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What Are the Health Benefits of Chinese Yunnan Tea?

author image Kate Sheridan
Kate Sheridan is a freelance writer, researcher, blogger, reporter and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and trade publications for over 35 years. She attended Oakland University and The University of Michigan, beginning her journalism career as an intern at the "Rochester Eccentric." She's received honors from the Michigan Press Association, American Marketing Association and the State of Michigan Department of Commerce.
What Are the Health Benefits of Chinese Yunnan Tea?
A close-up of black and amber Yunnan loose tea. Photo Credit GooDween123/iStock/Getty Images


The oldest tea tree in the tea forests of Yunnan Province, China, is estimated to be between 1,300 to 1,700 years old. The ancient tea forests are rich in biodiversity, which many locals credit for the famous health benefits from teas produced in this province. Although folk medicine has long embraced Yunnan teas for treatment of a variety of complaints, the scientific community is just beginning to scrutinize the claims. Some tea collectors claim that Yunnan teas improve with age and fermentation, and are willing to pay high prices at auctions of aged Yunnan teas.

Reduced Cholesterol

Yunnan pu’er tea, sometimes called pu-er or puerh tea, is a type of mild red tea that’s grown in Yannun for more than 1,000 years. The tea has been taken as a folk remedy in Asia and Europe for hundreds of years. Preliminary studies in France and at the Yunnan Kunming Xiang Research Center in China indicate that the Yunnan tea may reduce the amount of blood cholesterol that forms in the arteries. No scientific evidence on humans has been completed, so check with your health care professional before using Yunnan tea to reduce cholesterol.

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Weight Loss Aid

Yunnan tea is high in chemical compounds which may dissolve fats as part of food digestion. The pu’er tea is reportedly a favorite among women who are dieting to lose weight. Yunnan tuocha tea is also being studied by French nutritionists for its potential to reduce fat lipids and aid weight loss. Anecdotal evidence suggests that tea from the Yunnan province can counter some of the effects of a fatty meal and aid digestion, but no scientific studies have confirmed. Ask your physician whether daily cups of Yunnan tea might be effective in your weight loss regimen.

Nausea Fighter

The teas of Yunnan province are fermented and dried before packaging, sometimes for many years. Some tea collectors believe that the unique Yunnan fermentation process release potent compounds that make the teas especially effective against nausea and dysentary. Many Chinese travelers carry Yunnan tea with them when they travel to counter the effects of strange food and contaminated water. Long used as a folk medicine to treat nausea, Yunnan tea hasn’t been studied scientifically to prove the assertions. Consult a medical professional before using Yunnan tea as a nausea fighter.

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