Gina da Silva, owner of The Silva Spoon at Cotton Tree, enjoys a quiet cuppa ... for medicinal purposes.
Gina da Silva, owner of The Silva Spoon at Cotton Tree, enjoys a quiet cuppa ... for medicinal purposes. Kari Bourne

A spoonful of what does you good

GINA da Silva used to be a self-confessed coffee fanatic and found tea a little boring.

But after opening the family-owned tea and coffee emporium, The Silva Spoon in Cotton Tree, Gina now knows the best tea to brew for a nauseous stomach, a good night's sleep or a glowing complexion.

And she believes Sunshine Coast residents are now catching on to those health benefits and developing a penchant for drinking tea.

"Coast people are really health conscious and appreciate the benefits that drinking tea can have," she said.

"There is a real tea wave going on at the moment."

Gina has become such a tea convert that she uses it as an ingredient in many of the cafe dishes.

Researchers are now saying that tea's benefits include improving bone and teeth health, longevity, prevention against cancer and heart disease, and even weight loss.

Gina says each tea has individual health benefits.

Her personal favourite is rooibos tea, from her native South Africa.

"I love recommending rooibos to customers," she said.

"It's organic and caffeine-free, packed with zinc and iron and contains no sugar."

South African athletes drink iced rooibos tea rather than caffeine and sugar-loaded energy drinks.

Nutrition and dietetics expert Libby Swanepoel, of the University of the Sunshine Coast, says green tea is hard to beat for its health benefits.

"Studies have shown that green tea is packed with antioxidants which can prevent cancer, high blood pressure and heart diseases," she said.

Dr Swanepoel warns that although three cups of tea a day is good for overall health, most brews do contain caffeine and tea drinkers should be careful not to overindulge.

"Three cups of tea a day is great so long as that's not combined with three cups of coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks," she said.

 

GOOD HEALTH TO A TEA

Sleep - Valerian Root tea: If you can get past the smell, valerian root tea can be an excellent sleep aid. Its natural sedative properties can mean a good night's sleep without pharmaceutical aids.

Nausea and diarrhoea - Ginger root tea: Ginger root has been used for centuries as a medicinal aid and is a good natural choice for morning sickness during pregnancy, nausea and diarrhoea and motion sickness.

Weight loss - Oolong tea: TV queen Oprah Winfrey swears by Oolong tea for its weight loss benefits, and studies have shown that just two cups of oolong tea a day boosts metabolism and staves off those afternoon sweet cravings.

Glowing skin - Rooibos tea: A Japanese study has shown that patients with dermatitis, psoriasis and acne showed marked improvement after drinking rooibos tea. Rooibos tea also is said to have anti-aging properties.

Bad breath - Peppermint tea: Drinking peppermint tea regularly can reduce bad breath.

Blood pressure and heart - Green tea: The antioxidants and minerals found in green tea can lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease and blood pressure.

Prevention against cancer - White or green tea: Studies have shown that those who regularly drink green or white tea may have reduced risk of cancer. It is believed that the antioxidants found in the tea work to fight free radical cell damage to the body, which can cause cancer.

A mood pick-me-up - Sage tea: Sage has been found to boost alertness and mood and decrease anxiety.

* The Silva Spoon and crazyfortea.com/herblist.html

 

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