When it comes to teas, the varieties are seemingly endless: black, white, green, herbal… the list goes on and on. But, if you’re someone who is feeling particularly stressed, the next time you’re ready to curl up with a warm mug, consider brewing up jasmine tea. The fragrant drink is packed with healthful antioxidants that can rejuvenate your body and mind with just one mug. And the taste is like no other: sweet, floral and slightly bitter. No wonder it’s been a household favorite in China for centuries! Read on to discover how you can sip your way to your best health.
What is jasmine tea?
Jasmine tea is a type of infused tea, usually made by infusing green tea leaves with the blossoms from the jasmine plant. Explains Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of Ancient Nutrition, “It’s been used as far back as the 1300s and is derived from either common jasmine (Jasminum officinale) or sapaguita (Jasminum sambac).”
By the turn of the 20th century, the tea was a household staple across China, often offered to welcome guests. Some varieties of the tea are made by infusing black, white and oolong teas with the blossoms, but you’ll get the most benefits from jasmine green tea thanks to unique compounds that boost health.
What are the benefits of jasmine green tea?
Most types of tea provide health benefits, but jasmine green tea’s unique combination of fat-blasting green tea and soothing jasmine blossoms make it a boon for health. “Given that jasmine tea is a high-antioxidant, low-calorie, anti-inflammatory beverage, it certainly can benefit overall health and is a nice addition to any diet,” says Dr. Axe. From its potential to enhance weight loss to its relaxing effects, jasmine green tea can transform your health and have you feeling your best in no time.
It can help you lose weight
Several studies have proven that jasmine tea can help you shed stubborn pounds. One possible reason: epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant found in the tea. One study found that the compound speeds metabolism and fat burning, leading study subjects to burn up to an extra 100 calories daily. Says Dr. Axe, “EGCG has been shown to help provide a boost in thermogenesis, when the body produces heat by using energy, and this often comes from burning fat.”
It reduces sick-making inflammation
EGCG doesn’t just boost your metabolism — the antioxidant also fights against free radicals, compounds that can further the cellular damage that occurs with aging. “The anti-inflammatory properties of EGCG are beneficial for monitoring metabolic diseases that are associated with chronic inflammation,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, founder and director of Real Nutrition NYC.
That’s one of the reasons why people who sip on the tea daily are significantly less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Adds Dr. Axe, “Jasmine green tea in particular is especially effective at combating inflammation, protecting cells from oxidative stress and supporting a healthy metabolism.”
It can reduce the effects of stress
Jasmine green tea can help soothe stress in more ways than one. Sipping on the tea will give you a dose of l-theanine, a compound known to lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol. “L-theanine is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, exerting its relaxing effects,” explains Shapiro.
The scent of jasmine tea is also known to induce calm, thanks to a compound called linalool. Says Dr. Axe, “Research shows inhaling or sniffing linalool can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax.”
What’s more, jasmine’s aroma can boost levels of mood-enhancing hormones, like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The hormone “boosts mood and protects the brain,” says Dr. Axe. And studies show that boosting GABA by inhaling the floral scent may be as effective at reducing stress as medications.
It improves your sleep
Despite containing caffeine, jasmine green tea is known to usher in good sleep. Why? The tea’s l-theanine promotes the production of relaxation-inducing brain chemicals. “Several studies have found that l-theanine helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can calm the brain and help people sleep,” says Dr. Axe. Plus, the natural sleep aid won’t cause bothersome side effects commonly caused by prescription sleep medications, like daytime drowsiness and brain fog. But if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to skip the brew before bed.
It boosts focus
The caffeine in jasmine tea can help you feel clearheaded and energized throughout the day. Typically get caffeine jitters? No need to worry here! The combination of relaxing l-theanine and caffeine “allows for a boost without anxiety,” says Shapiro.
It wards off heart disease
Jasmine green tea is packed with polyphenols, plant compounds that can prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and lower your risk of heart disease. Sipping on three mugs daily helped people in one study lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by 21%. Plus, the tea is credited with helping to lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure and lower stroke risk.
How often can I drink jasmine tea?
Jasmine tea is typically well tolerated and safe to drink daily, but it may cause side effects in some people. “Patients with diabetes, liver diseases, renal diseases, thyroid diseases and heart diseases, and breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare providers before consuming jasmine tea regularly in high amounts,” recommends Shapiro. And since the brew does contain caffeine, it’s a good idea to avoid the sip if you’re sensitive to the stimulant.
How to make jasmine tea at home
You can find jasmine green tea bags in the tea section of most supermarkets. Simply steep the bag in hot water for three minutes, or for about five minutes if you’d like to enjoy the tea over ice. One we like: Bigelow Jasmine Green Tea (buy for $7.14, Amazon).
Prefer loose leaf? No problem! “You can make it by adding about a teaspoon of loose-leaf jasmine for every cup of hot water,” says Dr. Axe.
Another option: jasmine pearls, hand-rolled green tea leaves that you put in a cup of water to steep. Dr. Axe suggests using two to three pearls per cup of hot water for the perfect brew.