At night, when the jasmine flowers are most fragrant, skilled hands pick the buds of this plant.
Then, these same hands mix fresh jasmine flowers with already dried green tea leaves. The flowers release their aroma until they dry.
Then, the incredible preparation of this infusion continues and foresees that the old jasmine flowers are removed and replaced with fresh ones, always picked at night, and so on, several times. Finally, the tea leaves are dried again to remove all traces of moisture. Jasmine tea is ready and can arrive anywhere in the world, to be sipped, perhaps with your eyes closed, to capture all its magic. But green tea with jasmine isn't just a triumph of aromas and floral notes, it's also a real concentrate of health properties, which combine the benefits of green tea with those of jasmine. Today we talk about the properties of jasmine green tea, based on the most recent scientific studies.
Jasmine tea, properties and composition
Jasmine tea is a loved drink for its celestial aroma, conferred by jasmine flowers, scientific name Jasminum sambac, and for its health properties. Indeed, jasmine tea is a unique synergy of antioxidant substances, such as flavonoids, such as catechins, but also polysaccharides and essential oils. These substances give jasmine tea antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sedative, anti-obesity, antimicrobial, anticancer and anti-diabetic properties, also capable of modulating the immune system (Tang et al, Foods, 2021). Below we will explore some important properties of jasmine tea, demonstrated by very recent studies on the subject.
Jasmine tea against anxiety and depression
Jasmine flowers release their volatile compounds to tea which determine its aroma. It is precisely this aroma that, according to studies, is able to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, one of the two parts, together with the sympathetic nervous system, of which the autonomic nervous system is composed. Well, when one experiences a prolonged period of stress and anxiety, as can also occur during depression, the sympathetic nervous system is over activated to the detriment of the parasympathetic nervous system. Instead, restoring balance and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, as the scent of jasmine is able to do, promotes relaxation, serene moods and the restorative and regenerative processes of the body (Weissman et al, Int J Psychophysiol, 2022 - Kuroda et al, Eur J Appl Physiol, 2005).
Jasmine tea for microbiota health
Jasmine tea is able to restore the altered gut microbiota, recreating the typical variety of bacteria found in a healthy microbiota (Zhang et al, Nutrients, 2022). Thanks to this action, jasmine tea reduces chronic inflammation which is the basis of various disorders, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, obesity and cellular degeneration. But the health of the brain also depends on the health of the microbiota, thanks to what experts call the gut-brain axis. When the microbiota is well balanced, neuroinflammation is reduced and depression is also counteracted, by increasing the brain neurotrophic factor, which is instead reduced in the case of this disorder. Thus, jasmine tea counteracts depression not only with its aroma, but also with its protective action on the gut microbiota (Zhang et al, Nutrients, 2022).
Jasmine tea against overweight, obesity and fatty liver
Jasmine tea contains a greater number of antioxidants, such as catechins and chlorogenic acid, compared to other types of tea such as oolong and black. Well, the catechins of jasmine tea and other substances of the polysaccharide family have shown a powerful anti-obesity action, capable of counteracting weight gain and fat accumulation. These substances have also hypoglycaemic properties, useful for counteracting resistance to insulin, are hepatoprotective, helpful in case of fatty liver, and antioxidant (Li et al, Nutrients, 2022 - Tang et al, Foods, 2021). These properties can be maximized if you consume the cold infusion of jasmine tea, the preparation of which is explained in the last paragraph. In this way, studies have shown that the antioxidants of jasmine tea are preserved more than in the hot brew (Li et al, Nutrients, 2022). The anti-obesity action just described was observed with a dose of jasmine tea of 2 cups a day, also useful for reducing ALT and AST values, which are indicators that increase in the presence of liver damage (Li et al, Nutrients, 2022).
Jasmine tea for eyesight
Among the different types of tea, jasmine tea is the one that provides the highest amount of lutein, immediately followed by green tea (Vu et al, Molecules, 2021). Lutein is a carotenoid that protects the macula, which is the central part of the retina, from age-related degeneration, but also counteracts cataracts and diabetic retinopathy (Li et al, Nutrients, 2020). Jasmine tea also protects vision thanks to its content of catechins, which have been shown to counteract UV-induced damage to the cells of the retinal pigment epithelium, which is the layer of cells on the outside of the retina (Shang et al, Applied Biological Chemistry, 2023).
Jasmine tea, preparation and warnings
Jasmine tea can be prepared with a hot infusion, more pleasant when the weather is cold and quicker to make, or cold, which requires a longer preparation but amply repays the time dedicated thanks to its greater richness in antioxidant substances. For the hot infusion, heat the water up to 70° C. Remove from the heat and add the tea, in bags or, even better, in leaves, one teaspoon of leaves per cup plus one. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and drink. For the other type of preparation, it is a matter of preparing a cold herbal tea, adding the tea to water at room temperature, one teaspoon per cup plus one, and then letting it rest, closed with a lid, for 7-8 hours.
As for the choice of jasmine tea, it is important to buy it of good quality, controlled and possibly organic. In fact, it is common for pesticides to be used for growing jasmine flowers. These pesticides are then found in the infusion (Zhou et al, Bull Environ Contam Toxicol, 2023). Due to the lack of studies on safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding, avoid jasmine tea in these delicate stages of life. In general, jasmine tea consumed in moderation as part of a healthy and varied diet is considered safe (Drugs and Lactation Database, 2021).