All you need to know about the health benefits of Earl Grey Tea or Bergamot Tea


Earl Grey tea is enriched with Bergamot extracts. It comes with a host of benefits such as better heart health and mental health.

If black tea is something that you enjoy, it is likely that you are also going to love your cup of Earl Grey tea. Itโ€™s literally black tea with a twist. And that twist comes from an oil that is made from the peel of a kind of orange, called bergamot orange. Not only is it super delicious and refreshing, but Earl Grey tea comes with a lot of health benefits too!

Be it your heart health, digestion or your mental health, Earl Grey tea is sure to help you in many areas of your body. While Earl Grey tea can be had everyday, one must stick to moderate consumption. Read on to know the benefits of this tea, and how to have it.

What is earl grey tea?

Earl Grey tea is a type of black tea that is flavoured with oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a small citrus fruit primarily grown in Italy. How the tea got its name is rather interesting. Let us tell you about the Earl Grey Tea history. It is said to be named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey. He was also a British Prime Minister in the early 19th century. The story goes that this tea was specially curated for Lord Grey as a gift.

The oil is added to the tea leaves during the production process, and this helps the flavours to blend. The flavour of the tea is fragrant, floral, and slightly tangy.

Earl grey tea can be had with or without milk but portions must be measures well. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to have Earl Grey Tea?

There are various ways to enjoy Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey can be enjoyed on its own or with milk and sugar, depending on personal preference, explains dietician Garima Goyal.

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Health benefits of earl grey tea or Bergamot tea

Here are some potential health benefits often associated with drinking Earl Grey tea:

1. Antioxidant properties

One of the biggest Earl Grey tea benefits is that it contains antioxidants such as catechins and flavonoids, which may help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. This study, published in Food Science and Nutrition, states that flavonoids help to prevent cell damage as well as various diseases.

2. Heart health

The study, published in Fitoterapia, suggests that regular consumption of black tea, such as Earl Grey, helps to improve cardiovascular health. Another study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, states that Bergamot extracts help to improve cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

3. Improved digestion

Compounds found in tea, including tannins, may have a mild digestive effect, that can help to sooth upset stomachs and aid in healthy digestion. A study, published in Clinical Nutrition, studied the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of bergamot juice and came to the conclusion that it helped to reduce diarrhea episodes.

4. Mental alertness

The caffeine content โ€“ 40 to 120 milligrams in a cup โ€“ in this tea can provide a temporary boost in energy and mental alertness, helping to improve focus and concentration. It can also help release stress and alter your mood, states this study, published in Food Science & Nutrition.

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Earl grey vs black tea: Which one is better?

If you are choosing between Earl Grey tea or black tea, your decision would be based on you taste preferences, dietary considerations, and the benefits that you seek. Earl Grey tea comes with its citrusy flavour that derived from the addition of bergamot oil, which sets it apart from conventional teas. Black teas come in various types, and each of these has its own unique flavor as well as health benefits. For example, green tea is known for its grassy and vegetal taste, while conventional black tea has a rather malty flavor. Earl Grey tea may offer similar health benefits as black tea, but since it has bergamot oil, it will showcase of benefits of that too, such as antioxidant properties and mood-enhancing effects.

Can you have Earl Grey Tea every day?

Yes, you can, but it needs to consumed in moderation. Earl Grey tea has caffeine, and the amount of tea you can safely consume in one day depends on various factors. These include individual tolerance to caffeine, overall health status, and any preexisting medical conditions. โ€œAs a general guideline, moderate consumption of Earl Grey tea is typically considered safe for most adults. Aim to limit your intake to moderate levels, which usually means no more than 2 to 4 cups of Earl Grey tea per day,โ€ says Goyal.

Who should avoid Earl Grey Tea?

Earl Grey tea can be had by everyone. However, pregnant women, individuals with caffeine sensitivity, and those with certain medical conditions should consult with a healthcare professional to determine their optimal intake of Earl Grey tea. โ€œAdditionally, be mindful of any additives such as sugar or milk, which can affect the overall nutritional profile of the beverage,โ€ says Goyal.

Also Read: Milk tea or black tea: What is better for you?

Side effects of too much Earl Grey tea

Here are some possible side effects of excessive Earl Grey tea consumption:

  • Insomnia: The caffeine in Earl Grey tea can interfere with sleep patterns and you may find it tough to fall asleep. So donโ€™t have tea too close to bedtime.
  • May increase anxiety: If you have high doses of caffeine, it can make you feel jittery, nervousness, restlessness. So make sure to limit your cups of tea.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Make sure to not have too much tea on an empty stomach. This may lead to gastrointestinal issues such as stomach upset, acid reflux, or diarrhoea.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Caffeine can lead to a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This might be dangerous if you have certain heart conditions.
  • Dehydration: Caffeineย  increases urine, and this can contribute to dehydration if consumed in excess. So make sure to hydrate yourself as well.
  • Can interference with other minerals: There are compounds called tannins that are found in tea. This can bind to minerals like iron, and this will reduce their absorption in the body. So try not to have tea right before or after a meal.
  • Caffeine dependence: You body might get used to the caffeine and that can lead to dependence. Withdrawing from it would be tough and might lead to headaches and irritability.
    A heart with a stethoscope
    Drinking Earl Grey tea has many benefits for the heart. Image courtesy: Freepik

    How to make earl grey tea at home?

Making Earl Grey tea at home is simple and requires just a few basic ingredients. Hereโ€™s a traditional method for brewing Earl Grey tea:

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon of loose leaf Earl Grey tea or 1 tea bag
Freshly boiled water
Optional: milk, sugar, honey, lemon, or other flavorings to taste

Instructions:

  • ย Boil water: Take cold water preferable, and start to heat it. Heat water in a kettle until it reaches a rolling boil.
  • ย Warm the teapot or the cup (optional): If using a teapot or even a cup, rinse it with hot water. This helps maintain the temperature of the tea once it is ready.
  • Add the tea: Place 1 teaspoon of loose leaf Earl Grey tea or 1 tea bag into a teapot or mug. Now, add boiled water to your cup or tea pot.
  • Let the tea brew: Now the tea will steep for 3 to 5 minutes. You may decide the time depending on how strong your want the tea to be. Steeping for longer will result in a stronger flavor.
  • Remove the bag: Tea leaves can be removed now. So depending on what you are using, you could do that. A tea bag can be simply pulled out, or loose tea can be taken out with aย  a fine mesh strainer.
  • Serve: Pour this tea into cups now. If you like, you can further customise your cup by adding milk, sugar, honey, lemon.



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