Introduction to scientific studies on tea/HFI and health
Tea as well as herbal infusions are subject to a broad range of scientific studies worldwide. In particular possible beneficial effects of these plants and their constituents are studied intensively. And this is not just a phenomenon of our time. Herbs have been collected and cultivated for nutritional and medicinal purposes since ancient times. The first records can be found in the emperor Sheng Nung's book of herbs in China 3000 BC. This knowledge reached Central Europe via Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire, where Charlemagne ordered the cultivation of 89 medicinal and agricultural plants in his Land Estate Ordinance. Many eminent natural scientists have since contributed to what we know about herbs today.
The beneficial effects reported are mainly based on experience and often it is not possible to allocate them to a certain constituent of the plant in question. It seems that the plant parts as a whole and not just single substances are relevant. Tea (Camellia sinensis) is much more researched in modern times than the broad variety of herbal materials. Nevertheless, based on experience a lot of plants which are also used as ingredients of herbal infusions are recognized as traditional medicinal remedies. Tea and herbal infusions are natural foodstuffs which form part of a healthy diet. We are following with interest what else they can do for us.
Please find below a selection of interesting studies:
- Ruxton CHS (2008) Black tea and health. Nutrition Bulletin 33, 91-101. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2008.00691.x
- Ruxton CHS (2009) The health effects of black tea and flavonoids. Nutrition & Food Science 39: 283-294. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00346650910957546/full/html?skipTracking=true
- Ruxton CHS (2016) Tea: hydration and other health benefits. Primary Health Care, 26(8): 34-42. https://journals.rcni.com/nursing-standard/the-role-of-tea-in-hydration-ns.31.8.74.s50
- Bond T, Derbyshire E (2019) Tea compounds and the gut microbiome: findings from trials and mechanistic studies. Nutrients 11: 2364. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835862/
- Bond T, Derbyshire E (2020) Rooibos tea and health: A systematic review of the evidence from the last two decades. Nutrition and Food Technology 6(1). https://sciforschenonline.org/journals/nutrition-food/NFTOA166.php
- Etheridge C, Derbyshire E (2020) Hibiscus tea and health: A scoping review of scientific evidence. Nutrition and Food Technology 6(2). https://www.sciforschenonline.org/journals/nutrition-food/NFTOA167.php
- Bond T, Derbyshire E (2020) Black tea flavonoids: A focus on thearubigins and their potential roles in diet & health. Nutrition and Food Technology 6(2). https://www.sciforschenonline.org/journals/nutrition-food/NFTOA168.php