Jasmine tea has been produced in China for nearly 700 years and is the most popular Chinese flavored tea. It is made using green tea most often, but can also be made from oolong tea. High-quality loose tea leaves are blended with jasmine petals, giving the tea a delicate, mildly sweet flavor and aromatic fragrance. Jasmine tea is particularly healthy because it is high in a group of powerful antioxidants known as catechins. Jasmine tea offers many health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer, lower heart rate, blood pressure, stroke and cholesterol levels.
Lower Rates of Esophageal Cancer
A study published in "Nutrition" found a significant inverse relationship between frequency of tea consumption and risk of developing esophageal squamous cell cancer. People in the study who consumed the most unfermented tea, including green, oolong and jasmine tea (unfermented tea is higher in antioxidants) had a 0.5-fold lower risk of developing SCC, compared to those who did not drink the tea. Black tea is fermented, and thus not as high in catechins.
Calmed Mood and Decreased Heart Rate
What makes jasmine tea unique is its pleasant, delicate aroma. This comes from blending the tea leaves with petals from the jasmine flower. The odor of jasmine tea has been found to offer sedative effects. In a study published by the "European Journal of Applied Physiology," researchers investigated the effect of the scent of jasmine tea on mood state and autonomic nerve activity of 24 healthy volunteers. Both lavender and jasmine tea odors similarly calmed mood and significantly decreased heart rate. This calming effect is beneficial for stress-induced high blood pressure.
Reduced Risk of Stroke and Lower Cholesterol
A Chinese study investigated whether tea consumption was independently associated with prevalence of stroke. Researchers concluded that a strong inverse correlation exists between tea drinking and stroke, independent of other risk factors. The more tea consumed, the greater the protective benefits. Tea consumption of > 150 g per month (of either green, black or jasmine tea) was statistically significant in reducing risk of stroke.
Though research needs to be conducted in humans to draw conclusions, animal studies have shown that Chinese green tea and jasmine tea consumption have significant blood and liver cholesterol lowering effects. High blood cholesterol levels increase risk of heart disease. These teas also may improve the high density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol to total cholesterol ratio, which is cardioprotective.