Tea is well known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and health-promoting properties.
Red tea (the precious Chinese pu-erh) is a very peculiar kind of tea, not only for its taste but also for its health effects. This is largely due to the fermentation it goes through during its manufacturing process.
In it, yeasts and bacteria act on the composition of the tea causing chemical changes that affect its level of caffeine, its concentration of antioxidants and give it its fat-burning effects.
Why do you lose weight?
There are studies that have described how red tea significantly reduces the synthesis of fatty acids, or simply put, that red tea reduces the absorption of fats from food by your body.
Another important factor for the slimming effects of red tea is the caffeine naturally present in all teas. Due to it, our body secretes hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which have been shown to promote the movement of stored fatty acids in cells. This causes our body to have easier access to these stored fats and promotes their consumption.
Pu-erh has a high content of gallic acid, an element that has been shown to be effective in generating anti-obesity effects in animals. This study suggests that the intake of red tea had effects on the reduction of the mean waist circumference, BMI and visceral fat values and could be useful for weight control and the prevention of the development of the obesity.
Another study suggests that red tea attenuates the accumulation of visceral fat and reduces the levels of lipids or lipoproteins in the blood. The conclusions are based on animal studies that should be extended to humans.
Effects of red tea on the intestinal flora
Red tea is an especially beneficial drink for health, since the beneficial effects that tea itself has are added to those that come from its fermentation process.
Red tea begins like the rest of the teas, collecting and drying the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, from this point the Wodui fermentation comes into play. During this, the compacted tea bricks are stacked in temperature and humidity controlled rooms for months.
Fungi and beneficial bacteria proliferate in this medium, giving red tea its characteristic flavor and many of its medicinal properties.
All these beneficial microorganisms pass into our digestive system when we drink the pu-erh, improving the composition of our intestinal flora.
Our intestinal flora is made up of trillions of microorganisms that perform protective, metabolic and trophic functions. Having a healthy intestinal flora plays a very important role in good general health.
How to take it
Drinking red tea improperly can make you gain weight instead of losing it.
Drinking pu-erh helps your body purify itself and eliminate excess fat. If you take it before eating, this purifying effect will cause your appetite to grow and you will probably end up eating more than you should.
To maximize the beneficial effects of red tea, you should drink it some time after eating (let’s say an hour). In this way, it will act by eliminating the excess fat that you may have consumed and will help your digestive system to process the food.
Pu-erh helps you lose weight by increasing the speed of digestion. Drinking red tea speeds up the movement of fatty components through your digestive system so your body doesn’t have time to absorb them.
Red tea, like all teas, contains caffeine, although to a much lesser degree than others due to its fermentation process. Taking too much can cause headaches, interfere with sleep, and make you restless and agitated.
Pu-erh in moderate doses during pregnancy or lactation is not dangerous, although its caffeine content makes it inadvisable to exceed its dose.
In general, drinking an excess of caffeinated beverages is inadvisable for people with diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome or coagulation disorders.
What does Traditional Chinese Medicine say
Although Traditional Chinese Medicine has gained popularity in recent years in the West as an alternative therapy, in China it is used very commonly. Its beginnings date back more than 2,500 years and it has long been China’s standard system of medicine.
Its basic methods revolve around concepts such as acupuncture, massage, exercise, diet, and medicinal plants. This is where red tea comes in.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is well aware of the properties of red tea, which it considers a medicinal plant. Specifically, red tea is used as a purifying drink to aid digestion and remove toxins from the body. It is considered a beneficial drink especially for the spleen and stomach. You may ask: why is this important?
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a concept whose translation would be “internal humidity” that is directly associated with the spleen. Red tea is considered an effective remedy to prevent this condition, which refers to the inability of the spleen to transport and purify body fluids. It manifests itself with symptoms such as generalized tiredness, dizziness, lack of appetite, heaviness in the kidneys, joint pain, among others.
Another interesting aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that it associates organs with emotions. The spleen is associated with worry. Therefore, factors such as concentrating too much, thinking intensely or obsessing are emotions that are considered to weaken the spleen. Consuming red tea is one way to restore your balance.