There have been many, many articles on the health benefits of tea.
However, there have been a few articles also that point in the other way. A notable recent study was in prostate cancer in men. Quite honestly even its authors could not mitigate that this finding could be due to the fact these men had lived to an older age where the incidence and likely risk of prostate cancer is increasing. So what is the truth? Is tea doing anything at all?
A true test of tea
The prostate cancer data was from a collaborative study, but it got me to thinking that there can never ever be a truly double blind randomised controlled trial that is regarded as totally de rigour. For one, there could never be an absolute “double blind”, as quite honestly, it would be a bit tricky to disguise whether you were being given tea or not. In other words, all the participants would know, even if the “prescribers” were “blind” to who was getting what. There is undoubtably something in the anecdotal evidence that exists though, and the antioxidant argument for one can be supported through other means. I would argue it is more than the tea per se.
There is another more essential Tea element
And it is this. Beyond the qualities of the quite wonderful flavours of tea, there is the act of brewing that brings a moment of peace, a glimpse of mindfulness. More importantly though, there is an innate sense of belonging and feeling of care that is bestowed when one is making, or being made tea. It is that communion as well as the heady warmth of that first sip that I think gives an intangible health benefit of tea.
When unwell, what has perked me up is the prospect of a warm fragrant cup that will wake me, brewed under instruction by my darling whose pinnacle of tea brewing sophistication is Yorkshire Rwandan bag as he so eloquently has described it. Please don’t mistake me here, I am a huge fan of Yorkshire tea, and this seasons Rwandan is lovely, but I do believe there is so much more to the health benefits of tea than its taste alone.
P.S. My thanks to the lovely friends who sent this card with their very kind and wise words that accompanied it.