Jasmine tea is a fragrant tea, made from the same plant as green tea, Camellia sinensis. The delicate leaves are steeped to yield a tea that has the aroma and flavor of jasmine flowers. Jasmine tea producers create jasmine tea by adding fresh jasmine flowers to freshly harvested green tea leaves. The tea leaves absorb the fragrance from the jasmine flower. You can also buy black jasmine tea, but green jasmine tea is more popular. Some producers add jasmine to white or oolong teas as well.
What you might not realize is jasmine tea has been a part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and some studies show jasmine tea has potential health benefits. Because jasmine tea is made from green tea leaves scented with jasmine blossoms, it offers the same health benefits as green tea and because of the jasmine component, it may offer additional health perks. Let’s look at 5 reasons you can feel good about sipping jasmine tea.
It’s a Heart Healthy Beverage
Unlike soft drinks, jasmine tea is good for your heart. Studies in animals show that green tea polyphenols in jasmine tea protect LDL-cholesterol against oxidation, a process linked with cardiovascular disease. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is an altered form of LDL cholesterol. It is thought to be more dangerous than regular LDL cholesterol since it can cause inflammation in the blood vessels. This altered form of LDL-cholesterol plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arteries, and heart disease.
In support of this, some animal studies also show that jasmine green tea reduces plaque build-up in the walls of arteries. These findings are all favorable for heart health. Human studies also link green tea with a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes, although these are association studies and don’t necessarily show causation. Still, studies in this area are encouraging and there are few downsides to enjoying a fragrant cup of jasmine tea.
Jasmine Tea is a Calming Beverage
Studies link jasmine green tea with calming benefits. Although jasmine tea contains caffeine; it also is rich in L-theanine, a calming amino acid that triggers brain waves you experience in a relaxed state. The combination of caffeine and theanine gives a calm state of alertness and focus. If you’re trying to take a break from caffeine and still drink something healthy, jasmine tea is an excellent alternative. High-quality green tea without jasmine flavoring also contains L-theanine, so you can get similar benefits by drinking a cup of green tea.
It’s Rich in Antioxidants
Jasmine green tea, like all green tea, contains significant amounts of antioxidant catechins, compounds that fight oxidative stress. This gives it the ability to fight inflammation. In one study, researchers tested the antioxidant content of various flavored green teas and compared it to unflavored green tea. Of the teas they tested, jasmine tea and blueberry green tea were the most antioxidant-rich.
Jasmine Tea May Help with Blood Glucose Control
An analysis of 17 studies involving more than 1100 individuals found green tea lowered fasting blood glucose and HgbA1C, a marker of longer-term blood glucose control. Research shows EGCG in green tea enhances insulin’s function for better blood sugar control. This is true of all tea from the Camellia sinensis, including green, white, and black.
If you drink jasmine-scented green tea, you can enjoy those benefits too. Plus, jasmine tea is naturally sugar-free, and the jasmine flavoring gives it a naturally sweet taste that reduces the need for added sweeteners. If you’re ready to break from sugar-sweetened beverages, jasmine tea is a delightfully fragrant choice.
It Has Anti-Bacterial Properties
Researchers from Kansas State University discovered jasmine slows the growth of some bacteria that cause food poisoning, including Salmonella and Listeria. It’s possible that jasmine could be used by the food industry to lower the risk of food poisoning. Also, studies show that the antioxidant catechins in jasmine tea block the activity of bacteria that cause dental caries.
Another perk – the catechins in green tea combat bacteria that cause bad breath. Not to mention, your breath may have the subtle aroma of jasmine after sipping a cup of sweet jasmine brew! Plus, jasmine tea, unlike soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages, is better for your oral hygiene, since it contains no sugar to contribute to dental caries and gum disease.
The Bottom Line
How much jasmine tea do you need to drink to get the health benefits? Most resources suggest 2-3 cups per day is enough to offer some health perks. Why not try brewing your own at home? The best way to enjoy its health benefits and get the best quality jasmine tea is to brew loose-leaf jasmine-scented green tea leaves, let them steep, and then strain your fresh brew. You can enjoy its flowery taste either warm or iced.
To maximize the health benefits, keep the water temperature during steeping no higher than 170 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use boiling water, you may destroy some of its antioxidants. Who would have believed a delicious cup of jasmine tea would have so many potential health benefits? And you can enjoy a cup at any time.
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