Earl Grey tea is a black tea flavored with oil extracted from bergamot peel. It is named after Charles Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who received as a gift a tea mixed with bergamot oil. Nowadays, Earl Grey is very popular all over the world with a lot of variations. In fact, sometimes black tea can be replaced with green, white, oolong and even rooibosh tea, the tea leaves can be mixed with bergamot extract, with its essential oil or with the dried citrus peel and other flavors can also be added. Earl Grey tea can be found in all supermarkets or specialty stores. But what are the properties of Earl Grey? Let's see them.
Earl Grey, properties
Earl Grey tea combines the properties of tea with those of bergamot. Taking into consideration the classic version, therefore based on black tea, Earl Grey is a drink rich in antioxidant substances, such as epigallocatechin gallate, catechins but also an amino acid called L theanine that shows neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing properties (Hidese et al, Nutrients, 2019). Thanks to these substances, Earl Grey is anti-inflammatory and protects the heart by reducing bad LDL cholesterol and regulating blood pressure, both low and high (Rasheed et al, Int J Health Sci, 2019). But the black tea of ??which Earl Grey is made also fights obesity since, as reported by scientific studies, it limits the absorption of fats and sugars (Pan et al, Molecules, 2016). Also bergamot is beneficial for heart health. In fact, extracts of this citrus fruit have shown to reduce circulating cholesterol thanks to the properties of some substances, called flavanones, such as naringin, which act as statins, the drugs used to lower cholesterol (Cappello et al, Mini Rev Med Chem, 2016). But bergamot extracts can also help protect the digestive tract. In fact, bergamot helps to counteract the action of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium associated with gastritis and ulcer (Filocamo et al, BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015). Not only that, bergamot, thanks to its anti-inflammatory action, can also be useful in case of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, decreasing the indicators of inflammation, the cases of diarrhea and weight loss (Impellizzeri et al, Clin Nutr, 2015).
Earl Grey, preparation
Bring a cup of water to the boil. Then remove from the heat and add a tea bag or a teaspoon of Earl Grey, if you have loose leaves. Leave to brew for five minutes, then filter or remove the tea bag and drink.
Earl Grey, warnings
Earl Grey tea is considered generally safe. However, don't overdo the quantity. In fact, the literature reports the case of a person who drank up to 4 liters of Earl Grey tea a day and who, after a week, had muscle cramps and blurred vision, probably caused by some compounds of bergamot that can interfere with the absorption of potassium (Navarra et al, Front Pharmacol, 2015). In any case, this is a quantity that most people can hardly drink. Finally, Earl Grey tea contains caffeine, so don't drink it in the evening or, in that case, the advice is to choose a decaffeinated version.