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Natural Awakenings

White Tea Tops Herbal Charts: The Tea That Trumps the Rest

In a recent test to evaluate the health properties of extracts from 21 plant species, white tea considerably outperformed them all. “We were testing very small amounts, far less than you would find in a drink,” says Professor Declan Naughton of Kingston University, in London, one of the UK’s leading specialists on inflammation. “The early indicators are that white tea reduces the risk of inflammation that is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers, as well as wrinkles.”

Evidently, the properties of white tea go beyond high levels of antioxidants to also block the activities of enzymes that break down elastin and collagen. Naughton explains that elastin supports the body’s natural elasticity, which helps lungs, arteries, ligaments and skin to function. It also helps body tissues repair wounds and stops skin from sagging. Collagen, a protein found in connective tissues, is also key to skin strength and resilience.

Eight of the other plants and herbs analyzed also help protect against the breakdown of both elastin and collagen associated with age-related wrinkling. After white tea, bladderwrack performed well, followed by extracts of cleavers (Galium aparine, also called goosegrass) rose, green tea, angelica, anise and pomegranate.

 

Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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