Today, we will journey together to see how a cup of tea travels in our body.
The traveling companions include: tea polyphenols, theophylline, caffeine, aromatic substances, tea polysaccharide, vitamins, etc.
~ The Journey of Aromatic Substances ~
- The journey of aromatic substances is relatively simple: it is captured by the sense of smell, engaging the olfactory organs, and reaches the membrane-lined cavity behind the nose and mouth (i.e., the pharynx). This stimulates olfactory cells and makes them generate nerve impulses. The nerve impulse passes along the afferent nerve to the corresponding nerve center of the cerebral cortex, calming and refreshing the brain.
~ The Journey of Tea Polyphenols ~
Polyphenols are micronutrients that we obtain through certain plant-based foods and beverages, including tea. They offer many potential health benefits.
- The first stop: About 1 minute after drinking tea, the polyphenols linger in the oral cavity and throat. This activity may reduce bacterial and viral growth, leading to health benefits. For example, reduction in symptoms such as oral ulcers, and throat swelling and pain may occur.
- The second stop: About 10 minutes after drinking tea, the polyphenols will do auxiliary work in the intestines and stomach, helping to move food through the digestive system, and urine from the kidneys into the bladder. These processes are known as peristalsis, an important bodily function.
- The third stop: About 30 minutes after drinking tea, the polyphenols reach the blood and begin to clear free radicals, by helping to neutralizing them. An hour after drinking tea, the processes begin that may help to reduce risks for developing heart disease or stroke. The polyphenols contained in tea are known to possess potential cardiovascular benefits, including improving blood vessel function, and increasing “good” cholesterol levels. A reduced risk of developing certain cancers has also been reported. Additionally, freckle reduction/disappearance and a possible slowing of the anti-aging process have also been noted.
- The last station: About 48 hours after drinking tea, the polyphenols are excreted out of the body, ending the journey. As polyphenols are not retained in the body for long, some research studies have concluded that frequent (at least three times a week), ongoing tea consumption is necessary in order to maximize the potential health benefits.
~ The Journey of Caffeine ~
- The first stop: About 45 minutes after drinking tea, the caffeine leaves the stomach and small intestine, and reaches all organs of the body through blood transportation. Caffeine can expand blood vessels, increase elasticity of vessel walls, promote blood circulation and then activate the brain, strengthen myocardial contraction, reduce the likelihood of developing urinary tract infections, and so on.
- The second stop: About 4 hours after drinking tea, caffeine can increase the rate of the body’s consumption of calories, stimulating the decomposition of fat, and burning the excess fat in the body. This may lead to weight loss.
- The last station: About 8 hours after drinking tea, caffeine will finish its journey by being excreted out of the body.
~ The Journey of Theophylline ~
- The first stop: About 30 minutes after drinking tea, theophylline reaches the blood and liver from the intestinal tract.
- The second stop: About an hour after drinking tea, theophylline leaves the blood and liver, and goes to various tissues and organs.
- The third stop: About five hours after drinking tea, theophylline enters the brain tissue. In brain tissue, theophylline can affect the metabolism and release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, which may result in a calming effect on the brain. It may also reduce the possibility of developing certain brain injuries.
- The last station: About 24 hours after drinking tea, theophylline finishes the journey and is excreted out of the body.
May all be well and happy with the company of tea.
［原创］Edited translation by zenteaone.org from posting of The Five Petals Tea Hut.