Puerh tea is a unique fermented tea traditionally produced in the Chinese province of Yunnan. It is made from the leaves of a tree known as the “old wild tree” that grows in the region. While there are other types of fermented teas, such as kombucha, puer tea is different in that the leaves themselves are fermented rather than the brewed tea. Pu-erh is usually sold as pressed tea leaves, but can also be sold as loose tea. Many people drink pu-erh tea because it not only has health benefits but also benefits the health of fermented foods.
Benefits and Uses
May promote weight loss
There is some limited evidence to support the use of puer tea for weight loss. Animal and test-tube studies have shown that pu-erh tea can help synthesize less new fat while burning more stored fat, which can lead to weight loss. However, given the lack of human research on this topic, more research is needed. In addition, pu-erh tea is fermented, so it can also introduce beneficial probiotics or beneficial gut bacteria into your body. These probiotics can help improve blood sugar control, which plays a key role in weight and hunger management. One study involving 36 overweight people found that consuming 333 mg of Pu-erh tea extract 3 times daily for 12 weeks resulted in significant improvements in body weight.
Increases cholesterol levels
Several animal studies have shown that supplementation with pu-erh tea extracts improves blood fat levels. Pu-erh tea extracts can help lower cholesterol levels in two ways. First, Pu-erh tea increases the amount of food-related bile acid excreted in the faeces, thereby preventing the absorption of fat into the bloodstream. Second, in animal studies, Pu-erh tea also reduces fat storage. Together, these effects can lower your risk of heart disease. However, animal studies using concentrated extracts do not prove that drinking Pu-erh tea will have the same effects in humans .
Suppresses cancer growth
While these results offer a promising starting point for future research, pu erh tea should not be used as a cancer treatment. These studies involve applying highly concentrated extracts directly to cancer cells, and Pu erh tea does not interact with cancer cells in your body. More research is needed to understand how drinking pu-erh tea affects cancer cells.
May Improve Liver Health
Because pu-erh tea helps reduce fat storage, it may help prevent or reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver. So far, however, this has only been noted in animal studies. Another animal study also showed that pu-erh tea extract may protect the liver from damage caused by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. This is a promising area of research, but human studies are needed before any claims can be made about pu-erh tea and liver function.
Side effects and precautions
Most of the side effects of Pu-erh tea are related to the caffeine content in it. Depending on the strength of Pu-erh tea, it can contain 30-100 mg of caffeine per cup. Most people can tolerate up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, but some of the side effects of excessive caffeine intake can include:
changes in the rhythm of your heart
diarrhea or excessive urination
Dosage and how to brew it
Most people can safely drink up to 3 cups (710 ml) of pu-erh tea a day, unless they consume large amounts of other caffeinated beverages. There is no research on how much pu-erh tea should be drunk daily to experience its potential weight loss benefits, but 1-2 cups (240-480 ml) a day is a good starting point.
As long as you do not completely quit caffeine, you should have no problem stopping your pu-erh tea and you should not have any withdrawal symptoms. However, if Pu-erh tea is the only source of caffeine you have consumed, or if you eliminate all caffeine along with Pu-erh tea, you may experience some caffeine withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, and trouble concentrating. However, most caffeine withdrawal symptoms only last for about 1 week.
Pu-erh tea overdose is unlikely. However, it does contain caffeine, so there is some risk of caffeine overdose if you drink several cups a day in combination with other caffeinated beverages. Symptoms of a caffeine overdose, such as irregular heartbeat, can begin after taking 400 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of 4 or more cups (950 ml) of pu-erh tea, depending on the strength of the drink. One or two cups (240-480 ml) of pu-erh tea poses a small risk of overdose.
Pu-erh tea is relatively safe, and most drug interactions are related to its caffeine content. Some medications that can interact with caffeine include antibiotics, certain stimulants, certain heart medications, and certain asthma medications. If you have any concerns about your caffeine intake and medications you are taking, you should consult your doctor.
Storage and handling
Pu-erh tea is a fermented product that continues to improve with age, so when stored properly, it can be stored almost indefinitely. Store pu-erh tea cakes in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry. If it looks, smells, or has mold on it, throw it away.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Caffeine is the biggest problem associated with pu-erh tea during pregnancy or breastfeeding. While pregnant women do not need to completely eliminate caffeine from their diet, they should not overdo it. Experts recommend no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy. Since pu-erh tea can contain up to 100 mg per cup (240 ml), it can be added to a pregnant woman’s diet in moderation if she does not regularly consume any other high-caffeinated beverages. Women who are breastfeeding should also limit their caffeine intake to about 300 mg per day, as small amounts of caffeine can pass into breast milk.
Use in certain populations
Pu-erh tea has no contraindications for certain populations. Like other teas, you should avoid puer tea if it bothers you. Because of its caffeine content, you should also avoid drinking too much. People with sleep disturbances, migraines, heart problems, high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or ulcers may want to avoid drinking too much caffeine. However, 1 to 2 cups (240 to 480 ml) per day will work for most people.
Puerh is unique in the world of teas. As far as brewed tea is concerned, black tea may be the closest alternative. Black tea oxidizes, resulting in a dark color, but does not ferment to the same extent as pu-erh tea. For a similar drink that contains the benefits of fermented foods, try kombucha, a fermented tea. It can be made from any type of tea, and the liquid is fermented instead of the leaves as is the case with puer tea.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does pu-erh tea look like?
Due to the fermentation process, Pu-erh tea has a unique pungent or “funky” taste, but it mixes with other aromas such as sweetness, bitterness and earthiness. Pu-erh tea with other ingredients will taste differently. In addition, the taste of tea changes as the tea ages.
What is Raw Puerh Tea?
There are two main varieties of Pu-erh tea – ripe and raw. Ripe pu-erh tea is the cheapest variety. This tea is made by fermenting the liners for several months and then pressing them into a mold. Raw pu-erh tea is more expensive. When making raw pu-erh, the steps for making ripe pu-erh are reversed. Fresh tea leaves are first pressed and then fermented – usually for many years.
What are the most popular puer tea flavors?
Pu-erh is a popular tea choice and is often added with other flavorings. Popular blends include chocolate pu-erh tea, containing cocoa powder, and chrysanthemum pu-erh tea, containing dried chrysanthemum flower petals. These additives can improve the taste of Pu-erh tea, as it has a unique flavor that not everyone likes.
How many calories are in pu-erh tea?
Brewed teas, including pu-erh tea, are naturally low in calories or very low in calories. However, adding sugar or cream will increase the calorie content of your tea.
Can I drink Pu-erh tea every day?
Yes, there is nothing wrong with drinking Pu-erh tea every day as long as you tolerate it well.