Updated: Jan 16
After every session at GoodMedizen, we offer our patients a cup of organic jasmine green tea. It smells and tastes wonderful, and it also provides a wealth of health benefits. In addition, the way in which jasmine green tea is made is truly a beautiful art form that’s worthy of exploring.
How Is Jasmine Green Tea Made?
This soothing tea is a blend of green tea leaves that have been scented with freshly picked jasmine flowers, a process that has taken place in China for more than 700 years. Two regions known for jasmine green tea are Fuding in the Fujian province as well as Nanning in the Guangxi Zhuang region.
Jasmine flowers are picked, usually in the pre-dawn morning, during the summertime when in bloom. With the help of a sifting machine, the flowers are sorted. Buds that are almost open are perfect; buds that are too small or fully opened are discarded. The chosen jasmine buds will be laid out for several hours so that they open up. Once the blooms have opened, the flowers will be mixed with the green tea leaves and left for the night. This process is called scenting, where the tea is picking up the scent and sticky nectar of the jasmine flowers.
In the morning, the tea leaves are separated from the flowers, which are discarded, and then the tea leaves are laid to dry and reduce any moisture that has accumulated. It generally takes about two days for one round of scenting—one day for scenting, and another day to dry and settle the tea. Most authentic jasmine green teas are scented five to six times.
Many tea manufacturers use machines for much of the processing, but the makers of the fine organic tea we carry actually rolls the young (and now sticky) tea leaves by hand into what are called “pearls.” This shape helps to trap the jasmine aroma and flavor. The pearls are small and consistently shaped, unfurling and releasing their full jasmine aroma when infused—an enchanting experience.
What Are the Benefits of Jasmine Green Tea?
Jasmine green tea has many health benefits. With its low cost and ease in finding authentic forms, especially in the Seattle area, it’s a delicious way to help your body. Here are just 10 of the ways.
1. Regulate Blood Sugar
As detailed in the February 2009 edition of Obesity, Jasmine green tea helps to keep glucose levels in check and maintain the balance of blood sugars, which can help prevent the early onset of diabetes. However, those with diabetes or a history of the disease should consult a doctor before consuming jasmine green tea on a regular basis because it could create synergism with some diabetic medicines, causing blood sugar to drop too low.
2. Boost Immunity
A study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that jasmine green tea has antioxidants that can help to prevent common infections, like colds and the flu. In fact, the chemical makeup of jasmine green tea makes it difficult for infection-causing bacteria to thrive and grow in the body.
3. Improve Cardiovascular Health
In the June 1999 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, Chan et al identified that the catechins, theaflavins, and flavonoids in fragrant teas, like jasmine green tea, can contribute to cardiovascular health. They do so by reducing and/or eliminating inflammation in blood vessel walls—in particular, inflammation associated with LDL (or bad cholesterol).
4. Increase Digestive Health
Those same antioxidants in jasmine green tea help us to form good bacteria, which is critical for healthy digestion. It could also be helpful for sufferers of ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
5. Stimulate Weight Loss
Again, those helpful antioxidants in jasmine green tea also have been shown to boost metabolism. In addition, Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards has identified a possible link between jasmine green tea and the reduction of fat cells. Plus, the naturally sweet taste can be helpful for dieters.
6. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
With its gentle fragrance, jasmine provides a sense of calmness and is widely used in aromatherapy as a stress reliever and natural anti-depressant. Studies have shown that jasmine provides almost a sedative quality by mildly reducing the heart rate.
7. Regulate Circulation
Jasmine green tea has been shown to improve blood circulation, which can help prevent a myriad of conditions, such as thrombosis, blood clots, and blocked arteries.
8. Alleviate Aches and Pains
Because jasmine green tea has antispasmodic properties, it can help with stiffness and sprains as well as back, joint, and muscular pain caused by arthritis. These properties also make it helpful during childbirth.
9. Reduce the Risk of Cancer
In the March 2015 edition of Clinical Epigenetics, Busch et al showed that jasmine green tea helps to slow cancer cell production in our bodies through its antioxidants—there they are again!
10. Slow the Effects of Aging
Perhaps the most superficial benefit of jasmine green tea is that it has an anti-aging effect. The antioxidants in the tea slow down the growth of anti-aging molecules; these are referred to as “free radicals,” and they’re associated with the aging process. Jasmine green tea also prevents cells from coming into contact with the free radicals.
So there you have it: A beautiful, time-honored tradition of making a delicious and wonderfully beneficial tea. Drink up!