Oolong or Wulong tea, according to wikipedia.org, is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of fermentation can range from 8% to 85%, depending on the variety and production style. This tea category is especially popular with tea connoisseurs of south China and Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia, as is the tea preparation process that originated from this area: gongfu tea-making, or the gongfu tea infusion approach.
There are numerous health benefits that this oolong tea can offer:
1) Weight Loss : confirmed by studies, the continuous consumption of oolong tea results in body weight reduction as it increases metabolism and enhance fat burning process at a higher rate. It makes body burn its own fat for energy . These can be attributed to these three factors: 1)caffeine, which is believed to be a potent stimulant that increases body metabolism and thus energy consumption; 2)Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) present in Oolong tea combined with caffeine was the formula that allowed for the unprecedented fat burning properties of Oolong; 3)Polyphenols which also increases the fat burning effect on the body.
It is however advisable that in order to achieve not only weight loss but optimal health, exercise and proper diet (reduction in the intake of carbohydrate and not the total elimination of it) is greatly advised.
2) Promotes cardiovascular health, regulates blood cholesterol, and reduces high blood pressure : Studies have shown that regular consumption of oolong tea is beneficial for the hearth and cardiovascular system in general as it reduces blood concentrations of triglycerides as well as it helps decrease cholesterol levels.
A 2007 American study found that it reduces blood concentrations of triglycerides (the most common form of fat that exists in the body) by a whopping 80% compared to rats on normal diet.
Another 2001 Japanese study found that it reduces cholesterol after 1 month of regular drinking.
A 2004 Japanese study conducted by Osaka City University found that oolong tea increases plasma adiponectin levels.
Low levels of plasma adiponectin are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease (CAD).
The study concluded that oolong tea may have beneficial effects on the progression of atherosclerosis in patients with CAD.
3) Anti-aging Benefits : Oolong tea is rich in Polyphenols as antioxidant that helps the body fight free radicals that causes many signs of aging, including wrinkles, dark spots and certain diseases, even cancers. Studies showed that oolong tea as part of its antioxidant activity blocked oxidation by 50% over 15 days.
4) Cures Skin Disorders : It is used as treatment for Atopic dermatitis (AD) skin disease, or eczema as well as recalcitrant AD which usually do not respond to conventional treatment. Drinking oolong tea while undergoing dermatological treatment increases the chances of getting rid of the skin disorder.
(recommended dosage : 10 g of oolong tea + 1 liter of water)
5) Complements diabetes treatment : Oolong has been used as a complement to treatment of type 2 diabetes. A 2003 Taiwanese study found that drinking oolong tea is helpful to patients suffering from type 2 diabetes and took the prescribed hyperglycemic drugs.
In the study, the patients drank either water or 1.5 litres of oolong tea daily for 30 days. The scientists found that those who drank oolong tea experienced reductions in plasma glucose and fructosamine concentrations by 30% and 20% respectively.Those who drank water experienced no changes. The scientists concluded that oolong tea complements oral agents in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
6) Stomach Benefits : it helps relieve acid reflux / upset stomach. It also helps in the digestion of food specially red meats. It also aids the spleen.
7) Prevents tooth decay : A 1993 study conducted by Nakahara found that oolong tea inhibits the enzyme activities of bacteria streptococci which has been known to cause dental plaque to form on teeth, which can lead to dental caries.
To Enjoy Oolong Tea,try this simple tips:
1) Steeping : The temperature of the water recommended should be 85ºC - 90ºC (185ºF – 194ºF) and the steeping time should be between 3 to 5 minutes.
2) Based on my readings, some people do not recommend to add sugar, or any sweetener, or milk to oolong tea as it will change its taste and reduce the oolong tea benefits. However, I usually use oolong tea as base for any other beverage that I prepare. I add honey, lemon, lime, or mix it with other teas like green tea, camomile tea etc. I believe that the benefits of oolong tea combined with the benefits offered by other ingredients I mix it with will be amplified thus achieving better health benefits. Just find the right combination for your liking.
3) Like most caffeinated food, oolong tea is not recommended for pregnant and/or lactating mothers
For further readings about the benefits of oolong tea please refer to my sources below 🙂