About Pu'er Tea
Pu-erh or Pu'er tea (Chinese: 普洱茶; pinyin: pǔ'ěrchá) is a fermented tea, named after Pu'er county in Yunnan, China. It is an unusual tea, because unlike other teas which are consumed shortly after production, it can be over 50 years old and is usually aged at least 1-4 years. Over this time it acquires an earthy flavor due to fermentation.
In Cantonese culture, pu'er is known as po-lay, bo-lay tea, or bo-nay tea and is often drunk during dim sum meals with family and friends, as it is believed to help with digestion. Pu'er is considered a medicinal tea in China.
The Pu'er tea has been
subject to a number of health studies. A number of medical studies have
substantiated claims that the tea helps reduce cholesterol levels and saturated
fats in human; it could assist in weight loss.
Green (青饼 qīng
This tea, after drying, is left unadultered to age naturally. Though it takes
longer to mature, it
is considered superior by afficionados.
Above retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu-erh_tea"More on Health Benefits
The chemical composition of broadleaf varietal tea trees (da ye) grown in Yunnan not only gives the tea a distinctive aroma and flavor profile, it also makes the leaves of Pu-er tea suitable for aging, enhancing the quality of the tea. Pu-er starts its life out like a green tea (except it is not dried completely like a green tea). As the tea ages, naturally or artificially, the leaves, which retain a certain amount of moisture, undergo fermentation, which is brought about by the action of various microorganisms. It is the result of this microbial activity that give rise to the unique medicinal qualities Pu-er tea offers.
Many studies have been conducted to pinpoint the health benefits in Pu-er tea. An article published in the Experimental Gerontology, June 2009 entitled Pu-er tea aqueous extracts lower atherosclerotic risk factors in a rat hperlipidemia model suggests, “Pu-erh tea exerts strong antioxidative and lipid-lowering effects and therefore can be used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disorders.”
A study conducted by the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine National Taiwan University, Taipei entitled Pu-er tea supplementation suppresses fatty acid synthase expression in the rat liver through downregulating Akt and JNK signalings as demonstrated in human hepatoma HepG2 cells reveals, “The expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of rats fed Pu-er tea leaves was significantly suppressed. The gains in body weight, level of triacylglycerol, and total cholesterol were also suppressed in the tea treated rats.”
Another study done by the Department of Food Science and Technology, China Nan Univ. of Pharmacy and Science entitled, Effects of Pu-er tea on oxidative damage and nitric oxide scavenging, investigated the effects of fermented Pu-er tea on oxidative damage and a nitric oxide scavenging agent compared with other brands of tea. The study indicates that “water extracts of Pu-er tea exhibited a remarkable protective effect in lipid (liposome) and nonlipid model systems, implying that it is an inhibitor of lipid and nonlipid oxidative damage… Overall, these findings suggest that Puer tea may play a crucial role in preventing such oxidation-related diseases as atherosclerosis and other types of vascular diseases.”