|Tea Plant Quick Facts
|East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia
|Green when young turning to brownish as they matures
|3-angled capsules depressed-globose, brownish, lobate, to 2 cm broad, valvate
|Beneficial for amoebic dysentery, bacterial dysentery, gastro-enteritis, hepatitis, cuts, burns, bruises, insect bites, ophthalmia and swellings
The name Camellia is taken from the Latinized name of Rev. Georg Kamel, SJ (1661–1706), a Moravian-born Jesuit lay brother, pharmacist, and missionary to the Philippines who were noted for his work on Oriental plants. Specific epithet means Chinese. Four varieties of Camellia sinensis are recognized. Of these, C. sinensis var. sinensis and C. sinensis var. assamica (JW Masters) Kitamura are most commonly used for tea, and C. sinensis var. pubilimba Hung T. Chang and C. sinensis var. dehungensis (Hung T. Chang & BH Chen) TL Ming are sometimes used locally. White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, dark tea (which includes pu-erh tea) and black tea are all harvested from one or the other, but are processed differently to attain varying levels of oxidation. Kukicha (twig tea) is also harvested from Camellia sinensis, but uses twigs and stems rather than leaves.
Tea Plant is a medium sized, evergreen, multi-stemmed woody shrub or small tree that can grow up to 52 feet (16 m) tall, but it is usually trimmed to below seven feet (2 m) high for harvesting. The plant is found growing in cool, humid, tropical highlands and evergreen broad-leaved forests. The plant prefers light sandy soils and medium loamy soils that are well-drained. The plant has strong taproot and rough and typically greys bark.
Leaves are alternate, exstipulate, lanceolate to obovate, up to 4–15 cm (1.6–5.9 in) long and 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) broad, pubescent, sometimes becoming glabrous, serrate, acute or acuminate. Fresh leaves contain about 4% caffeine, as well as related compounds including theobromine. The young, light-green leaves are preferably harvested for tea production. They have short white hairs on the underside. Older leaves are deeper green. Different leaf ages produce differing tea qualities, since their chemical compositions are different. Usually, the tip (bud) and the first two to three leaves are harvested for processing. This hand picking is repeated every one to two weeks.
Flowers and fruits
Flower blossoms are white, are quite fragrant, grow on their own or they appear in clusters of 2-4 together on short branchlets in the leaf axils. They grow up to 4cm in diameter with five sepals and can have 5-9 petals. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees. Flowers are sometimes partially hidden by plant foliage. Fertile flowers are followed by 3-angled capsules depressed-globose, brownish, lobate, to 2 cm broad, valvate, with 1-3 sub-globose seeds in each lobe.
The seeds of Camellia sinensis and Camellia oleifera can be pressed to yield tea oil, a sweetish seasoning and cooking oil that should not be confused with tea tree oil, an essential oil that is used for medical and cosmetic purposes, and originates from the leaves of a different plant.
Traditional uses and benefits of Tea Plant
- Tea plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs.
- Modern research has shown that there are many health benefits to drinking tea, including its ability to protect the drinker from certain heart diseases.
- It has also been shown that drinking tea can protect the teeth from decay, because of the fluoride naturally occurring in the tea.
- Leaves are cardio tonic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and astringent.
- They exert a decided influence over the nervous system, giving a feeling of comfort and exhilaration, but also producing an unnatural wakefulness when taken in large doses.
- They are used internally in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis and gastro-enteritis.
- Tea is reportedly effective in clinical treatment of amoebic dysentery, bacterial dysentery, gastro-enteritis, and hepatitis.
- It has also been reported to have anti-atherosclerotic effects and vitamin P activity.
- Externally, they are used as a poultice or wash to treat cuts, burns, bruises, insect bites, ophthalmia, swellings etc.
- Teabags have been poultice onto baggy or tired eyes, compressed onto headache, or used to bathe sunburn.
- It prevents strep throat and influenza when used as a mouthwash.
- Tea is also rich in tannin and is a possible cause of esophageal cancer.
Ayurvedic Health benefits of Tea Plant
- Hepatitis: Boil the roots of Tea Plant. Strain. Drink two times a day.
- Obesity: Take 5 to 6 leaves Tea Plant. Wash and boil in one cup water. Drink twice a day.
- Cataract: Have a cup of Green tea twice a day.
- Blood clots: Have Tea Plant extract (EGCG) twice a day.
- Breast Cancer: Drink 2-3 cups of Green tea every day.
- Hypothermia: Prepare a tea made from the leaves of Tea Plant. Take two times a day.
- Cholesterol: Take roots. Prepare a decoction. Have once a day. Repeat for a week.
- Dental Diseases: Swish with lukewarm root decoction twice a day. OR boil leaves for 10 minutes. Strain. Cool it down. Swish with it twice a day
- Caries: Prepare root decoction of Tea Plant. Swish with lukewarm decoction twice a day.
- Gum Diseases: Swish with a decoction of the roots twice a day.
- Wounds: Wash the wounds thrice a day with Tea Plant root’s decoction.
- Dysentery: Drink Tea Plant root’s decoction twice a day.
- Angina: Drink Green tea twice a day.
- Aphthous Ulcers: Place a used tea bag on your Mouth Ulcers for 5-7 minutes. Repeat thrice a day.
- Hand Palms Sweating: Boil 250 ml of water. Put 5 teabags in it. When it gets cool, Soak hand palms on it for 15-20 minutes.
- Blood cancer: Have 2 cups of green tea daily.
- Anxiety: Boil half tsp Tea Plant in one cup of water. Take it once a day.
- Alopecia Areata: Prepare Tea Plant at home. Take one cup twice a day
- Glomerulonephritis: Take one teaspoon of Tea Plant. Boil in one cup of water. Strain and consume thrice a day.
- Anthrax: Drink a cup of Tea Plant tea thrice a day. It gives you quick result.
- Wrinkles: Boil one teaspoon Tea Plant in a cup of water until it remains half. Cool and strain. Apply it over your face with the help of cotton pad.
- Sleep Apnea: Drink 2-3 cups of Green tea every day.
- Immunity Booster: Prepare a Cup of Green Tea. Have a cup daily in the morning and in the evening too to make immune system strong.
- Numbness: Add a teaspoon of Honey in a cup of Green Tea. Have it like tea.
- Baldness: Drink a cup of Tea Plant thrice a day. It cures the hair problems especially male baldness. OR: Purchase Green Tea capsules from market. Have a capsule twice a day.
- Detoxicant: Drink a cup of Green Tea on an empty stomach.
- Dark Circles: Boil 2 Green Tea bags in a cup of water for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place them on your eyes for 15 minutes. Use twice a day for 2 weeks.
- Sunburns: Boil a teaspoon of Tea Plant in half a cup of water until it remains 1/4th. Apply it over the affected area. Let it dry. Wash with normal water. In addition, having a cup or two of Green Tea may add to the process.
- Acne: Dip a bag of Tea Plant in a cup of hot water. Have it 2 to 3 times a day. Also, dab the dipped bag over the affected skin, when it gets cool. OR: Put a bag of Green Tea in half cup of water. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Take out the bag and place the tea in to the freezer. Let it freeze. Use the green Tea ice cubes to dab the Acne.
- Macromastia: Boil a cup of water with 1 teaspoon of Camellia Sinensis leaves for 10 minutes. Strain it. Add half teaspoon of Honey to the decoction. Drink 3 cups of this green tea daily
- Joint pain: Drink a cup of Camellia Sinensis tea thrice a day to get relief from joint pain.
- Liver Tonic: Daily consumption of Tea Plant flushes out the toxins and fat deposits present in Liver. Drink 3 cups of Green tea daily. You can add Honey to taste. (Note: Avoid excessive Green Tea consumption.)
- Menopause: Boil fresh leaves of Tea Plant for 10 minutes. Strain off this decoction. Drink it warm for daily to alleviate the symptoms of Menopause.
- Night sweat: Drink a cup of tea twice daily to get treated from night sweats.
- Avian Flu: Drink 3-4 cups of Green Tea every day.
- Colon Polyps: Add 1 teaspoon of Organic Camellia Sinensis in one cup of water. Boil it. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain it and drink twice daily.
- Drowsiness: Steep 1 teaspoon of Camellia Sinensis in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain it and add half teaspoon of Honey in it. Drink it in the morning.
- Dust allergy: Steep 1 teaspoon of Camellia Sinensis in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink it. You can also apply the drained Green Tea teabag over the skin rashes.
- Arthritis: Regularly drink 2 cups of Tea Plant tea to reduce pain in Arthritis.
- Leucopenia: Drink 2 cups of organic Camellia Sinensis daily in the morning and evening.
- Lung cancer: Put 1 teaspoon of organic Tea Plant in one cup of hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes and add half teaspoon of Honey in it. Drink it twice daily.
- Metabolic Syndrome: Prepare a tea, made of organic Camellia Sinensis and one cup of hot water. Drink it twice daily.
- Mycocarditis: Steep 1 teaspoon of crushed Tea Plant leaves in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink it sip by sip.
- Non Hodgkin lymphoma: Have Camellia Sinensis extract, 250 mg per day.
- Pancreatic Cancer: Prepare a tea, made of organic Tea Plant and one cup of water. Drink it once a day.
- Post–Traumatic stress Disorders: Drink a cup of tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of dried Tea Plant leaves in one cup of water, twice daily.
- Heart enlarged: Just have two to three cups of Green Tea daily.
- Aphrodisiac: Steep Tea Plant leaves in one cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and drink it. The shorter time the tea is steeped, the stronger is the Aphrodisiac effect.
- Headache: Put a bag of Tea Plant in a cup of warm water. Add some Lemon juice and drink to have some relief.
- Joint pain: Prepare a cup of Tea Plant tea. Add a teaspoon of Lemon juice. Stir it well. Drink this tea thrice a day to get best results
- Leaves are infused in hot water and used as the drink that is commonly known as tea.
- It is widely drunk in many areas of the world.
- Green tea is made from the steamed and dried leaves, whilst black tea is made from leaves that have been fermented and then dried.
- Tea contains polyphenols; these are antioxidants that help to protect the body against heart diseases, stroke and cancer.
- Cold tea is sometimes used as a soaking liquid to flavor dried fruit.
- Leaves are used as a boiled vegetable.
- Leaves that are slow in development always make a better flavored product.
- Clear golden-yellow edible oil resembling sasanqua oil is obtained from the seed.
- An essential oil distilled from the fermented dried leaves is used as a commercial food flavoring.
- Tea extract is used as a flavor in alcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, baked goods, gelatin, and puddings.
- Tea is a potential source of food colors (black, green, orange, yellow, etc.).
How to Use Tea Plant
Perhaps one of the most popular aromatic herbs in the world, tea is consumed in a number of different ways. Whether is green, black, white, or oolong, tea is not only consumed as a warm infusion or a refreshing, cooling beverage, but is also used to flavor a variety of foods, such as ice cream, smoothies, and cakes. However, virtually all of tea’s health benefits are gained from its medicinal forms.
The spectacular aroma of fresh tea leaves can be transferred to any food, such as in a tea-wrapped salmon. In Asia, young tea buds and leaves are often used in salads and many other culinary delicacies.
When brewed, the dried tea leaves can be used as a medium to poach fruits, as well as a replacement for water in soups, pizza dough, cakes, and more, in order to add the aromatic flavor and health benefits of tea.
When brewed, due to its catechin content, the leaves of tea can help treat a number of conditions, from gastrointestinal issues and headaches to high cholesterol. However, tea infusions are widely consumed because of their energy-boosting properties.
Once finely ground, the young tea leaves are popularly known as ‘matcha tea’ or ‘green tea powder’, and can be used in a variety of sweet and savory recipes. Green tea powder is particularly high in catechins, which aids in lowering bad cholesterol and weight loss.
Herbal Remedies & Supplements
Used for its antioxidant properties, tea essential oil, when consumed in small quantities, is believed to aid weight loss, especially when used in salad dressings or for sautéing vegetables. When used for aromatherapy, it can increase energy.
When taken as a capsule, tea is an incredibly potent stimulant, often used for its high catechin and caffeine content. Because of these properties, capsules are thought to aid weight loss.
- An essential oil is distilled from the fermented and dried leaves.
- It is used in perfumery and in commercial food flavoring.
- Non-drying oil is obtained from the seeds.
- Refined tea seed oil, made by removing the free fatty acids with caustic soda, then bleaching the oil with Fuller’s earth and a sprinkling of bone black, makes an oil suitable for use in manufacture of sanctuary or signal oil for burning purposes, and in all respects is considered a favorable substitute for rapeseed, olive, or lard oils.
- Oil is different from cottonseed, corn, or sesame oils in that it is non-drying oil and is not subject to oxidation changes, thus making it very suitable for use in the textile industry.
- Grey dye is obtained from the pink or red petals.
- Leaves also contain quercetin, a dyestuff that, when found in other plants, is much used as a dye.
- Wood is moderately hard, close and even grained. It is very good for walking sticks.
- Care in patients with heart disease and in those with increased thyroid gland activity.
- Do not exceed 300 mg/day if Pregnant (5 cups).
- Children may develop anemia if excessive amounts.
- Long-term intake over 1.5 g caffeine per day can lead to: restlessness, irritability, sleeplessness, palpitations, vertigo, headaches, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Excessive use, however, can lead to dizziness, constipation, indigestion and insomnia.
- Avoid use during Pregnancy and breast feeding.
- Do not exceed 2 cups a day, if suffering from anxiety disorder or irregular heart rate.
- In some cases it may cause constipation also.