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1. May Boost Heart Health
The flavones in black tea may promote heart health. Scientists have confirmed that drinking three or more cups of black tea per day can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Moreover, black tea is also associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction, ischemia, and cardiovascular mortality (3), (4).
2. May Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk
The theaflavins in black tea may inhibit the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells (5). In a study conducted by the researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, USA, a 30% decline in ovarian cancer risk was observed in patients who drank more than two cups of black tea per day (6).
3. May Lower Diabetes Risk
Scientists have found that drinking tea may help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Black tea contains catechins and theaflavins (1). The beverage may help make the body more insulin sensitive and also prevents beta cell dysfunction (beta cells regulate blood glucose levels) (7).
4. May Boost Immunity
Black tea is rich in antioxidants that help scavenge free radicals. These free radicals tend to mutate DNA and hamper normal cell function. This can lead to inflammation and push the body into a state of stress. Black tea helps flush out the oxygen radicals. It helps restore normal cell and body functions and also boosts immunity (8), (9).
5. May Lower Blood Pressure Levels
Consuming black tea can help reduce blood pressure. Scientists from The Netherlands, Germany, UK, and Italy conducted an experiment where a group of people was given black tea for a week and their systolic and diastolic pressure readings were checked. At the end of this experiment, participants who consumed black tea were found to have lower blood pressure levels as compared to the control group (10).
6. May Improve Mental Alertness
Researchers from The Netherlands found that participants of a study who drank black tea had the strongest attention span and better auditory and visual attention (11). Teas, in general, contain l-theanine that modulates brain functions and the human attention process (12). The caffeine in black tea may also enhance alertness.
7. May Improve Bone Health
As you age, the strength of your bones starts to decline. However, scientists have observed that people who drink black tea can significantly restore bone density. For this reason, drinking black tea may also reduce the risk of fractures that most commonly occur in the elderly due to osteoporosis. Rats that were given black tea extracts were found to have better bone density (13). Therefore, if you are 30, make black tea a part of your diet to preserve bone density, and prevent osteoporosis and the risk of fractures. Drinking tea, in general, was also found to reduce hip fracture risk (14).
8. May Reduce Parkinson’s Risk
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that mostly affects older people. Research suggests that black tea polyphenols have a neuroprotective effect on the brain (15). In a study conducted at the National University of Singapore, scientists found that the caffeine in black tea was inversely associated with Parkinson’s disease (16).
9. May Improve Digestive Health
A healthy gut can shield you from various diseases and disorders. Consuming black tea may help improve the count and variety of good gut microbes. The tea polyphenols may act as prebiotics and act as feed for the good gut bacteria. These polyphenols may also prevent the growth of other harmful bacteria in the gut. Black tea may also help treat stomach ulcers, and potentially reduce the risk of colorectal and esophageal/stomach cancers (17), (18). However, more studies in humans are warranted.
10. May Lower Cholesterol Levels
Unhealthy lifestyle and irregular food habits may increase bad cholesterol levels in the blood. High LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) can lead to plaque buildup in the arterial walls. This limits blood flow, and may lead to heart attack, stroke, and ischemic attack. In a study, black tea was shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by 11.1 %. Researchers had also found that black tea (including the Chinese variant) had anti-hypercholesterolemic effects in humans who were obese and prone to heart disease (19), (20).
11. May Aid Weight Loss
Obesity is the root cause of various ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, PCOS, high cholesterol etc. Like green tea, black tea also may help with weight management if consumed in addition to adopting proper lifestyle changes. Scientists from David Geffen School of Medicine, California, USA found that black tea helped reduce visceral fat by reducing the inflammation-inducing genes. Since a prolonged period of inflammation in the body can induce obesity, drinking black tea may theoretically help prevent inflammation-induced obesity. Moreover, black tea may also lower triglyceride levels (21), (22).
12. May Reduce The Risk Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are painful and prevalent. They are caused due to an increased excretion of crystal-forming substances such as oxalate, calcium, and uric acid from the body. Black tea seems to contain much lower levels of oxalate when compared to other herbal teas (23), (24). Though some anecdotal evidence suggests that black tea may reduce the risk of kidney stones, there is no sufficient research in this regard. Consult a doctor before taking black tea for this purpose.
13. May Relieve Asthma Symptoms
Asthma is caused due to inflammation and swelling of the airway or bronchial tubes. This makes inhaling and exhaling difficult. Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking black tea or green teamay help relieve asthma symptoms. Certain studies have also proved that the caffeine in teas could help in lung function (25). The flavonoids in tea were also found to benefit those with asthma (26).
14. May Fight Free Radicals
Free oxygen radicals are caused by factors like pollution, smoking, and stress. They are toxic to the body. Antioxidants, a particular group of compounds, help fight these free radicals. Black tea is loaded with antioxidants and they play a role in this regard (1). Taking black tea with lemon may also help.
15. May Kill Bacteria
Most bacteria can cause infections and may also lead to death. The antioxidants and other phytonutrients in black tea may have antibacterial properties (27). Another study stated that teas (including black tea) may act against the bacteria that causes (28).
16. May Help Relieve Stress
According to a study conducted by the University College London, tea can reduce stress hormones in the body and relax the nerves (29). You may slowly replace grabbing a sweet (or a cigarette) with drinking a cup of black tea to relieve your stress levels.
17. May Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease causes loss of memory and affects one’s behavior and thinking process. Black tea antioxidants may reduce the risk of the disease, though there is no concrete evidence in this regard.
18. May Improve Oral Health
Consuming black tea may protect against dental plaque, cavities, and tooth decay (30). It also may freshen your breath. Black tea possesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties that prevent staphylococcus infections (31). The fluoride in black tea also inhibits dental caries (32). Moreover, studies have also reported that black tea may help prevent oral leukoplakia in patients with oral carcinoma (33).
However, black tea may stain the enamel. Consult your dentist in this regard.
19. May Treat Diarrhea
Drinking black tea may help treat diarrhea. In studies, diets that included black tea could decrease diarrheal prevalence by 20% (34). However, more research is needed in this regard.
20. May Promote Overall Mood
There is very limited research here. The antioxidants in black tea may fight stress. This could improve overall mood. The tea may regulate the levels of blood cholesterol and blood pressure. This may also have a positive effect on your mood.
Now, let us see how drinking black tea can be beneficial for your skin.
Benefits Of Black Tea For Skin
Black tea can help you achieve healthy skin too. It could fight against skin infections and blemishes, delay skin aging, and reduce eye puffiness. The polyphenols and tannins in black tea are linked to skin cell rejuvenation. However, do consult a dermatologist before you use black tea for your skin.
21. May Prevent Skin Infections
Skin is the largest organ in the body. But it is delicate and needs proper care. Most skin infections occur due to microbial colonization. Tea catechins and flavonoids may help prevent skin infections. If you frequently experience skin infections, taking black tea in addition to your medication may accelerate the healing process (35). However, more research is needed in this regard.
22. May Reduce Puffiness
Under-eye puffiness is a serious concern for both women and men. It can make you look tired and increase the chances of premature wrinkling. The tannins and antioxidants available in black tea possess anti-inflammatory properties (36). They can help tighten the skin and reduce under-eye puffiness.
You can try using black tea bags or simply dip cotton balls in cold black tea and keep them under your eyes for 20 minutes every day. You can see a visible reduction in under eye puffiness in just a few weeks.
23. May Slow Down Premature Ageing
The antioxidants and polyphenols present in black tea may protect your skin from premature aging and wrinkle formation. In a study conducted on hairless lab mice, scientists found that black tea reduced the expression of the gene that creates a collagen-degrading enzyme. Moreover, black tea was a more effective anti-wrinkle agent as compared to other teas (37).
24. May Reduce The Risk Of Skin Cancer
Black tea is rich in antioxidants and may be effective against most types of cancer (including that of the skin). Lebanese scientists have confirmed in mice studies that drinking black tea may help reduce the risk of skin cancer (38). However, there is no significant data on humans yet.
25. May Protect From UV Radiation
UV radiation is among the leading causes of skin pigmentation, skin cancer, and other skin-related problems. Researchers have found that drinking black tea may help protect the skin and reduce the risk of skin issues caused by excessive UV exposure (39), (40). Apart from drinking black tea to prevent skin damage, you may also apply it topically. However, consult your doctor before doing so.
26. May Accelerate Skin Regeneration
Researchers from Malaysia have found that applying a black tea extract on the wounded skin of lab rats may accelerate healing. The extract also caused less inflammation and more collagen production (41). However, do not apply black tea directly on wounds. There is no study stating that it is safe. You may instead drink black tea.
27. May Reduce Blemishes
Blemishes can give you serious confidence issues. Using herbs to treat blemishes is always better. They are safer than most harsh chemicals and powerful drugs. Black tea could be one of those herbal drinks.
In a study, scientists had found that black tea had a skin whitening effect on brown lab guinea pig (42).
Moreover, black tea has antioxidant that may flush out the toxins that cause blemishes. However, there is limited research in this regard. You can either drink black tea or dab it cold on your blemishes using a clean cotton ball.
Benefits Of Black Tea For Hair
The antioxidants and caffeine in black tea may benefit your hair. The tea may promote hair growth and impart natural shine to hair.
28. May Prevent Hair Fall
Drinking black tea may prevent hair fall. It is loaded with antioxidants that help scavenge free radicals and relieve stress. These two factors are the leading causes of hair loss in women today (43). Hence, drinking black tea may help prevent hair fall.
29. May Stimulate Hair Growth
In a mice study, Chinese black tea that was fermented with Aspergillus sp. (a specific type of fungus) was found to stimulate hair growth after 2 weeks of topical application (44). More studies in humans are warranted. You may still consult your doctor and apply black tea (at room temperature) to your scalp and along the length of your hair. This may help promote hair growth.
30. May Add Shine And Luster To Hair
There is limited research in this regard. Some anecdotal evidence shows that black tea may add shine to hair. After shampooing your hair (with a mild shampoo) use black tea liquor (room temperature) to give your hair the final rinse. Do it for a few weeks and your hair may get softer and shinier.
31. May Act As Natural Dyeing Agent
Anecdotal evidence shows that the reddish black tinge of black tea makes it an excellent natural hair dye (especially for brunettes). Mix henna with black tea and apply it all over your scalp and hair. Leave it on for 1-2 hours and wash off with a mild shampoo. You can see instant results.
These are the benefits of black tea. Most of them are still being researched. But you can include the tea in your regular routine. In the upcoming sections we will further discuss black tea.