Your immune system is your natural defence against disease-causing germs that may lurk in common areas like the office, shopping malls and even airplanes. However, this defence sometimes fails: a germ may successfully invade your body and make you sick; due to your immune system being weak, or the germ being strong. This leads to the question: can strengthening your immune system prevent you from falling sick quite as often? The answer is yes. Research suggests that drinking tea can enhance your immune system, due to the polyphenols and theanine present in tea. However, not all teas are created equal – below we discuss the health benefits of handpicked tea compared to tea that is not handpicked.
Tea polyphenols for enhanced immunity
Most of the health benefits of tea, including strengthening your immune system and immune response, is due to the polyphenols and theanine present in the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The fresh, tender shoots of tea, which are used for processing into Black Tea, Green Tea and Oolong Tea, contain significantly high amounts of polyphenols in comparison to other plants. Therefore, regular consumption of these teas, over a long period of time, will enhance immunity.
Handpicked teas VS machine-cut teas
Not all teas are created equal, due to the way it’s picked and packed:
Handpicked teas only consist of the tender two leaves and a bud from the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The juices of the two leaves and a bud, released at the rolling stage of the traditional tea manufacturing process, contain the immunity boosting goodness of polyphenols. Tea that is cut and collected by machines don’t contain only the two leaves and a bud, but a host of undesirable collateral as well: such as stems and matured leaves not intended for good tea.
As a tea grower that understood the importance of quality and how it affects our health, Merrill. J. Fernando pioneered the concept of Single Origin Tea in 1988 with his own brand – Dilmah Tea. Dilmah Tea consists of only the two tender leaves and a bud – containing the greatest concentration of health benefits backed by scientific studies – handpicked in tea gardens across Sri Lanka. In Dilmah’s artisanal process, the handpicked Ceylon tea is not blended with machine-cut teas. This garden-fresh, unblended tea is then packed where it’s grown to preserve freshness and polyphenols, which additionally impact the health properties of tea.
Today, most teas are not made in the artisanal way that honours tradition and preserves freshness. In addition to the tea picking process, teas not packed where it’s grown loses freshness and polyphenols, making it not as beneficial and pleasurable in taste, aroma, and goodness. Therefore, it’s important to know where your tea comes from and how it’s made. Tea that is handpicked, unblended and packed at source is what determines the quality and natural goodness of tea.
How many cups of tea helps boost immunity?
Experts recommend drinking 4 – 5 cups of handpicked, unblended and garden-fresh tea packed at source of either black, oolong or green tea, per day, to help boost immunity.
Tea and Your Health, Dr. Tissa Amarakoon and Prof. Robert F. Grimble