Pu-Erh Health Benefits
Pu-erh has traditionally been served in China after heavy meals in order to “cut the grease.” Recent scientific research has verified this traditional practice. Two antioxidant compounds in pu-erh: theabrownin and gallic acid activate enzymes in our body responsible for fat metabolism. These antioxidants shrink fat tissue and help the body keep fat off weeks after ingestion. The caffeine in pu-erh helps speed metabolism, making the body more efficient at digesting a meal.
A study at China`s Kunming Medical College involving 55 patients found that consuming pu-erh tea 3 times a day lowered cholesterol levels by 64%; nearly as much as cholesterol medication.
Pu-erh is named after its trading center, Pu-erh county in southern Yunnan. Over 2000 years ago, tea trading routes sprang up from Pu-erh County. These routes were known as “Cha Ma Gu Dao”, or “Old Tea Horse Road.” Tea would travel by horse in compressed form on long journeys to inland of China, Tibet, Vietnam, Burma, Thailand.
During these journeys, tea would be exposed to moisture, and would ferment as naturally occurring microorganisms flourished. As a result, tea was found to improve in quality by the end of its long journey. The connection was made, and the process of fermenting tea was cultivated.
Now pu-erh tea is fermented in a controlled environment. The temperature and humidity is controlled, and even the strains of microorganisms that are cultivated on the leaf are chosen.