What is this trend?
Though people have been consuming essential oils and tea for years, thanks to the popularity of Oola Tea, it has become a more popular trend. I’m telling you, this trend needs to stay and here’s why.
Why drink tea?
Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world second to water. Drinking tea has been considered to be a health-promoting habit since ancient times.
Teas contain various polyphenols including gallic acid, epicatechin gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), p-coumaroylquinic acid, gallocatechin-3-gallate (GCG), and many more, EGCG being the most abundant. A polyphenol is a compound consisting of multiple phenolic hydroxyl groups.
As a set, polyphenols in tea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary heart disease. They also have anti-aging and antidiabetic properties. Polyphenols in tea also have a wide variety of antioxidant properties. Tea boosts metabolism and green tea specifically may optimize the immune system.
Certain polyphenols do special things. For example, EGCG and ECG are very anti-inflammatory and quickly and easily scavenge free radicals which are thought to cause signs of aging.
What about the Essential Oils?
There are some essential oils that I love adding into tea. Let’s talk through a couple of them.
Lemon essential oil is very concentrated with the chemical constituent limonene. Limonene is a monoterpene that has a wide variety of antioxidant and mood boosting properties. Citrus polyphenols also may help to boost fat metabolism.
Peppermint essential oil contains a high concentration of menthol which has gastrointestinal-soothing properties as well as antioxidant properties. Peppermint essential oil can also boost performance during exercise
Spearmint essential oil contains a lot of the terpenoid carvone. CStudies have shown carvone to have a good antioxidant capacity as well as to help support normal digestion of carbohydrates.
Clove essential oil is packed full of eugenol which is a phenylpropanoid. This chemical constituent is particularly good at supporting digestion during times of stress. It also has very diverse antioxidant actions and aids the body in fighting free radicals in at least three different ways.
Cinnamon essential oil brings a big dose of cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde is an aldehyde that helps support healthy digestion and immune function.
So why Essential Oils and Tea Together?
From the data presented above, we can see that the polyphenols in teas and the phenols and monoterpenes in essential oils have very similar health benefits. The best part is that the beneficial ingredients don’t really overlap between the two. Essential oils don’t contain polyphenols because polyphenols are so large, and teas may not always contain monoterpenes and phenols.
By using essential oil and tea together you get a big infusion of tons of plant compounds that all work together to support a healthy body and mind. Let’s all be sure we are drinking essential oils and tea!
But Aren’t You Afraid of Changing the Essential Oil Constituents?
Not really. The fact of the matter is when you add heat to something you are changing the chemical constituents. But this in no way implies that the constituents are dangerous or harmful. Interestingly, some studies show that the chemical constituents of essential oils when added to hot foods and beverages change less than their corresponding herbs do. We all cook with herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme and never worry about them being dangerous after cooking. Let’s apply that same logic to essential oils.
To learn more about free radicals, check out this post.