9 Health Benefits Of Ceylon Tea + How To Make It

Written by Sindhu Koganti , BTech (Biotechnology), Diploma In Nutrition

Ceylon tea is the most popular beverage among tea lovers. It has a rich flavor and aroma, and offers several health benefits. Its high antioxidant content and the presence of flavonoids and essential compounds help treat or prevent a host of ailments. The tea helps with weight loss, promotes heart health, and may reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.

People often tend to binge on tea and end up consuming excessively.  Does that impact your health? How many cups a day is considered safe? In this article, we explore the types of Ceylon tea, its health benefits, how to make it, and its possible side effects. Keep reading.

What Is Ceylon Tea?

Ceylon tea is made from the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis. While most teas are named after the plant they are made from, this beverage is named after the region. It contains antioxidants like quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol that make it one among the healthiest beverages (1).

Ceylon tea is available in different types. They are produced from the same plant but are processed differently. Keep scrolling to know in detail.

Types Of Ceylon Tea

  • Black Tea

This is the most popular tea among Ceylon tea types. It is available in different flavors and aromas based on where these tea plants are cultivated. They are generally grown in highlands. Black tea from high-elevation regions is lighter in color while that from lower-elevation areas is darker, reddish-orange with bolder tasting notes.

  • Green Tea

It is cultivated in the Uva province. It has stronger malty or nutty notes and a bolder flavor. This green tea is rich in antioxidants and its preparation is different from that of black tea.

  • White Tea

It is expensive among other Ceylon tea types and is of the highest quality. It offers pine and mild sweetness notes and is produced from the buds. Its caffeine content is low and has more antioxidants than green or black tea.

Drinking Ceylon tea is linked with some potential health benefits. Let’s discuss them in the next section.

Health Benefits Of Ceylon Tea

1. May Help With Weight Loss

Studies suggest that intake of black or green tea may help lose weight. Polyphenols (naturally occurring compounds) in black tea may help inhibit obesity by reducing oxidative stress (2). The theaflavins (antioxidant polyphenols) in this tea have also shown to have anti-obesity effects (3).

A study by the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, found that drinking green tea may enhance the breakdown of fatty acids (fat oxidation) and help reduce the risk of obesity (4). The catechins in green tea may also help reduce body fat (5). Green tea extracts showed anti-obesity effects in rats fed with a high-energy diet (6). A review published in Molecules also suggests that the polyphenol metabolites in dark tea exhibit weight-loss properties (7).

2. May Promote Heart Health

The flavonoids in black and green teas may prevent atherosclerosis (build-up of fat on artery walls) (8). A study by the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, USA, found that green tea catechins decreased total and LDL cholesterol levels (9). Besides, black tea intake had also shown similar benefits (10). Black tea may also decrease C-reactive protein (found in blood plasma) levels and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (11).

3. May Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Ceylon tea may help treat type2 diabetes. Green tea intake was found to reduce fasting blood glucose levels. However, it did not significantly affect fasting blood insulin. More studies are warranted to understand the long-term effects of green tea intake on fasting insulin (12). A review published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests that intake of fewer than four cups of tea per day may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (13). The catechins in tea are also said to reduce blood glucose or insulin levels (14).

In another study on rats, green tea extract given at a dose of 200 mg/kg could significantly reduce blood glucose levels (15). Black tea may also decrease postprandial (post-meal) blood glucose levels in normal individuals and those with pre-diabetes (16). Another study linked coffee and green tea intake to a reduced risk of type2 diabetes. This benefit is attributed to their caffeine content (17).

4. May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

The catechins in green tea have chemopreventative properties that may help prevent prostate cancer (18). The antioxidant effects of green tea may also offer protection against cancer (19). Researchers found that flavonoid compounds (which are also present in tea) may inhibit the growth of cancer cells (20). Besides, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a primary compound in green tea, has chemopreventive ability (21).

5. May Boost Brain Health

Black tea intake may help improve mental alertness and attention (22). L-theanine, an amino acid in tea, is found to promote mental health (23). According to studies, green tea intake may reduce the risk of cognitive decline while black tea may lower the risk of anxiety and depression (24),(25).

6. May Lower Risk Of High Blood Pressure

A review published in Nutrients suggests that black tea may lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients (26). However, more studies are needed to understand the benefit of Ceylon tea in humans.

7. May Prevent Kidney Stones

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin present in tea, may help prevent and treat kidney diseases (27). A study suggests that intake of green tea may prevent the formation of renal stones (28). Besides, a high catechin intake is also shown to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) stones (29).

8. May Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

The bioactive polyphenolic compounds in black tea may help prevent arthritis (30). A study conducted by the National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Taiwan, found that regular tea intake may boost bone mineral density (BMD) (31). Another study on mice suggests that the antioxidant properties of Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) may help prevent inflammatory bone loss in periodontitis (gum infection) (32). Tea intake is also said to reduce the risk of osteoporosis (weakening of bones) (33).

9. May Improve Skin Health

Tea extracts are rich in polyphenols that help improve skin appearance and reduce skin damage (34). A study indicates that green tea polyphenols are effective chemopreventive agents and may act as a natural alternative for photoprotection (against UV rays) (35). Besides, green tea intake may improve collagen and elastin fiber production, diminish the impact of photoaging, and have an anti-wrinkle effect (36).

It is now clear that sipping a few cups of Ceylon tea every day may help prevent or treat several ailments. But how do you make Ceylon tea? Scroll down to know in detail.

How To Make Ceylon Tea?

1. Simple Ceylon Tea

What You Need

  • Ceylon tea leaves – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – 8 ounces (237 ml)

Process

  1. Boil the water at around 90 to 96 degrees Celsius in an electric kettle with a temperature setting.
  2. Add a small handful of dried leaves to a cup (237 ml) of boiling water.
  3. Steep them for five minutes.
  4. Strain Ceylon leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

2. Spicy Ceylon Tea

What You Need

  • Dilmah pure Ceylon tea – 1 tablespoon
  • Green cardamom pods – 12
  • Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Black peppercorns – 12
  • Cloves – 6
  • Cinnamon stick – 1
  • Ginger – 3 cm
  • Jaggery powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Full-cream milk – 500 ml

Process

  1. Pound the cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, and ginger into a coarse paste.
  2. Put the pounded spices and the milk into a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the jaggery. When the milk reaches the boiling point, remove from the heat and gently stir in the tea leaves. Cover and infuse for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the tea through a small sieve into a jug. Pour the tea into glasses from a height (about 30 cm/12 inches) to create foam.

3. Iced Mango And Ceylon Tea

What You Need

  • Ceylon teabags – 1
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Mango juice – as needed
  • Ice cubes – as needed

Process

  1. Pour 4 cups of water into a pot and place it on high heat. Turn off the heat once you see small bubbles forming at the bottom of the pot.
  2. Steep 4 tea bags for 2 minutes.
  3. Let it cool down. Then place in the refrigerator.
  4. Drop some ice cubes into a cup. Fill the cup halfway with mango juice and fill the rest with the cold Ceylon tea.

Buying the best Ceylon tea is key to get the desired taste and benefits. In the next section, we discuss what you need to look for before making a purchase.

How To Buy The Best Ceylon Tea?

Always look for a unique lion logo on the tea package. It is a symbol of a guarantee for 100 percent pure Ceylon tea. The logo belongs to the Sri Lanka Tea Board and is globally trademarked.

Drinking Ceylon tea is generally considered safe. But are there any side effects associated with excess intake?

What Are The Side Effects Of Ceylon Tea?

Consuming Ceylon tea in moderate amounts is considered safe. But drinking more than five cups a day or consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine per day may cause certain side effects. It may increase the risk of coronary heart disease, miscarriage, and arterial hypertension and stiffness (37). It may also cause headaches, anxiety, and insomnia (38). Another study suggests that increased caffeine intake may interact with over-the-counter or prescription drugs (39). Besides, caffeine intake during pregnancy may result in an increased risk of fetal growth restriction (40). Excess green tea intake may also lead to thyroid dysfunction due to its high catechin content (41).

Conclusion

With Ceylon tea come both taste and health benefits. The beverage is available in green, black, and white variants and is rich in antioxidants. Its regular intake helps promote weight loss, improves brain health, lowers the risk of high blood pressure, and relieves arthritis symptoms. Ceylon tea intake also helps control blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of cancer. You can also include it in your skincare regimen as it helps boost the production of collagen and elastin fibers. However, its excess intake may increase the risk of heart disease, miscarriage, arterial hypertension, and stiffness. Remember, moderation is key.

References:

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  1. Genetic Variation of Flavonols Quercetin Myricetin and Kaempferol in the Sri Lankan Tea (Camellia sinensis L.) and Their Health-Promoting Aspects
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4913054/
  2. Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction by Black Tea Polyphenols
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27941615/
  3. Green tea extract ingestion fat oxidation and glucose tolerance in healthy humans
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18326618/
  4. Inhibition of pancreatic lipase by black tea theaflavins: Comparative enzymology and in silico modeling studies
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27596423/
  5. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17557985/
  6. Green tea extract induces genes related to browning of white adipose tissue and limits weight-gain in high energy diet-fed rat
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28804438/
  7. A Review on the Weight-Loss Effects of Oxidized Tea Polyphenols
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099746/
  8. Tea flavonoids and cardiovascular health
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0098299710000737?via%3Dihub
  9. Green tea catechins decrease total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a systematic review and meta-analysis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22027055/
  10. Black tea consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14519829/
  11. Black tea reduces uric acid and C-reactive protein levels in humans susceptible to cardiovascular diseases
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19963031/
  12. Effects of green tea consumption on glycemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7350188/
  13. Tea Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2669862/
  14. Tea and human health: biomedical functions of tea active components and current issues
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4322420/
  15. Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) Supplementation to Diabetic Rats Improves Serum and Hepatic Oxidative Stress Markers
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813194/
  16. Black tea consumption improves postprandial glycemic control in normal and pre-diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28049262/
  17. The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28049262/
  18. New Insights Into the Mechanisms of Green Tea Catechins in the Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665011/
  19. Antioxidant effects of green tea
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679539/
  20. Flavonoids as Anticancer Agents
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071196/
  21. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) Is the Most Effective Cancer Chemopreventive Polyphenol in Green Tea
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509513/
  22. Black tea improves attention and self-reported alertness
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666310008378?via%3Dihub
  23. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836118/
  24. Consumption of Green Tea but Not Black Tea or Coffee Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Cognitive Decline
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4020750/
  25. Anxiolytic effects of theaflavins via dopaminergic activation in the frontal cortex
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30806570/
  26. Black Tea Lowers Blood Pressure and Wave Reflections in Fasted and Postprandial Conditions in Hypertensive Patients: A Randomised Study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4344573/
  27. Protective Effects of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate from Green Tea in Various Kidney Diseases
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30615092/
  28. Preventive effects of green tea on renal stone formation and the role of oxidative stress in nephrolithiasis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15592095/
  29. Daily Green Tea Infusions in Hypercalciuric Renal Stone Patients: No Evidence for Increased Stone Risk Factors or Oxalate-Dependent Stones
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412450/
  30. Tea and its consumption: benefits and risks
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24915350/
  31. Epidemiological evidence of increased bone mineral density in habitual tea drinkers
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11996609/
  32. Effects of O-methylated (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on LPS-induced osteoclastogenesis bone resorption and alveolar bone loss in mice
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29226083/
  33. Association between tea consumption and osteoporosis: A meta-analysis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29245297/
  34. Applications of Tea (Camellia sinensis) and Its Active Constituents in Cosmetics
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6930595/
  35. Cutaneous photoprotection from ultraviolet injury by green tea polyphenols
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11209110/
  36. A Review of the Role of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) in Antiphotoaging Stress Resistance Neuroprotection and Autophagy
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412948/
  37. Side effects of caffeine
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19999796/
  38. Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777290/
  39. Clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions between dietary caffeine and medications
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10976659/
  40. Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy and risk of fetal growth restriction: a large prospective observational study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18981029/
  41. Goitrogenic/antithyroidal potential of green tea extract in relation to catechin in rats
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278691510003431

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