immune system

Known for its anti-cancer properties, oolong tea assists in maintaining a healthy immune system. The antioxidant flavonoids found in the tea prevent cellular damage. The production of anti-bacterial proteins is much higher in those who drink oolong tea, indicating a strong immune response when fighting infection.

How much?

Add boiling water to a cup of oolong tea—either in teabag form or a level tablespoon of loose leaves. Steep for 2–3 minutes. Enjoy the tea while it’s still hot.

It’s important to consume oolong tea in moderation because it contains a certain amount of caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can result in side effects including headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, irregular heartbeat and inflammation. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a serious medical condition that is affected by caffeine consumption, talk to your doctor first.

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