Around 60% of the adult human body is made up of water, with up to 70% for children. Therefore, staying hydrated is very important for your health, especially in summer. Maybe people reach for juice and sports drinks, but they contain a lot of sugar, so tea is better for your health.
This article will introduce you to five Japanese teas you should drink to stay hydrated this summer.
Dokudami tea has long been known for its health benefits, and it’s an effective way to avoid sickness from the summer heat. Dokudami tea leaves grow in shady areas all around Japan, and they have a rich, peculiar smell.
If we split the word in two, we get “doku,” which means poison, and “dami,” which means stop, so together it means something like “antidote.” These tea leaves have been used as medicine for centuries, and the plant’s name even appears in a few Japanese books from the Edo Period (1603 – 1863). Today, the medicine is sold at pharmacies under the name “juuyaku,” which means it has ten different medicinal effects.
The primary components of dokudami which are good for your health are as follows:
Quercetin is a flavonoid sometimes used as a dye because of its yellow color. It is found in apples, onions, berries and is believed by some people to cure cancer, although this has yet to be completely scientifically proven.
Rutin is also a flavonoid and is found in buckwheat, lemons, and oranges. Its former name was vitamin P. Some people use rutin for strengthening blood vessels.
Quercitrin is found in the plant’s leaves and stalks.
Another flavonoid, Quercitrin can also be found in sweet peppers. It has a bitter taste.
Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin also found in meat, fish, and vegetables.
Livers, eel, avocado, and nameko mushroom have a concentration of pantothenic acid.
Niacin is also a water-soluble vitamin, is known as vitamin B3.
The body uses niacin to convert food into energy.
Other components include potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. As you can see, it contains a lot of nutrients. But please note that excessive consumption may cause diarrhea.
When you make dokudami tea, please use lukewarm water since hot water can damage the nutrients.
Because of its unique and robust smell, many people do not like this tea, but it helps keep you healthy, especially when you get sick in the summer heat.
Biwa tea is known for its analeptic effects: recovery from fatigue, promotion of appetite, healing eczema, diarrhea, heat rash, antitussive, asthma, and so on.
People also say it is useful for strengthening your stomach, reducing edema and diuresis, preventing alimentary intoxication and summer heat fatigue, improvement of shoulder discomfort, amelioration of lower back pain and diabetes mellitus, and improvement of immediate allergies.
In addition to that, people who have an allergy to pollen also should drink this tea because it is excellent for disinfection and killing allergens.
This tea should also be brewed in lukewarm warm to contain the nutrients.
If you are interested, please try it for just one month at first. It takes time until you can feel the effect, but it will surely work if you keep drinking.
Sugina tea is made from dried horsetail (also known as puzzlegrass), and it contains a lot of minerals. It’s found easily when in season from April to May all around Japan.
This plant is known for its tenacity; when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, horsetail was the first plant to regrow. Our bodies can also benefit from the nutrients that make it so strong.
Compared to spinach, which is also known for containing lots of minerals, sugina tea contains five times the phosphorus and potassium, 155 times the calcium, and three times the magnesium.
It contains silica as well, a mineral known for making your blood smooth and preventing cancer.
As with the other teas, using tepid water for preparation is recommended.
Though it contains many nutrients, you should take care to be careful not to overdrink this tea as it may also cause a thiamine deficiency when consumed excessively, and contains a large amount of potassium.
Soba (buck wheat) Tea
Soba, which means buckwheat noodle in Japanese, is a favorite food in Japan, but buckwheat is much more nutritious if you drink it as a tea. This is because some nutrients are water-soluble, and these are lost when the buckwheat noodles are boiled.
Soba tea is often served at soba restaurants. Benefits of soba teas include the improvment of blood vessel flow, and prevention of high blood pressure. The tea contains minerals, vitamins B1, B2, E, iron, but the main nutrient is rutin. There’s also a special soba tea called “dattan soba” which contains 100 times the normal amount of rutin.
Unlike some other teas, soba has no negative side effects, though take care to ensure you do not carry a buckwheat allergy.
Bitter Melon Tea
Bitter Melon tea contains linolenic acid which is great for burning fat, and the amount of vitamin C it contains is three times as much as cabbage.
If you drink bitter melon as a tea, it has 15 times more potassium, 18 times more calcium, and 27 times more iron compared to the raw food.
The bitter tasting component in the tea helps treat stomachaches, so we recommended consumption during summer when people are susecptible to stomach-aches from cold drinks or food poisoning.
These 5 teas do not contain caffeine, so you can drink them in the afternoon and shouldn’t be too wired to sleep at night.
If you get sick in summer, how about trying some new teas to improve your health?
Let’s get over the hot summer with healthy tea!
Aika Kaise / Japan