The benefits of oolong tea include improvements to cardiovascular health, antibacterial effects, and assistance with managing blood sugar levels for some patients with diabetes. This beverage can be consumed hot or cold and it is stocked at many grocery stores, health food stores, and tea shops. People can also order oolong tea through catalogs and tea suppliers, many of whom offer samples so that people can try a particular variety before committing to a full order.
Oolong tea is made by partially oxidizing the tea leaves. It is more oxidized than green and white teas, but not as heavily oxidized as black teas. As a result, it blends some of the traits of all tea varieties. The benefits of oolong tea have been studied in a variety of settings and as with other food studies, some of the results have been inconclusive because it is difficult to control for all possible factors.
This tea has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants appear to benefit the skin and cardiovascular system, as well as reducing some of the signs of aging. In addition, the benefits of oolong tea include lowering blood cholesterol levels, which helps keep the heart healthier. In combination with a balanced diet, oolong drinkers tend to be less likely to develop heart problems.
Some studies seem to suggest that oolong tea increases metabolism. Historically, this tea has been consumed in China and Taiwan with heavy meals to facilitate digestion. It can also be used as part of a weight loss regimen to encourage the body to burn energy more efficiently. Other benefits of oolong tea surround the tea's impact on blood glucose. The tea lowers glucose levels and can be used to help control diabetes in combination with blood sugar monitoring and other dietary controls, along with medications.
Finally, oolong tea is naturally antibacterial. It can reduce the risk of oral infections and may help fight other types of infections in the body. While oolong tea cannot be used alone to address an infection, regular oolong tea consumption can help kill bacteria before they have a chance to colonize. This can keep people healthier.
The benefits of oolong tea are most noticeable when people eat a diet that includes a diverse array of foods, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. People should not attempt to use oolong tea alone to control or treat health problems, and a doctor should be consulted if symptoms of ill health persist.