Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's in my teacup?

 
While the March weather is still warming, I continue to enjoy my hot tea in the mornings. On this particular morning, I have settled down to a hot cup of oolong tea (otherwise known as wulong tea). It is made from the same plant as green and black tea--Camellia sinensis; however, the processing varies between the three teas. Oolong tea is a partially fermented tea. Its flavor varies depending on the type of oolong tea.

Oolong tea has recently gained fame as a weight loss supplement, but today I am going to focus on some lesser known studies about oolong tea. Oolong tea may inhibit the bacteria commonly associated with dental cavities, Streptococcus mutans.  In a cell study published early last year, black, oolong and green tea were all compared for their ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans.  Oolong tea demonstrated the greatest inhibitory effects on this bacteria.  A 1999 cell study suggested that a particular polyphenol of oolong tea (OTF6) may inhibit the bacteria's ability to adhere to the tooth surface. A rat study has also supported these findings. This is far from definitive proof and certainly lacking human studies at this time; however, I'm quite content to have my mouth coated with this delicious tea this morning, believing there might be some additional health benefit to be gleaned.

Oolong tea does contain caffeine, and several medications interact with caffeine. In many cases, a cup or two of tea every now and again will not cause harm. On average, it has about a 1/3 of the caffeine quantity as coffee, depending on how it is brewed. If you plan to ingest larger quantities and take prescribed medications, check with your pharmacist first and read the directions she or he provides.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22842248
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10529529
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8319255

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