Pu’er (or pu’erh) tea is a type of fermented tea that’s traditionally made in the Yunnan Province of southwestern China. It’s named after a city in the region where it is primarily produced. Like black, green, white, and oolong tea, pu’erh is made from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Let’s take a closer look at pu’erh tea and some of the health benefits it provides.
What Makes Pu’erh Tea Different From Other Types of Tea?
Even though it is made from the same plant as other common types of teas, pu’erh is processed differently. The process involves two stages; first, it is processed much like green tea. The second stage involves fermentation and an aging process under high humidity.
Pu’erh is fermented for much longer periods than other kinds of tea. Fermentation can range from years up to decades. Once ready, the leaves are often pressed into cakes or bricks and sold. You can also find them in loose-leaf form.
May Help Reduce Body Weight
There is some evidence to suggest that regularly drinking pu‘erh tea can help with weight loss. It does so by synthesizing fewer new fats and burning existing ones in the body. Naturally, this process can lead to weight loss. Blake from Energetic Lifestyle recommends you combine it with a healthy diet and exercise.
As pu’erh tea is fermented, it also helps in introducing probiotics (beneficial bacteria) into the gut. These probiotics help manage your blood sugar levels, weight and hunger levels. It also helps reduce the synthesis and storage of fatty acids. The latter is due to the presence of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. Drinking a cup or two of pu’erh tea after a meal a couple of times a day can help you reap these benefits.
Helps With Digestion
Pu’erh tea is a valuable digestive aid, aiding in the digestion of fats and lipids. This is also why pu’erh tea can be useful for weight loss. Pu’erh tea can also help reduce constipation because of the presence of lovastatin in the leaves.
Pu’erh tea can help benefit blood fat levels. Cholesterol levels can be managed with pu’erh tea in two ways. First, it increases the amount of dietary-fat-bound bile acid that is excreted in the feces. Doing so helps to stop these fats from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Secondly, pu’erh tea has been shown to reduce fat accumulation in animal studies. These two factors together help decrease the chances of heart disease.
Can Lower Cancer Risk
Test-tube studies have shown pu’erh extract to kill breast, oral and colon cancer cells. However, these studies involve using highly concentrated pu’erh tea extracts directly on the cancer cells. It’s not clear exactly how drinking pu’erh tea could directly affect cancer cells, and more research is needed.
It is believed that the oxidized tea polyphenols present in pu’erh tea are responsible for the anti-carcinogenic properties. These polyphenols help slow down the proliferation of free radicals and reduce the production of irregular cells.
Can Improve Liver Health
As this particular type of tea is useful in decreasing fat accumulation, pu’erh may help prevent or reverse fatty liver disease, which is a disease where excess fat is stored in the liver.
In traditional Chinese medicine, pu’erh tea is used to aid the stomach and spleen in filtering toxins out of the body. The simple sugars and microorganisms present in pu’erh tea help eliminate free radicals and cleanse the blood.
The oxidative properties of pu’erh tea help deliver increased levels of oxygen, which can increase circulation and blood flow. This delivery of more oxygen can help mitigate headaches and migraines and reduce free radicals that can cause disease.
Useful for Cognitive Health
There have been a lot of studies on the effects of pu’erh tea on the brain. They suggest that pu’erh can help manage brain-related diseases such as epilepsy, dementia and Alzheimers.
Good for Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become increasingly weak and brittle with age. Women are at particular risk of this unpleasant condition. The onset of osteoporosis can come after menopause, due to hormonal changes and deficiencies in vitamins D and calcium.
Promising results were produced from tests studying if pu’erh tea could protect against osteoporosis.
Can Help Reduce Anxiety
With large portions of the population struggling with anxiety at some point in their lives, finding natural ways to deal with this disorder is becoming increasingly necessary. Pu’erh tea contains a substance called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is renowned in medical communities for its potential to decrease anxiety.
Pu’erh also helps protect the elastin in the skin. The continued loss of elastin in the skin is known to affect aging. Regularly drinking pu’erh tea can help keep the skin healthy by reducing the effects of damage done by the sun.
The antibacterial nature of pu’erh tea may also help protect the body from harmful bacteria. Many forms of bacteria are healthy and perform vital functions in the body. Others are harmful and can cause a host of problems, including acne. Regularly consuming pu’erh tea may help your skin. Applying it directly to your face is another option to obtain the benefits it offers.
Pu’erh tea is a potent form of tea from the plant Camellia sinensis. It differs from other teas and has a different medicinal profile because of the lengthy fermentation that it undergoes. Pu’erh is useful in reducing and managing body weight. Because it’s fermented, it is also useful in promoting healthy gut bacteria. All of this can help improve the digestive system which, in turn, will help with your overall energy levels.
These benefits also extend to lowering cholesterol levels in the body, lowering cholesterol, and improving liver health. Pu’erh is also useful in lowering the risks of certain types of cancer, improving bone health, reducing anxiety, and improving your skin health.
Including pu’erh tea regularly into your diet can offer a whole host of benefits for your health – over and above other common forms of tea such as black, green, white or oolong.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]