Blueberry Leaf Tea
The Benefits of Blueberry Leaf Tea
Blueberry leaf tea provides some very definite health benefits although as you might expect, its virtues are sometime overblown in advertisements. Tea in general, and herbal tea in particular, are considered healthy beverages, but of course are not cure alls. Tea has been with us for centuries, at least 50 centuries by some estimates, and whether you like it hot or iced or both way, you have plenty of company. Next to water, probably more people drink tea than any other beverage.
Whether you drink blueberry leaf tea, or a black or green tea flavored by the berries, it has long been known that the blueberry plant (berries and leaves) has many health promoting benefits. Blueberries contain powerful antioxidant properties and the leaves are perhaps best known as both a cancer fighter and as being very beneficial to diabetics. Whether you drink teas made from the leaves or take supplements of blueberry leaf extract, be aware that what you are taking provides a benefit and not necessarily a cure. The antioxidant properties of blueberries (ranked at the top of the list among fruits and vegetables in this regard) do neutralize the free radicals which lead to both cancer and some age-related diseases. Drinking blueberry leaf tea isn't going to guarantee that you will not get these diseases, but tests show that the risk of your getting the diseases is statistically reduced.
You May Have To Experiment With The Taste - You can put blueberry leaves in boiling water, steep for a few minutes, and you have blueberry leaf tea. Not everyone likes the taste however, and if you are one of those, there are several things you can do. One would be to steep the blueberry leaves in black or green tea instead of water. The other thing would be to add sugar, honey, cherries or blackberries to produce a better flavor. With a little experimentation, you can have a drink that is both pleasing to the taste and contains all the benefits the blueberry leaves provide. One nice thing is that you can drink as much of the brew as you wish. There is nothing in blueberry leaves that is in anyway toxic, unless they have been sprayed with an insecticide or the plants have been fed a synthetic fertilizer. A home grown blueberry bush should provide you with all the tea leaves you'll ever need, and you'll know whether your plant has been sprayed or not.
As far back as the 1920's certain compounds found in the blueberry leaf were seen to show promise both as cancer fighters and in fighting diabetes as well. Experiments with dogs suffering from these ailments were very promising. Further testing, done on humans, while not quite as dramatic as far as improvement in the patients' conditions were concerned, nevertheless showed promise and led to incorporation of these compounds into a number of medicines and supplements. In Europe, blueberry leaf extracts have been used in the treatment of diabetes for many years, and in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases as well.
Hard To Pronounce But Good For You - The compounds in question are caffeoylquinic acid (CA) and hydroxycinnamic acids (HA), which make up about 20% (dry weight) of the blueberry leaf. CA acts as an inhibitor of a certain enzyme in the liver responsible for producing excessive glucose in the bloodstream. Blueberry leaf extract has been shown to reduce a diabetic’s blood sugar level by 25%. In other tests, CA has been shown to significantly reduce triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Both CA and HA appear to have beneficial effects for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and provide relief to some allergy sufferers by inhibiting constriction of the bronchial tubes.
Recognize of course there is a tremendous difference in dosages of this good stuff in a product made from blueberry leaf extract as compared to blueberry leaf tea. Still, the benefits of drinking the tea are well known and documented. When you see the ads for blueberry leaf teabags, ignore the hype. You're not dealing with a wonder drug here, merely something that's good for you, and that you can drink plenty of with no dangerous side effects.