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Tea drunks unite - the Healing Power of Camellia sinensis

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One ally that has been instrumental in me getting past vices is this common one which I think is totally underrated. I find my simple tea is so healing and you don't need to drift off to fancy teas all the time! Some tea drunk suggestions from others

 

Tea - A passage to spiritual harmony

 

220px-Tea_Bud.jpg

 

 

Epidemiological investigations have reported that drinking tea reduces the risk of dementia and depression. Research suggests that tea catechins, mainly EGCG, elicit cognitive effects as well. EGCG administration has been associated with self-reported calmness and reduced stress in healthy subjects. It showed beneficial effects in related areas such as work performance and creativity [1].

 

Demons-and-tea.jpg?fbclid=IwAR316RmrE-Zg

 

Tea use was associated with reduced stress, increased calmness and increased electroencephalographic activity (increased alpha, beta and theta activities) in the midline frontal and central brain regions Green tea consumption in subjects with cognitive dysfunction (2 g/day for 3 months, approximately equal to 2 to 4 cups of tea/day) significantly improved cognitive performance. Along with the effects of lower doses of caffeine and small quantities of L-theanine, EGCG has sedative effects in the brain, partially through GABAA receptors, and consequently moderates an acute stress response in a dose dependent manner.

 

With the feelings of euphoria, there can be a strong sense of focus and calm. Tea drinkers may experience acceptance of the world, a feeling of contentment, and pleasing lightheadedness or sense of floating. Others list symptoms such as a giggling, a bouncy feeling, a feeling of emotional bliss, a contemplative or philosophical mindset, or an introspective, sensitive mood. The overall effect is often described as a very Zen feeling.

 

...get in a mindset of focused observation of the physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual effects of the tea [ref].

 

EGCG may reduce the negative mood effects of caffeine in a similar manner to L-theanine.

 

Several studies found that caffeine and L-theanine improve attentional performance but studies did not find any change in self-reported mood compared to caffeine. Some of the studies, even on more well-known combinations such as caffeine and L-theanine, failed at reproducing the same results as in other studies. L-theanine appears to be most beneficial in subjects that reported being more stressed and/or anxious during the study.


Tea catechins have GABAA modulatory [2] and cannabinoid affinity [3] and tea consumption might reduce antipsychotic-induced side effects. While the tea catechin EGCG is known to inhibit COMT enzymatic activity in vitro this may not be relevant in vivo  EGCG attenuates NMDA antagonist-stimulated behaviours


"Much of orally ingested EGCG is hydrolyzed to epigallocatechin (EGC) and gallic acid. In rats, EGC is then metabolized mainly to 5-(3',5'-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone" These metabolites may promote neurogenesis in the brain [4]

 

As ligands for the GABAA receptor benzodiazepine site, the higher catechins like EGCG being PAMS at some sites. EGCG reversed the effects of GABAA receptor negative modulators - picrotoxin and methyl beta-carboline-3-carboxylate, EGCG and chlordiazepoxide fully generalised in substitution studies. The phenolic acids are also GABAergic, potentially at different GABAA subtypes.

 

Polyphenols and L-theanine for stress:

 

Quote

Although green tea contains caffeine, its consumption produces a noticeable relaxation effect, which is attributed to the presence of catechins, L-theanine or both compounds. Furase et al. indicated that EGCG has sedative and hypnotic effects at the brain level, by acting partially at the level of GABA receptors moderating the response to the acute stress. In addition, a positive effect against anxiety in mice has been observed. The sedative effect is enhanced by the presence of L-theanine. This amino acid is considered as a neuroprotective agent that reduces psychological and physiological stress. However, the consumption of green tea does not induce sleep due to the caffeine content, which produces the opposite effect, stimulating the central nervous system and promoting wakefulness. Effects attributed to L-theanine also include promoting the secretion and functions of certain neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. For all these reasons, the consumption of green tea may be advisable in certain diseases associated with stress and anxiety.


Black Tea

 

-  regular consumption of  black  or  oolong  tea  was  associated  with  lower risks  of  cognitive  impairment  and  decline

 

"Following plants trends and rituals that don’t come from your personal lineage harms those who rely on such plants, especially colonized people, and the plants themselves (by overharvesting). Moreover, this routine does a disservice to your health.

 

There’s no reason to chase plant wisdom outside your lineage for meaning - we miss out on a chance for a more genuine connection with plants already deeply rooted in our family histories by following plant trends that fall outside our lineage." [1].

 

 There's lots of research around green tea/EGCG and theanine but "Theaflavins, black tea polyphenols, effects on brain function, especially mental condition, have not been elucidated". Recently there's been a bit.

 

Oral administration with theaflavins can suppress neural inflammation and prevent inflammation-related brain disorders, improving memory impairment and depression-like behaviour [2]. Theaflavins from black tea have a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than many other polyphenols. Oral consumption of theaflavins induced anxiolytic effects via activation of the dopaminergic system in the frontal cortex [3]. Despite concerns about these reaching the CNS, oral doses are indeed CNS active in animal models.

 

A standard cup of black tea was found to contain L-theanine 24.2 ± 5.7 mg and mostly thearubigens contrary to a cup of green tea which contains ~8mg theanine and ~70 mg EGCG per bag. That said, one study claims green tea was more effective for neuroprotection than red and black teas.

 

One paper states black tea polyphenols are more effective than green tea polyphenols in body weight reduction [4]. Theaflavins are "promising functional food ingredients and medicines for improving insulin resistance-related disorders" and improve postprandial glycemic control [5,6].

 

Black tea possesses "marked aphrodisiac activity" and "can function as a quick acting, safe, oral aphrodisiac" [7].

 

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/plants-as-medicine-history
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30696093
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30806570
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27941615
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30572687
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28049262
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18565706

 

Green Tea

 

Improves “cognitive functioning [through affecting]…working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections.”

 

Beneficial for it's stress resistance, and neuroprotective and autophagy-promoting properties

 

Green tea might reverse the development of depression through normalisation of the reward function.

 

Green tea is promising for neuroprotective/neurorescue activities in a wide array of cellular and animal models of neurological disorders and is suggested as a prophylactic for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's etc

 

-  higher consumption of green tea is associated with lower prevalence of cognitive  impairment


A retrospective study with 278 consecutive Parkinson's patients reported that consumption of more than 3 cups of tea per day delayed age of motor symptoms onset by 7.7 years and green  tea  polyphenols provide a symptomatic benefit in Parkinson's

 

Green tea is believed to lower the risk of dementia both through it's polyphenols and active metabolites that exhibit effects on nerve cell proliferation and neuritogenic properties. The consumption of green tea catechins is generally believed to suppress age-related cognitive dysfunction, The neuroprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and iron-chelating properties of EGCG make it promising for neurorescue. Diet induced neuroinflammation was restored by EGCG supplementation and homocysteine-induced neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation in the brain was attenuated. It inhibits brain damage and promotes regeneration in the cerebral cortex of rats. It shows promise for Down syndrome and is a TLR4/MyD88 antagonist and inhibitor of DYRK1A

 

EGCG was able to effectively inhibit volatile anaesthetic-induced neurodegeneration and improve learning and memory retention, which is relevant to my case. There is evidence of hepatoprotective [see more - note high doses have been linked to rare hepatotoxicity] and restoration oxidative-nitrosative stress-mediated apoptotic signalling in cognitive deficits associated with alcohol

 

Teas significantly reduced AChE activity and partially reduced fat accumulation. Green teas reduced memory deficits. They reduced reactive species accumulation and reduced plasma triglyceride levels. The tea polyphenol EGCG has been shown to ameliorate metabolic abnormalities and fatty liver.

 

Some evidence suggests that daily consumption of tea catechins may help in controlling type 2 diabetes

 

 Green tea is promising for different neurodegenerative conditions, such as memory deficits. EGCG-treated rats displayed a superior behavioural performance and it enhances neuroregeneration after injury via alteration of levels of inflammatory cytokines. Green tea was more effective for neuroprotection than red and black teas.

 

Green tea's theanine seems to have multiple beneficial effects on depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep disturbance and cognitive impairments in patients with major depression [4] It may be beneficial in schizophrenia [5]

Review

 

Quote

 

Polyphenols are the most relevant family of phytochemicals in terms of beneficial effects on human health. Within them, flavonoids constitute a very extensive group and are distributed in a great variety of vegetables. They have a common basic structure of (C6-C3-C6) diphenylpropane, which usually forms an oxygenated heterocycle. Flavonoids are usually bound to sugars (glycosides) and for that reason they tend to be water-soluble. Green and white tea are especially rich in flavonoids, specifically catechins. In this line, the consumption of green tea is considered the main source of catechins in the diet. The content in phenolic acids (gallic acid, benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid), gallic esters of glucose (gallic tannins), quercetin and proanthocyanidols is also highlighted. Total polyphenols range between 10.60-25.95 g/100 g in white tea and between 13.7-24.7 g/100 g in green tea.

 

The most abundant catechins in green and white tea are (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), representing approximately the 59% of the total catechins; (-) epigallocatechin (EGC), which accounts for the 19%, (-) epicatechin gallate (ECG) in a proportion close to the 13% and (-) epicatechin (EC), around the 6% of the total. According to Hilal and Engelhardt2 and Carloni et al. catechin content in tea ranges from 9.89 to 17.00 g/100 g in green tea, from 7.94 to 16.56 g/100 g in white tea and from 0.74 to 10.00 g/100 g in black tea. Catechins content is consistent with the fermentation degree, since black, white and green teas are fully, slightly and non-fermented, respectively.10 Levels from 2.76 to 9.34g/100 g for catechins in white tea have also been reported. Regarding EGCG, the amounts change between 4.40-9.60 g/100 g in green tea and between 5.23-9.49 g/100 g in white tea. Cabrera et al. observed that the content of EGCG in green tea leaves was higher than 80 mg/g, whereas in black tea it did not exceed 30mg/g. Wu and Wei reported that one cup of green tea (2.5 g tea leaves/200 mL water) may contain 90 mg of EGCG and Johnson et al. estimated that the daily intake of 3-5 cups of green tea (720- 1200 mL) could provide up to 250 mg of catechins.

 

 

Oolong contains more O-methylated catechins like (-)-epigallocatechin 3- O-(3- O-methyl)gallate with distinct physiological functions in animal models and humans compared to common tea, including antiallergy, antiobesity, the prevention of cardiovascular disease risks [review]

 

Pu-erh tea fermentation forms simple phenolic acids (gallic) and theogallin while epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate and theanine decreased during fermentation [review]

 

 It is reported that Pu-erh tea have a variety of pharmacologically activities, such as anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects.  It is promising for it's effects on metabolic syndrome through remodelling the microbiome

 

Pu-erh tea contains "biological compounds binding transcription factors and inhibiting the expression of mGluR5 and is a novel natural neuroprotective agent" as dysregulation of mGluR5 is implicated in multiple brain disorders particularly showing promise for  pain, epilepsy, schizophrenia, drug addiction and Alzheimer’s disease

 

Gallic  acid  in  Pu-erh  tea  is reported  to be  a main constituent. This has neuroprotective, antidepressant [1] and anti-psychotic acitivities [2] It is also a rich source of other benzoic  acid  derivatives,  phenylacetic, phenylpropionic, phenylvaleric and phenolic acid esters [3]

 

teaceremony.istock.jpg

 

Host your own healing tea ceremony

 

Sure, there's 'recreational tea sessions'. There's also healing tea sessions
 
When practised to foster harmony in humanity, promote harmony with nature, discipline the mind, quiet the heart, and attain the purity of enlightenment, the art of tea becomes "teaism" [1]
 
It can re-inforce harmony of nature and self cultivation: refinement, an inner spiritual content, humility, restraint and simplicity
 
Tea invites us to connect with nature, with our community, and with the deepest parts of our unknown selves.
 
I believe if you dedicate your time to one plant such as Camellia sinensis, you can form a really therapeutic ally and it's often the easily dismissed plants that can bring us to where we need to be...
 
I feel tea brings us back to better holistic health and spiritual harmony - you often don't have to be fancy and chase a multitude of exotic plants and potions. It turns into a wild goose-chase
 
It's sacrilegious the way we as a culture make it about "a quick mediocre cuppa" when it's healing properties for the body, mind and spirit are so notable
 
 
Spirituality of Tea
 

"I got nasty habits; I take tea..." - Mick Jagger

 

"Tea is part of the spiritual activities of being properly engaged and aware, both of self and others. As J. Norwood Pratt relates:

 

As an elixir of sobriety and wakeful tranquility, tea was also a means of spiritual refreshment and spiritual conviviality, a way to go beyond this world and enter a realm apart.

 

Tea was an aid in Christian temperance. Tea is an equaliser, the approach to tea as an aid to meditation, and the emphasis on beauty in simplicity.

It allows a Daoist concept of returning to a state of rustic simplicity.

 

"Tea seeks social harmony through self-discipline and personal discovery and personal desire for salvation. Whereas Tea requires a degree of contemplation of, and concentration [it also] invites the participant to look into himself or herself, to discover a self that is no longer separate and potentially antagonistic but in harmony with the environment and all others.

 

“I” and “Thou” are able to merge, where the “Thou” becomes the “I” and vice-versa. The distance between self and other, which upholds life in normal times, disappears in favor of unity. “I” and “Thou” become “we,” a “we” established and strengthened by ritual

 

Freedom is sought not in large space or in unrestricted behaviour but, on the contrary, by accepting and “overcoming” restrictions. There is freedom through meditation and other forms of self-discipline.

 

It invites humility, that is, a negation of self in the absorption in something else as expressed in the Buddhist notion of muichibutsu. This concept can mean many things. It points to the Buddhist notion of “nothingness,” “emptiness,” or the original unity of all things.

 

...tea is at once the center of the universe and a means to harmonize with the essence of things." [2]

 

[1] http://walkerteareview.com/spirituality-of-tea-buddhism-ch…/

[2] http://anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ap0501/tea/

 

Other methylxanthines and synergies

 

Theobromine may selectively enhance caffeine psychoactivity - increased “energetic arousal” as well.

 

In terms of mood effects cocoa flavonoids may modify caffeine's psychoactive effects in a similar manner to L-theanine. Experiments found that combination of cocoa extract and caffeine attenuated the anxiety-provoking effects of caffeine alone

 

Evidence for an improvement of executive function 90–150 min after the administration of cocoa flavanols.

 

Caffeinated cocoa (70 mg caffeine, 179 mg theobromine, 499 mg flavanols) caused lower omission errors and improved accuracy in healthy subjects compared to cocoa alone (21 mg caffeine, 179 mg theobromine, 499 mg flavanols), but attentional performance was not better

Edited by Alchemica
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I love a good cup of Irish breakfast tea, and I also love a good Earl Grey.

Making tea is a nice ritual too. I aerate the water as much as possible by pouring from a height into the cup, I don't get much occasion to make a whole pot of tea often. Then gently slide in the bag, it has to stay upright, not lay on it's side. I avoid any disturbance at all for a few minutes, no swirling or jiggling allowed! The tea infusion usually stays in the bottom of the cup separate to the clear hot water. It's quite relaxing watching it seep out slowly. Only then when the bag is removed does the tea mix. I have it black without sugar thanks.

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A previous job of mine involved dealings with the taiwanese people who are prone to the giving of gifts. Luckily for me these gifts would often involve highly specialised and expensive teas.

 

As someone who had only had black cafeteria tea before I was blown away by the range of subtle flavours and styles they had. a real eye opener. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing. I used to just aim to get loose on loose leaf tea. Then I noticed how potent a healing aid it was on a different level...

 

Tea has powerful spiritual and ceremonial role - I'm not sure I'd go as far as soma but it's a potent ally.

 

Tea mystics are spiritual psychonauts

 

“Tea is Nature… Tea is Medicine… Tea is Heart and Spirit…”

Tea is something that can help you forward in meditation, mindful absorption of the present, and self-cultivation.

The Way of Tea is expressed in four Japanese characters: Harmony, Respect, Purity and Tranquillity

“It’s hard to even speak now ‘cause that was so profound, and I don’t know that words are really poetic enough or descriptive enough, but I really felt — I feel different from the moment I started ’til the end; I really felt like I went through a journey.” [1]

"Having been under the influences of rapid infusions of some 1950’s Red Mark Yin-Ji Puerh I feel justified in suggesting tea or Camellia sinensis as a possible candidate or substitute for Soma. With tiny orbs of qi coursing through my system after each sip I see a vision of the lineage of patriarchs of Esoteric Buddhism and thangkas of blue Bodhisattvas holding cups of amrita in their palm. Tea may not be the original soma, but the reverence, ritual and perhaps the shape into which it is pressed (especially in Tibet), make it a serious candidate as a soma-substitute or amrita."

Tea "as a beverage that, when ritually prepared, allowed communion with divinities—suggest the reason for continued appeal in later ages in both China and Japan”. Tea’s constant domain within a sacred, often ritual context must be always remembered and it is retained even in the more secular literati circles that treated it as a near sacrament in their microcosmic ways and arts.

"Tea’s special relationship with Buddhist and Daoist “ritual”, or combinations thereof, and persistent associations with Indian mystics and religious experience were instrumental in the spread of tea throughout ancient China, Korea and Japan." [2]

 

There's much to be explored in a porcelain cup of alkaloids - we do not always think of tea as a potent psychoactive plant in the West, as it is so commonly consumed and readily available.

 

One becomes liberated from earthly attachments and is able to commune with eternity, nature, and all living beings - a path to the essential self [1] People note a sense of well-being and peacefulness and appreciate the little things and not rush

 

Erowid Tea

 

"The effects were stronger than I expected. I hadn't had tea in awhile. Sounds around me were amplified. The wind was pressing against me. I felt like I had taken a strong sedative. My body felt heavy. The wind itself felt euphoric and I felt butterflies through out my body. I had a strong since of well being. The world was beautiful, the trees swaying in the wind were happy/excited. Every living things Qi/soul whatever you want to call it were reaching out to my soul/energy and intertwining. Almost like drinking the tea allowed me to shed energy blockage which was keeping us from connecting. We were friends. The birds chirped beautifully. I felt inspiration and connection to the earth. I was ONE and felt love!"

 

"Vision crisps up ... more vibrant, bit sharper. Euphoria. ... It was an amazing time, carefree in the warm summer sun, fueled by fusion, almost god-like. There was no comedown, it simply ended. I would honestly consider that day a +++ on the Shulgin scale comparable to mushrooms."

People have touched on the social, spiritual, and health benefits, noting that it opened one’s mind to the higher things. It encouraged quiet meditation, rustic simplicity, aesthetic judgement, appreciation of nature, and the significance of the present moment. It also necessitated “courtesy ... moderation in actions,” and purity of spirit [3].

Some assert ...the practice of tea will make you friendlier, kinder, and more concerned with serving your fellow human beings. In other words, the plant Camellia sinensis and its related Camellia species will make you into a better person.

“茶禅一味” which translates to something like “Zen and Tea — the same taste.” In other words, consuming tea are both viewed by some as spiritual expressions

[1] https://www.reddit.com/.../understanding_tea_mysticism.../
[2] https://sites.google.com/.../delawaretea.../Home/tea-as-soma
[3] https://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/tea-and-christianity

 

 

Ritual use of plants incl. tea

 

Quote

 

Unfortunately our relationships with plants are often reduced to “Aha, now we understand the activity of the plant. It’s that molecule.”

 

It’s very heartening to see that there’s a lot of interest in a return to the ritual artistic qualities of relationship with the plant. It’s honoring the name of this is a ritual engagement with a really awesome, profound, sacred psychoactive substance, the plant.

 

It’s this quest for over simplifying the complexity of life, in a way that makes us able to think we grasp it, that can also in some way interfere with our reverence for the power of what the substances are. There’s two things I think that have interfered with our ritual relationship historically with these plants. I mean, one of them is this reduction of thinking about them as just molecules sometimes. And the other is commodification, which happens everywhere, of course. It is our modern world, the commercialization and massive marketing of just about anything that can be so marketed. And so the task really is to stay connected, with the reverence in some way for the reverence of their Pharmacon, of their power as medicines and poisons, as substances of pleasure, poison, prescription and prayer.

 

...the thing I feel is a really important aspect of these medicines and poisons is that many of them have enjoyed long histories of association with humanity and with cultures, and they had been considered as allies. Things that the people draw upon as sources of support and strength, a friend, an ally who helps you out when you’re in trouble, and allies have power, otherwise wouldn’t be very useful to have such a thing, such an entity as an ally if it were a wimp, that wouldn’t be very helpful. So allies have power, and that power has been historic respected and revered and appreciated for its awesomeness. And that gave rise to the development of ritual around the use of psychoactive substances. So historically, mind-altering plants in human societies were treated with respect and reverence.

 

It’s not uncommon for folks to go into a coffee shop and grab whatever that 917 milliliter thing is, full of coffee and then walk out and get into their car and drive away, or maybe not even get out of their car when they do it, there’re drive thru ones. So it’s a very, very different relationship we have with this sacred ancient, powerfully stimulating beverage just in the last few years really. And I don’t even know what these things are. Is that really coffee? ... A culture of speed.

 

Tea, another gorgeous psychoactive mind-altering plant, that is native to East Asia, and like coffee has spread around the entire world and has been appreciated by the peoples that lived in East Asia several thousand years ago for its stimulant effects, but it didn’t reach Europe until the 1500, around the same time coffee did. And there’s lots of ceremonial ritual aspects attached to the consumption of tea ranging from Japanese tea ceremonies to British tea ceremonies and so forth.

 

 

Edited by Alchemica
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Anyone else gone and planted a few common Camellias for tea purposes? It's quite debated whether non-sinensis teas are caffeine/theanine containing but those who have made tea from it often say it seems more potent.

 

 I like to have a mutual living relationship with the medicine I'm using - not simply a commercial consumptive one - so will plant a few common (related) C. japonica which can be used to make tea

 

 It, according to some, contains caffeine and catechins of the same kind as C. sinensis but "Japonica seems much more potent, even when processed as green tea." with >5% per weight caffeine in dry leaves but "..not all cultivars will be equally potent" [1] (another study on the contrary found no caffeine [2] and some say the "entire series of reactions required for the synthesis of purine alkaloids was deficient in both C. japonica and C.sasanqua". ) and triterpenes, flavonoids, tannins and fatty acids. It has 42% of C. sinensis' theanine compared to Camellia sasanqua which is slightly higher [3]


[1] http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO200403042358213.page
[2] http://dx.doi.org/10.1270/jsbbs1951.34.459
[3] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00021369.1984.10866604

 

 Explorations into the effects of tea on behaviour and mental health come at a time of growing scientific interest in the role of nutrition in mental health and preventive medicine. Physicians need more ways of tackling anxiety, depression and age-related cognitive decline — these conditions place a huge burden on health systems, and treatment options are limited - due to the lack of available therapies — around one-third of all people with anxiety and depression never find an effective therapy [1]

 

Tea is on the rise, because so is stress. It embodies mindfulness and the serenity that a lot of stressed people need in their lives, along with being connected to emotions, and promotes a calming sensation for many drinkers [2]

 

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00398-1
[2] https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2019/03/20/tea-drinkers-are-better-people-and-probably-less-stressed-too

 

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I have an Olive Tea (osmanthus) which I bought for the purpose of making tea, but it hasn't flowered yet.

 

Apparently the flowers are used in a heap of edible and medicinal products in China. Meant to be a good general tonic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-rheumatic, anti-oxidant. I originally bought it because I wanted to help out a friend with arthritis.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmanthus_fragrans#Medicinal

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