Jasmine tea is actually a combination of Chinese green tea with the additional flavor and aroma of jasmine flower petals. The jasmine petals are used at full bloom which occurs at night (after they are picked during the day), and the tea is made by repeatedly laying layers of jasmine petals and tea leaves over each other. Six layers of alternating leaves and petals effectively merge the scent of the jasmine flower to the green tea. After this "scenting" process is finished, the petals are removed for the tea leaves to be dried. The quality of jasmine tea is determined by the strength of the green tea base to absorb the scent of the flower. As far as health benefits, many believe that jasmine tea's benefits may exceed those of green tea. Some possible benefits additional to the antioxidant qualities of the green tea leaves are that jasmine tea may prolong life expectancy and lower cholesterol levels. Often jasmine tea leaves are rolled into balls which are called jasmine pearls.
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.
When it comes to flavored tea, jasmine has been shown to be one of the perfect brews. That's because the tea is made typically with a combination of green tea leaves and jasmine blooms, both of which have been proven to be excellent in preventing disease, aiding in weight loss, combating inflammation, increasing energy and boosting one's thinking power. The aromatic beverage, which is grown in the southern part of Asia, is enjoyed the world over for its sweet scent and delicate yet distinctive taste. No need to add honey or sugar as the tea stands on its own when it comes to sweetness.
A study published in "Nutrition" found a significant inverse relationship between frequency of tea consumption and risk of developing esophageal squamous cell cancer. A total of 343 patients with SCC of the esophagus and 755 control subjects (Taiwanese men) were included in this study. Those 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. Black tea is fermented, and thus not as high in catechins.
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.
A Chinese study investigated whether tea consumption was independently associated with prevalence of stroke. Using cluster randomized sampling, 14,212 subjects were recruited from 12 provinces in China. Participants were 35 to 60 years of age. This study not only looked at tea consumption (dose, frequency) but the protective effect of different types of teas. Researchers concluded that a strong inverse correlation exists between tea drinking and stroke, independent of other risk factors. The more tea a participant consumed, the greater protective benefits he enjoyed. 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 (highest in catechins due to minimal fermentation) 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.