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Oolong Tea: Benefits and Nutrition Facts

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While there is growing interest in green tea, particularly the famous matcha green tea from Japan, there are other varieties that can offer exemplary benefits as well. Take oolong, for example: It offers potential for weight loss, heart health and a wide array of health issues;1 yet, it only accounts for 2 percent of overall tea consumption worldwide.2

This article puts the spotlight on oolong tea: its origins, how it’s produced and potential effects it can have on your health. Brew yourself a delicious cup of this tea and take delight in every sip.

What Is Oolong Tea?

Some say oolong is a type of black tea, while others often pit oolong against green tea, claiming these two are the same. But oolong actually doesn’t fall under either type.

Various teas are enjoyed all over the world, but actually there are only four main types of tea: black, white, green and oolong. These are the varieties produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are not considered “true” teas, as they do not come from Camellia sinensis.3

What sets the four true teas apart is their degree of fermentation. Organic oolong tea, made from the buds and stems of the plant, is described as “slightly fermented and semi-oxidized,”4 and as a result has a taste that falls between green tea and black tea.

Oolong’s flavor depends on its oxidation level, which can vary from 10 to over 80 percent.5 Less oxidized oolongs may have a fresh green tea flavor, while more oxidized varieties may have a “woodsy” black tea flavor.6

Oolong tea is said to have originated from China and Taiwan. There are many different types of oolong tea, with the most famous type hailing from the Fuijan province in China.7 The word “oolong” actually means “black dragon” in Chinese. One folklore tale has it that a plantation owner went to check his harvest only to find a black dragon in the fields, scaring him away. After coming back a few days later, the creature was gone. However, the tea leaves had gone dark and fermented under the sunlight.8

You can brew oolong by steeping loose tea leaves or you can simply buy oolong tea bags. Just make sure to avoid tea bags made with plastic, such as nylon, thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene, which can leach unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals into your beverage.

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Because it falls between black tea and green tea, oolong tea offers both of these teas’ benefits, making it one of the healthiest tea varieties you can consume.

Oolong tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which include theaflavins, thearubigins, catechins and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These beneficial compounds account for oolong tea’s positive effects. Another beneficial component in it is theanine,9 an amino acid with relaxing properties.10 The caffeine in oolong tea is also responsible for some of its benefits, particularly in fat metabolism and weight management.11

Sipping a cup of oolong tea can go a long way in improving your well-being. If you want to know what oolong tea is good for, just take a look at these potential effects:

Helps with weight management — The polyphenols in oolong tea help control fat metabolism in the body by activating certain enzymes.12 A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ingested either full-strength or diluted oolong tea burned 2.9 to 3.4 percent more total calories daily.13

Assists in free radical elimination — The antioxidant properties of polyphenols help remove excessive free radicals in the body,14 which play a role in various diseases, such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

May boost brain function — One study conducted on elderly Chinese people found that those who regularly drank black and oolong tea had a 64 percent lower risk of brain function decline.15

This may be because of various factors, such as the caffeine, which can increase the release of the brain messenger hormones norepinephrine and dopamine, therefore improving mood, attention and brain function. The theanine in oolong is believed to help boost attention and relieve anxiety as well.

Helps keep your bones strong — Drinking black, green or oolong tea every day (in a 10-year period) is said to increase bone mineral density by 2 percent, according to one study.16 Having a higher bone mineral density may help reduce the risk of fractures.

Maintains good heart health — This is believed to be brought on by the antioxidants in the tea. One study involving over 76,000 Japanese adults found that those who consumed 8 ounces or more of oolong tea daily reduced their heart disease risk by 61 percent.17 In a separate study done in China, a 39 percent reduced stroke risk was seen in adults who drank 16 ounces of green tea or oolong tea daily.18

How to Make Oolong Tea

Oolong can come in different leaf shapes and may have varying oxidations levels. For this reason, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for steeping this tea. The Kitchn provides general guidelines on how to brew oolong tea:19

Procedure

  1. If the oolong is rolled into balls, use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per 6 ounces of water. If what you have are large open leaves, use 2 tablespoons for the same amount of water.
  2. Use fresh cold water that has not been boiled. Do not used distilled water, as it will give your oolong a flat flavor.
  3. Boil your water to 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit before steeping the tea.
  4. How long you should steep oolong depends on how weak or strong you want the tea to be. Ideally, steeping time should be anywhere from one to five minutes.

Oolong leaves needs room to “unfold” and release their flavor, so you should use a basket-style infuser instead of a ball-style infuser. Another good idea is to directly brew the tea leaves in the pot or cup and then just strain them out.

Many people love using oolong to make milk tea, with various recipes available today. However, I advise doing this sparingly, as adding milk may significantly reduce its health benefits. This is because the proteins in the milk may bind to and neutralize the antioxidants in tea.20

How to Store Oolong Tea

Because oolong is semi-fermented, its shelf life is somewhat longer than green tea, with heavily oxidized oolong varieties lasting as long as two years. However, this still largely depends on the degree of fermentation and how well it is stored. Loose leaf oolong tea sold in bulk also tends to become stale quicker.

The trick to prolonging the shelf life of oolong, as well as any tea variety, is making sure that it’s stored properly. Put it in an airtight container and keep in a dry, dark cabinet. Refrain from placing it under direct sunlight or heat, and put it away from pantry items like spices and coffee that can leach their flavors and odors onto the tea.21

A Note Regarding the Caffeine in Oolong Tea

Oolong does have caffeine, but its levels actually fall somewhere in between black tea and green tea. The caffeine levels in oolong are also lower than coffee. Caffeine Informer tested four types and found that their caffeine content can be as low as 16.6 milligrams per cup (mg/cup) or as high as 55.4 (mg/cup).22

Keep in mind that numerous factors may influence the caffeine content in oolong, such as the processing method and how the tea was brewed. If you are truly concerned about the caffeine in oolong tea, you can reduce the brewing time. One study found that oolong tea that’s steeped for five minutes had 40 mg/cup, while another that’s steeped for three minutes had only 30 mg/cup. One minute of steeping produced only 13 mg/cup of caffeine.23

It’s also a good idea to ask the vendor or manufacturer about the caffeine levels in the product you’re buying.

Oolong Tea May Have Side Effects for Caffeine-Sensitive People

Even if the caffeine content of oolong is significantly lower than that of coffee, those who are sensitive to this stimulant should still limit their intake. Excessive consumption may lead to caffeine overload, causing potential side effects such as:24



Palpitations

Rapid heartbeat

Headaches

Tremors

Nervousness

Increased urine flow

In addition, tea, in general, may decrease the amount of iron you get from plant foods. Hence, if you want to drink oolong tea, you should make sure to get enough vitamin C, which can increase the amount of iron from plant foods.25

Don’t Miss Out on the Outstanding Benefits of Oolong Tea

Oolong may not be as widely talked about as green tea, but maybe it should be. The health benefits mentioned above should be enough to convince you to try this tea.

Just make sure to get oolong from a reliable manufacturer and drink it in moderation, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Brew yourself a cup of oolong today and start enjoying the many wholesome benefits of this beverage!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Oolong Tea

Q: Is oolong tea a type of black tea?

A: No. While they both come from the same Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is not black tea. Black tea is fully oxidized, while oolong is semi-oxidized. It falls between green tea and black tea.

Q: What does oolong tea taste like?

A: Depending on the oxidation of oolong, its flavor may vary. Less oxidized oolong may have a fresh green tea flavor, while heavily oxidized varieties may have a malty taste reminiscent of black tea.

Q: Where can you buy oolong tea?

A: You can buy oolong tea in any health store, and some specialty tea online stores carry this tea variety as well. The most famous oolongs come from Taiwan and China, although other countries, such as Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, also grow Camellia sinensis plants for oolong tea production.26

Q: Is oolong tea caffeinated?

A: Yes, oolong tea contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts than black tea and coffee.

Q: How much caffeine is in oolong tea?

A: This depends on the brand or variety. Caffeine Informer tested four oolong types and found their caffeine levels to range from 16.6 to 55.4 milligrams per cup.27 In general, oolong has more caffeine than green tea, but less than black tea.

Q: Is oolong tea fermented?

A: The correct term is “semi-fermented.”28 Oolong is partially oxidized, and is somewhere in the middle of green tea and black tea.

Note: When buying tea of any kind, make sure that it’s organic and grown in a pristine environment. The Camellia sinensis plant in particular is very efficient in absorbing lead, fluoride and other heavy metals and pesticides from the soil, which can then be taken up into the leaves. To avoid ingesting these dangerous toxins, a clean growing environment is essential, so you can be sure you’re ingesting only pure, high-quality tea.


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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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