Isn’t it wonderful that whatever our needs Nature has the ability to fulfill them? So many of our medicines are linked to the rainforest, and so many ancient remedies were sought and found in flora.

Tea of all kinds has long been one of Nature’s gifts that provides relief from many of life’s ailments. It is a common misconception that because there is a variety of tea there is a variety of tea plants. The truth is that there is only one tea plant. It is in the way that the leaves are harvested and prepared that creates the three varieties of teas that exist: green, oolong, and black. Other beverages that are commonly called “teas” are actually herbal beverages, because they do not come from the tea plant.

Oolong tea is different from green and black teas because it is made from semi-fermented tea leaves, wherein the leaves for green tea are not fermented and those for black tea are fully fermented. Oolong tea with its fruity flavor includes a wide variety of polyphenolic compounds and a wide variety of nutrients (vitamins A, B, C, E, and K; calcium; manganese; copper; selenium; and potassium). Some of the great benefits of oolong tea include the removal of free radicals that harm our bodies and add to the aging process; treatment for type 2 diabetes, especially when paired with other forms of treatment; lowered risk of skin cancer; natural stress reliever; reduction of tooth decay; promotion of heart health; and improved immune system. In other words, oolong tea supports, and some say leads to, good health, both physical and mental. When you are healthy on the inside, it results in beauty on the outside. All the goodness in oolong tea promotes beautiful, radiant skin and patients suffering from eczema have been known to see improvement in their condition.

Given the current weight problem that is plaguing our country, oolong tea might be one of the greatest tools we have to combat the problem and should be in the forefront of the American mind as our nation is fighting many diseases stemming from obesity. It so happens that oolong tea activates the enzyme involved in the metabolism of fat, which is how it helps control obesity. Drinking just a couple of cups of oolong tea each day tends to boost metabolism and thwart the fattening effects of carbohydrates. So, not only is weight loss a wonderful side effect of regular consumption of the tea, but so is increased energy. We all know that lack of exercise and portion control are main reasons for obesity and that healthy foods that are meant to help our bodies function properly, including metabolize fat, need to return to our diets, and oolong tea is one of those healthy foods.

As part of your New Year resolution to get in shape and become healthier, why not add oolong tea to the menu and see what happens!

By Lora Incardona