We are all aware of the health benefits of green tea, being antioxidant rich and good for our health, but the less familiar white tea has proved to be what we should be drinking. New research from Kingston University London in conjunction with Neal’s yard Remedies has shown that white tea has significant potential to fight against skin ageing, as well as inflammation and cancer.
The amazing results illustrated white tea’s ability to inhibit enzymes that attack collagen and elastase, and mimic the action of one of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. The study, published in the BioMed Central journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, tested 23 extracts from 21 plants and found white tea to come out the all round winner by far.
Extracts were tested for their anti-collagenase and anti-elastase activity, two enzymes that contribute to skin ageing by breaking down collagen and elastin, as well as their antioxidant activity. White tea showed the highest activity at 87 per cent, compared to green tea (47.17 per cent) and rose tincture (40.96 per cent)
The concentrations used in the experiments were significantly lower than those you would find in a normal cup of tea, so just one cup of white tea a day is going to give huge anti aging health benefits. When they looked at the combined action of the extract on elastase and collagenase, white tea has an inhibiting activity of over 180 per cent. The next best of the extracts tested came in at 80 percent.
So what is white Tea?
Although from the same Camellia sinessis plant, green, black and white tea appear to have very different health giving properties.
White tea is a rare more delicately flavoured type of tea that is only harvested once a year, it consists of the newest buds of the plant which are picked in early spring before they open, the new leaf buds are often covered in fine white hairs, whereas black tea is picked later and some of the components will have oxidised decreasing its health giving properties.
The are a variety of different white teas to enjoy, all with very different flavours and price for that matter.
Organic white teas are available from many outlets but for an outstanding organic cupa try